Free Kobe

by Sean Carter

Up until now, I've been silent about the Kobe Bryant trial because I wanted to wait until all of the evidence was in before making a judgment. However, with the playoffs in full swing and the Lakers in jeopardy of losing to San Antonio, I feel obliged to speak out.

Kobe Bryant is innocent! And please understand that I don't say that as a black person. Nor do I say it as a man. I say that as a Lakers season ticket holder.

If Bryant is traded during the off-season, then I may change my "legal analysis" of the case. However, until then, my legal acumen (and my wallet) leads me to the conclusion that Bryant is not guilty of the charges against him.

Besides, even if Bryant did do it, his chances of being convicted are about as good as the chances of Bush admitting that his administration made mistakes prior to 9-11. This was obvious to me on the first day of the proceedings. As I watched the coverage on CNN, I noticed that "FREE KOBE" had been painted on the windshields of several cars in the courthouse parking lot.

All it takes is for one of these Kobe fanatics to get placed on the jury and Kobe has a hung jury. If Kobe can also get a few Denver Nugget season ticket holders on the jury, he's going free. This is regardless of any evidence that may be introduced at trial.

The simple truth of the matter is that it's almost impossible to convict a popular athlete. This should be clear after last week's verdict in the Jayson Williams trial. As you know, the former professional basketball player was acquitted after accidentally shooting his limo driver.

Please keep in mind that this tragedy occurred in a room full of people and Williams hasn't played pro ball in years. Now, compare that case to the Bryant case, in which one of the most popular current players in the game must be convicted on the basis of "he said, she said" testimony. This isn't going to happen.

Therefore, Eagle County prosecutors should do the sensible thing and save the taxpayers a few million dollars by looking for an alternative punishment for Bryant. For example, perhaps they could convince the Lakers to trade Bryant to the LA Clippers. Bryant would probably challenge this action as "cruel and unusual punishment" but it's worth a shot.

Or perhaps, this case could be resolved through a monetary payment. After all, if Kobe Bryant has $4 million to spend on an "I'm Sorry" ring for Mrs. Kobe, he can pony up a few more million to resolve this matter.

NOTE TO MY WIFE: Baby, for $4 million, you can cheat! In fact, for that kind of money, I'll set up the date for you.

Or perhaps, Kobe could be required to spend a night alone in a hotel room with his less than glamorous attorney, Pamela Mackey. One night alone with her should cure Kobe of his infidelity. In fact, it's likely to cure of him of his heterosexuality.

Yet, Kobe, sometimes you have to take one for the team. Remember, there is no "I" in "Lakers Fans Want Another Banner."

Sean Carter is a lawyer, public speaker, and the author of "If It Does Not Fit, Must You Acquit? - Your Humorous Guide to the Law". He can be reached at