Listen: Brian Rattigan, Ryan, Lake Erie discussed on Serial
"Indictment, and chances are if you go to trial, you're getting get convicted of something. Just the visual along indictment is a signal to the jury. Look at this list. He must've done something while some charges probably are going to merge at sentencing as a rule, the more stuff you're convicted of the longer you're sentence is going to be. So, yeah, you plead. That's why the prevailing practice in most prosecutors offices is to charge crimes as harshly as they can. It might swell prisons and invigorate entire neighborhoods, but it is a physician. All of this brought me to Brian Rattigan. I wanted to know something very basic. How does he make his decisions? How much of what Brian's doing is coming from Brian, his own sense of what's right and how much is beyond his control. The job we've given him. Brian works in the major trial unit homicides mostly in his office. He's got a mini fridge and Anita desk and a window with the blinds drawn that overlooks Lake Erie. Nothing fancy by longshot case files and boxes of evidence or piled around complaining chair. Ryan looked sharp though. He wears a suit every day. He never knows when he might be pulled into a courtroom, but the way his beard stubble scrapes against his collar. You understand, he's enduring the costume, not enjoying it. He doesn't appear to revel in his power. He favors the shucks Friday of dominance. From what I can tell, Brian is universally respected in the Justice center. He's forthright he has compassion. He can take a joke. He's thirty eight married to little kids a regular amiable guy. The days I spent with him, he had twenty cases on his docket one aggravated. Vehicular homicide rape case, one flowness assault which normally wouldn't get, but the guy salted three police officers, the rest murders or aggravated murders, mostly drug deals, gone bad or some bullshit like retaliation thing, you know? Yep. All day people are knocking calling texting. His getting updates on cases, giving updates on cases decided, yeah, hold on. Brian takes a call from radio's a homicide detective. He's working on a shooting case happened outside a nightclub on the west side. Detective Diaz tells Brian, they're about to interview a witness, Gregg, Allman when you're done. This is a guy that we've been. He was with the defendant and we've been trying to get them to come in and and do an interview. And every time he says he's coming in, he cancels or I didn't have a ride, or we shop at his house and he's not there. So we last week I printed out a subpoena for the two homicide detectives. They went and served them. And so he just called and said, he's going to be here today. So this is excellent timing. Brian has a pretrial in that case this afternoon. Right now though he's about to have a meeting with two other detectives. On another case, they just walked in pay art Iran. Art echoes and Rhonda gray the same one from Dave owns case a? No, they wouldn't let me record them. They were there to talk about a case that it made the news wasn't the kind of shooting you usually hear about in Cleveland? It started as a squabble between strangers on a city bus, then spilled onto the sidewalk where an older man had shot and killed a younger man. Brian explained to me that this case was unusual for them because the entire episode was recorded by security cameras on the bus. This is one of those rare cases where you you see the whole story. Ninety percent of our cases were not watching them unfold. And if something is caught on. On camera, whatever. Usually it's from a distance and you don't give the dialogue and you don't get the everybody's reaction. You don't have seven different angles or nine different angles. You know, this is like the the outlier crazy. I can't believe I'm I have to watch this whole thing and see all the decisions that were made that led to this guy dying because you're watching it and you're watching like God just and you wanna tell them what you stay off the bus, the bus. This incident happened three and a half weeks earlier. The older guy was in jail, but he hasn't been indicted yet the meeting with detectives this morning is to figure out how they're gonna handle it. What charges Brian should present to the grand jury. This is a tricky one though because Brian can see how the whole thing unspoiled now he's not sure crime even occurred.."