A Wealth of Evidence Clearing Jackson-MJEOL #127 April 18 2004 As you know, on April 2 there was a hearing in the Michael Jackson case in California. At that hearing, the defense came to court with binders full of evidence they say exonerates Jackson of these molestation allegations. The binders, labeled Exculpatory Evidence for Grand Jury, were given over to the prosecutors to present to the grand jurors. Sources inside the courtroom during that hearing say that co-lead counsel for Jackson, Ben Brafman, said he received a Johnson letter on March 12, 2004 asking for a submission of exculpatory evidence to the grand jury. These sources say that the 100 items and 61 exhibits were only what the defense prepared in the first 5 days after they received that Johnson letter. So all of the evidence they handed over to the prosecution is not even everything that they want presented to the grand jury. And even this doesnt include evidence what the defense are saving for a possible trial. Further, Brafman told Judge Melville that they have uncovered a wealth of evidence which they have yet to go through and organize so it too could have been presented to the grand jury. Evidently, the defense has so much evidence, that they can afford to hand over 100 items and 61 exhibits to a grand jury. Some say Gerald Franklin, the lone prosecutor in court at the April 2nd hearing, looked stunned to see the 20 boxes of information from the defense. If prosecutors arent worried by all the exculpatory evidence the defense has, some legal experts say they should be. Former prosecutor Paul Pfingst appeared on the Abrams Report (April 5) talking about these latest developments. Pfingst was asked by Abrams if prosecutors in the case are afraid of some of that exculpatory evidence that has come out. Pfingst replied:
If youre afraid of it now, then you have to be really afraid of it at trial when youre in front of a jury and theres cross-examination. Dan, theres something that has to be understood. Yes, prosecutors are on their home field [with a grand jury], but prosecutors historically do not abuse that home field because they will have to face a jury and they will have to sometimes put their case in front of a jury, and if theyre losing a lot of cases, thats not going to help (see Transcript).
Reports say that prosecutors will look over the defense information and decide what can be presented to a grand jury. However, Pfingst says that generally prosecutors dont pick and choose what they present to the grand jury and what they leave out. He says prosecutors dump it all out there and leave it up to the grand jurors to sort through it. When asked if prosecutors purposely under-present exculpatory evidence to grand jurors, Pfingst says:
Only if you want to cut your own throat when youre in front of a jury. If its something thats going to affect this grand jury, you want to know it now, not later. (see Transcript).
What happens if prosecutors fail to present this information to the grand jurors? Experts say that the defense would file a 995 Motion seeking to throw out any indictment handed down by the grand jury. According to reporter Dan Whitcomb, a 995 motion is the means by which a defendant can challenge an indictment due to claims of misconduct by prosecutors or on other legal grounds. Misconduct by prosecutors? Prosecutorial misconduct is one of the reasons why Tom Sneddon and others are already being sued in federal court for $10million by Gary Dunlap. Stay Tuned. -MJEOL