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Winnipeg Free Press: The defence rests

Winnipeg lawyer Hymie Weinstein retires after five-decade role, parts in some of Manitoba's highest-profile cases

July 12, 2021 — 

As the Winnipeg Free Press reports:

In a half-century law career that has had him defend embezzlers and fraud artists, accused killers and everyone in between, Hymie Weinstein has amassed enough stories to fill a very heavy book.

It’s a book Weinstein insists he will never write. But if he did, this story, he says, would be Chapter 1:

It’s the late 1970s, and Weinstein is defending a young man accused of stabbing a woman to death at a house party.

“A crazy thing happened to me,” Weinstein said in a recent interview. “I thought I knew who the murderer was: it was one of the Crown witnesses. I don’t know how I picked out this person, but I did and I convinced myself it was (him).”

On Day 5 of the trial, the witness testified for the Crown. As Weinstein began his cross examination, he “did something I’ve never done before and never done since… I accused him of being the murderer.”

“He denied it (several times) and I thought the judge is going to jump on me for what I’m doing,” he said. “You know, you only saw this on Perry Mason shows.”

The next week, a jury acquitted Weinstein’s client.

“Here’s the crazy part,” the lawyer said. “Two weeks later, I’m in my office, the phone rings and it’s (the witness).

“‘I’ve been charged with second-degree murder of that woman,'” the man told Weinstein. “‘I’d like you to be my lawyer.'”

“I said, ‘Don’t you remember that I accused you in front of the judge and jury of being the murderer?’ He said: ‘Yeah, but you did such a good job.'”

Now, 53 years after landing his first job as a junior prosecutor, Weinstein has closed the book on his legal career and packed away his robes for good. He officially retires Wednesday.

Read the full story at the Winnipeg Free Press.

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