Note: Some of the following content was repurposed from live reports from the courthouse. For regular updates during breaks in the proceedings, follow @stephenlemons on Twitter/X. The defense in the Backpage trial called its first witness on Tuesday in Phoenix’s…

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…

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…

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…

ConstitutiononFire

In a motion filed Thursday in federal court in Phoenix, government attorneys have — for the second time — asked federal Judge Diane Humetewa to exclude any mention of the First Amendment in front of the jury during the Backpage…

Covid

Update, Thursday, Sept. 7: The Backpage trial will resume on Tuesday, Sept. 12, per an order today from the federal court in Phoenix.  The court further ordered: ORDER as to Michael Lacey, et al., IT IS ORDERED that upon notice…

On Friday, at the final pretrial hearing in the Backpage case, federal Judge Diane Humetewa in Phoenix shot down a defense suggestion that the prosecution not use the terms “sex trafficking” and “child sex trafficking” during the Aug. 29 trial…

During a marathon six-hour pre-trial hearing in Phoenix’s federal court on Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge Diane Humetewa ruled that the defense in the Backpage case can argue the adult-themed ads that appeared on the classified listings site were, in…

U.S. District Court Judge Diane Humetewa

In an order issued on Monday, July 24, federal Judge Diane Humetewa in Phoenix granted prosecutors significant wins on a series of motions affecting the retrial of veteran newspapermen Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, set to begin on Aug. 8….