John_Shehan

Note: For regular updates during breaks in the proceedings, follow @stephenlemons on Twitter/X, search for #BackpageTrial. The worst part of sitting through the testimony in the Backpage trial is waiting for the prosecution to “pass” the witness to the attorneys…

Groundhog

Update, 10/12/23, 12:03 p.m.: Judge Humetewa sided with the government this morning, denying the defense’s fifth motion to dismiss. She said, “On balance, there is no necessity to declare a mistrial.” For more, follow me on Twitter/X, @stephenlemons, #Backpage trial….

1984

You may remember the passage from George Orwell’s novel 1984, in which protagonist Winston Smith’s torturer tells him, “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.” This quote came to mind…

Carl Ferrer

All that was missing was the apple in his mouth. Defense attorneys Gary Lincenberg and Paul Cambria took turns roasting prosecution witness Carl Ferrer on a legal spit during cross-examination at the Backpage trial on Wednesday in downtown Phoenix’s Sandra…

pcambria

Paul Cambria, attorney for veteran newspaperman and Backpage defendant Michael Lacey, took the lead on Tuesday, cross-examining former Backpage owner and CEO Carl Ferrer, the government’s star witness. A longtime First Amendment advocate and former attorney for Hustler magazine publisher…

Joy Bertrand

At the Backpage trial in Phoenix’s federal court on Tuesday, prosecutors continued to introduce prejudicial material into the trial involving sex trafficking and child sex trafficking, drawing yet another mistrial motion from defense attorneys. It was the defense’s fourth mistrial…

Pink Elephant

After a half-day of trial on Friday, Sept. 15 in Phoenix, wherein federal proecutors made numerous references to children and child sex trafficking in the Backpage case, Joy Bertrand, attorney for Joye Vaught, a former Backpage employee, renewed the defense’s…

Seal_of_the_United_States_Government_Accountability_Office.svg (2)

In a recent column, longtime Arizona Republic columnist E.J. Montini cited a 2021 report from the U.S. Governmental Accountability Office (GAO), which found that the 2018 takedown of Backpage had the opposite of its intended effect: it made it more…

Judge Diane Humetewa

The Backpage trial nearly jumped the tracks on Thursday in Phoenix’s federal court after the defense called twice for a mistrial, only to be denied each time by U.S. District Court Judge Diane Humetewa. Both motions involved material concerning children…

Michael Lacey

Ex-Backpage owner Carl Ferrer’s testimony continued in Phoenix’s federal courthouse on Sept. 13, as did the government’s misinformation, half-truths, spin, and bad faith regarding its number one target: veteran newspaperman Michael Lacey, who co-owned the classified listings site Backpage.com from…