Prosecutors’ Nonsensical Argument to Retain $3M Bail– Bullet #145 Update

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Prosecutors’ Nonsensical Argument to Retain $3M Bail – MJEOL Bullet #145 Update Just when you thought prosecutors in the Michael Jackson case couldn’t appear any more desperate, they always manage to take it a step further.Jackson was assigned a $3M bail amount before he was taken into custody.That amount was astronomically high and was unprecedented.Now prosecutors are arguing, in a new motion, that the $3M bail should stand because Jackson is a flight risk.By all accounts, it’s safe to say that Jackson isn’t fleeing the country.And with this being 6 months after police ransacked his Neverland Ranch, it seems implausible that he would flee now as opposed to then. Strikingly absent from the latest media reports are the comments from Jackson’s defense attorneys in the original motion to reduce the bail amount. The prosecution’s response is widely reported, but the original motion isn’t. Hum…I wonder why not? Could it be because Jackson’s defense made some very sharp and well-reasoned arguments as to why the amount is unfair? Could it be because the argument paints prosecutors as treating Jackson like no other regular citizen? Could it be because what the defense said in the motion paints prosecutors in a truthful and unflattering light? Or could it be because the defense, unlike the prosecution, chose not to leak it to the press? But exactly what is at the heart of this desperate argument to hold on to the $3M bail? Could prosecutors actually think Jackson would ‘flee’ instead of making prosecutors, investigators and the accusing family, confront him in a court of law? Jackson was given his passport back in Jan 2004, which he didn’t use. Why not? Why wouldn’t he have ‘fled’ the country then if prosecutors are to be believed?? Jackson, who is by all accounts not a pauper even without the $3M, has had ample opportunity to ‘flee’ before now. So why are prosecutors now using that as an excuse to keep their hands on his $3M? According to the AP report—sans the defense’s comments—prosecutors allege: “The temptation to flee must surely be strong for an individual in defendant’s circumstances. To suppose otherwise would be to blink reality” (see article). The only persons that have seemed to “blink reality” are prosecutors. Jackson isn’t going anywhere, the unnamed co-conspirators aren’t ‘flipping’, and Jackson isn’t copping a plea deal. As a matter of fact, the attorney for two of the alleged “co-conspirators” (ha!), Joe Tacopina, have consistently said that they will not accept any deals with prosecutors or flip on Jackson because neither they, nor he, is guilty of anything. As dubious and one-sided as the reporting is from Celebrity Justice, some say, even they have had to squash the notion of the ‘co-conspirators’ turning on Jackson. Harvey Levine appeared on Good Day Live yesterday (May 24) and “revealed” that Tacopina has broken off all communication with prosecutors because they have been “threatening and badgering” his clients. He also reported that Tacopina says if his clients testify at all, it will be on behalf of Michael Jackson (see video). That frustration with prosecutors may have been revealed during Fox News Live show on which Tacopina appeared May 23. Being careful not to reveal anything specific about the case, Tacopina says he believes his clients will never be indicted. He disclosed that he keeps getting the “they’re about to be arrest tomorrow” routine, but nothing comes of it (see video). More about his comments in a later MJEOL News Bullet. So things are looking rather dismal for prosecutors who may not have actually planned on trying this case, but instead, counted on Jackson to “flee” or to give in and take a deal. If that smile on Jackson’s face at the April arraignment is any indication, he is more than prepared to fight this out in a court of law. The latest motion was written by Deputy DA Gerald Franklin. Franklin is current being sued by attorney Gary Dunlap for $10M, along with DA Tom Sneddon and others, for malicious prosecution, conspiracy and witness tampering. On May 10 2004, it was reported that a U.S District Court judge upheld the majority of the lawsuit against him, Sneddon, other prosecutors and their investigators; passing the first huge hurdle in pursuing his misconduct case (see article). In the motion, Franklin claims that Jackson may want to live out the rest of his life as “a wealthy absconder” instead of facing prison. Not only is Franklin writing this motion as if he’s already won the “case”, but he’s claiming that Jackson—who had his head held high even when he was in handcuffs—would “flee” the country if his bail amount is reduced! Ridiculous. Some say it would be the prosecutor’s dream to have Jackson “flee” the country because the “case” against him has collapsed. Other observers have echoed what a number of people have already said: Jackson isn’t going to flee and would have done so months ago if that were his plan. The regular bail schedule calls for a maximum bail of $435,000 for someone who was in a similar situation as Jackson’s. Jackson’s bail, as already stated, is almost 7 times that amount. To explain away why the bail was $3M, Franklin actually cited Jackson’s 2700 acre ranch. Now, let me get this straight: he’s suppose to “flee” the country and leave behind a gigantic and extremely valuable piece of property—much more valuable than $3M—if his $3M bail is reduced?? The question has now become: have prosecutors lost their collective minds or do they actually think that Jackson, in the face of apparently no evidence and desperate actions by prosecutors, will ‘flee’ the country NOW? He says “The people mean no disrespect by the following, but Michael Joe Jackson’s situation is truly unique. By all accounts, defendant is well-to-do.” Well-to-do? So that would mean he doesn’t need $3M to make him stay in the country if he doesn’t want to. This, in turn, means that prosecutors have no excuse for charging the $3M bail because with or without that money, Jackson is just as capable of leaving if he wanted to. So how can his argument stand? It can’t. Regardless of the outcome, prosecutors are now on record admitting that they have not and will not treat Jackson like any other defendant accused of this crime. If you’ll remember, when the case began, prosecutors claimed that Jackson wouldn’t get any special treatment and would be treated like any other person accused with these types of allegations. But in this latest motion, they change their argument to suit the motion to which they were responding. Ok. So were they lying, then, when they claimed Jackson would get the same manner of treatment as any other citizen? Or are they lying, now, as a means to hold on to the $3M bail? The fact that Jackson has chosen to meet these charges head on and to clear his name in a court of law must be extremely baffling to prosecutors. I can’t wait to read the defense team’s response to these prosecution hallucinations…uh, I mean, claims. From the looks of things, Jackson’s attorneys won’t be leaking motions to the press and will do all of their talking in court. These issues are expected to be argued in front of Judge Rodney Melville at Friday’s (May 28 2004) hearing. Stay tuned for further updates. -MJEOL

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