Joe Arpaio's defense attorneys have gone all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to get the former sheriff a jury trial.
They've lost every time.
With Arpaio's criminal-contempt case now in the hands of a judge, our "Sunday Square Off" insiders say it's clear why the Arpaio team was desperate to make its case to a jury: The former six-term sheriff likely would have beaten the rap.
Arizona Republic reporter Megan Cassidy and attorney Daniel Ortega agree that Arpaio attorney Dennis Wilenchik could have persuaded at least one juror - all that's needed for an acquittal - to find Arpaio not guilty.
The 85-year-old former lawman is charged with intentionally defying a court order to stop making arrests based solely on immigration status.
Cassidy and Ortega review the five-day trial and break down the evidence before Federal Judge Susan R. Bolton that could support an acquittal or a conviction.
Arpaio could be sentenced to up to six months in jail if convicted. Legal experts say it's unlikely Arpaio would ever do time behind bars.
Also on this weekend's "Square Off," our panel of Dan Barr, a 1st Amendment attorney at the law firm Perkins Coie; Laurie Roberts, Arizona Republic columnist; and Chris Baker, a Republican political consultant, debate Secretary of State Michele Reagan's flip-flop on releasing voter registration information on 3.6 million Arizonans to a presidential commission investigating voter fraud.
"Sunday Square Off" airs at 8 a.m. Sunday on 12 News, after "Meet the Press."
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