The Michael Jackson Case:The Effect of the New Charge, and New Attorney, And What Jackson’s Best Defense May Be By JONNA M. SPILBOR —- Tuesday, May. 04, 2004 Michael Jackson’s appearance isn’t the only thing changing shape these days. His criminal case just underwent a radical facelift. Jackson has famously fired two of his lawyers — replacing them with his current counsel, Tom Mesereau. Jackson also faces a new, unexpected criminal charge. ….. First, let’s consider the decision to opt for a grand jury indictment. In California, prosecutors may initiate a criminal action either by filing a complaint, or by obtaining a grand jury indictment. But the overwhelming majority of felony cases in California are done by complaint. (In contrast, federal courts and many other states utilize grand jury practice almost exclusively). Originally, the Jackson case proceeded on a complaint. But then D.A. Sneddon changed tactics. Why? Probably because under California law, once a grand jury indictment is filed, as is the case here, the defendant loses his right to a preliminary hearing. ….. Having considered why the indictment was filed, let’s now compare the indictment to the complaint. First, the alleged victim is the same — and no other alleged victims are mentioned. Despite publicity suggesting there may be other accusers, the indictment does not reference them. Second, the basic charges as to what was allegedly done to the accuser victim are the same — though the number of counts has changed. The complaint alleged seven counts of Lewd Act Upon a Child; the indictment alleges four, plus one count of Attempted Lewd Act Upon a Child. (This count describes Jackson allegedly having a child perform such an act upon him.) So what happened to the two missing lewd acts — and why wasn’t the attempt described as such in the first place? The complaint alleged two counts of Administration of an Intoxicating Agent; the indictment alleges four. What does this mean — that between the complaint and the indictment, the accuser remembered two more instances in which Jackson supposedly gave him intoxicating substances? If so, what possible explanations are there for his renewed memory? Unlike fine wine, memories generally do not get better with the passage of time. Instead, typically, they fade. When a witness’ memory of an event sharpens over time, this is a phenomenon that mustn’t be ignored by either side — prosecution or defense. Weirdly, the dates have changed too. The complaint said that five of the seven “lewd acts” allegedly occurred “on or between February 7, 2003 and March 10, 2003,” and all the other counts occurred between February 20 and March 10, 2003. But the indictment says that all but the new conspiracy charge (which I will discuss next) occurred between February 20, 2003 and March 12, 2003. Note that this isn’t just narrowing the time period — it’s also lengthening it! Suddenly something happened on March 12 that was not included in the complaint. But why not? ….. :nav [url=http://forum.mjeol.com/index.php?act=ST&f=3&t=16627]Read FULL Article[/url] (forum members) :3pinned [url=http://forum.mjeol.com/index.php?act=ST&f=3&t=16627]Your Comments?[/url] :lasta [url=http://writ.news.findlaw.com/commentary/20040504_spilbor.html]Source[/url]

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