Now in Mike Tyson's corner: Harvard's Alan Dershowitz
Mike Tyson's defense team landed a superstar last week when Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz agreed to help the boxer in an appeal of his Feb. 10 conviction in Indianapolis on rape charges. Dershowitz, who in 1984 won a reversal of an attempted-murder conviction for playboy Claus von Bülow, is also working for two other rich celebrities in trouble, jailed junk-bond czar Michael Milken and tax-evading hotel queen Leona Helmsley.
On what will Dershowitz base his appeal? One approach he is contemplating is to invoke the legal principle that only the state of mind of the accused is relevant in criminal proceedings. In date-rape cases, however, equal consideration is generally given to the state of mind of the complainant, and Dershowitz could challenge this he-said, she-said approach. He would point out that Tyson told both the grand jury and the trial jury that he thought the victim, Desiree Washington, agreed to sex. As Dershowitz states the issue, "Whose state of mind governs when both the accused and the complaining witness believe they are telling the truth?"
Dershowitz, who is reviewing a 2,327-page transcript of the trial, may consider two other grounds for appeal. One is the disqualification of a black man during the selection of the grand jury. The other is the flawed performance of Tyson's team of lawyers, led by Vincent Fuller. They allowed Tyson to testify at trial without corroboration of key elements of his story. They also depicted their own client as a sex-obsessed monster who was somehow an innocent victim of a conniving 18-year-old beauty pageant contestant. Dershowitz may package the questionable strategies into an argument that even though Tyson spent an estimated $2 million on his defense, he was deprived of the quality of representation guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution.
Dershowitz won't assume a principal role until after Tyson's sentencing on March 26. Prosecutors will ask Judge Patricia Gifford for a jail term of 10 years, and they will argue that Tyson should be locked up immediately. Fuller will ask that Tyson remain free during the appeal process.
Whatever the judge decides, the fight appears to be far from over.
The Yawkey Way
The Red Sox lose their matriarch, Jean Yawkey
Jean Yawkey was always there for the Red Sox, keeping score of every game in her personal score book, spending the money she and Boston hoped would finally bring the team a world championship, preserving the proud tradition of the franchise.
She was always there, yet she remained all but invisible. She shrank from the limelight and denied almost every request for an interview. Such was the air of mystery around her that when a Boston TV sportscaster asked her on camera in 1983 if she was happy with a court decision, her two-word answer of "I am" was accorded the status of a big scoop. So when Mrs. Yawkey died last week at 83 of complications from a stroke, there wasn't a wealth of anecdotes about her years with the Red Sox.
It was in December of 1944 that Jean Hollander, a former model, married Tom Yawkey, who had bought the Red Sox for $1.5 million in '33. She was his second wife, he her second husband. They were an out-doorsy couple, a sort of South Carolinian Nick and Nora. They hunted and fished together in the scrub woods of Tom's estate in Georgetown, S.C., and in the summer they journeyed to Boston to watch Tom's team. In the beginning they sat together, but after a while they watched the games from separate roof boxes because Tom didn't like Jean to hear him swear. The Red Sox tend to make people do that.