[b]Evidence of Prosecution Bias in the Kobe Bryant and Michael Jackson Cases[/b] [i]Why It’s Troubling, and What Role It May Play at Trial[/i] By JULIE HILDEN, FindLaw.com columnist … [b]The Evidence of Prosecutorial Bias in the Jackson Case[/b] Meanwhile, the evidence of prosecutorial bias in the Michael Jackson case is far more blatant and longstanding. [u][b]Indeed, it’s plain by now that Santa Barbara D.A. Tom Sneddon is so grossly biased against Jackson that he should no longer be on the case. And if Sneddon does remain on the case, it’s likely much of Jackson’s trial will be occupied with a mini-trial on the issue of Sneddon’s own longstanding bias toward Jackson. [/u] In 1993, Sneddon handled the investigation of an earlier child abuse claim against Jackson. The claim ended in what was reportedly a multi-million dollar civil settlement; charges were dropped. Sneddon has admitted he was frustrated by this outcome. In recent interviews, Sneddon has repeatedly implied that Jackson was guilty of the earlier 1993 child abuse charges. He has done so despite the fact that it was his own office that dropped those charges. Sneddon has also claimed that it would be possible to somehow drag these charges into the current Jackson abuse case, supposedly on the ground that they evidence prior criminal behavior. But without a conviction, the charges, alone, ought to be ruled inadmissible. Evidence of prior criminal behavior that does not result in a conviction is a classic example of prejudicial evidence. A defendant who testifies in his own defense opens the door to the admission of prior convictions, not prior charges. And there is no prior conviction here. The risk that the prosecutor’s office’s actions and comments will taint the jury pool — by convincing potential jurors of the defendant’s guilt even before they walk into the courtroom for jury selection — is plain. Prosecutors are not supposed to personally vouch for a defendant’s guilt even at trial, let alone outside it; it’s the evidence, not the prosecutor’s opinion, to which the jury must look. And personally vouching — as Sneddon has done — for a defendant’s guilt with respect to a prior offense for which he was never criminally charged, is arguably an even lower blow. Yet Sneddon’s inappropriate behavior does not end there. He has joked at a press conference that the Jackson case will at least inject money into California’s failing economy. And he has referred to Jackson on Court TV as “a guy everybody calls ‘MJ King of Pop.'” (Sneddon did subsequently apologize for this comment — but only after his wife pointed out to him how inappropriate it was!) Sneddon has also vouched for the credibility of the family whose child Jackson allegedly abused. He commented, “I think it would be really unfair to be talking about these people as if they want to get even with Michael Jackson or something like that.” In making this comment, of course, Sneddon implicitly tried to discredit Jackson’s likely defense — that the alleged victim’s family seeks money — long before trial has even begun. The prosecution will have plenty of time to try to discredit the defense at trial; it need not get a head start with the potential jury pool before trial. [/b] :3pinned [url=http://forum.mjeol.com/index.php?showtopic=12689]Read FULL article here[/url]

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