Defense Motion Slams Prosecutors about Excessive Bail MJEOL Bullet #153 One of the issues discussed during the May 28 2004 hearing in the Michael Jackson case was the issue of bail; in particular, how prosecutors are using flimsy reasons to set and hold on to the excessive bail amount.Judge Melville has yet to issue a ruling on whether the bail amount will be decreased as of this writing.In an incredibly scathing motion, Michael Jacksons defense lays into the prosecutions nonsensical and illogical argument to hold on to the $3M bail.The 32 page document includes some insight into how prosecutors are treating Jackson in relation to other citizens of the county and also includes a document in support of bail reduction written by Jackson family attorney Brian Oxman. Mesereau discusses point by point why it is both ridiculous to think Jackson will flee and why the bail amount is ludicrous: 1) Jackson is not a flight risk, 2)The $3M bail is excessive and unreasonable, 3)Jackson has substantial community and family ties, 4)The prosecutions requested bail is arbitrary and capricious, 5)Evidence in the case does not support a $3M bail, 6)Prosecution seeks to engage in invidious discrimination, 7)Jackson doesnt pose a danger to the community, and 8)Prosecutions miscellaneous arguments are gross speculation. The document starts off with the memorandum of points which states flatly that Jackson is falsely accused of molestation and conspiracy, and that he has no criminal record. The charges against Jackson are called outrageous which obviously is how many people feel who know Jackson. The document says:
The charges are outrageous and not supported by competent, credible evidence. Anyone who knows Mr. Jackson quite properly mocks and ridicules these outrageous allegations.
The support motion, filed May 26 2004, rips into the prosecutions peculiar and/or suspicious actions in the case. If youll remember, prosecutor Tom Sneddon first filed charges against Jackson in Dec 2003. Filing those charges would have led to a preliminary hearing if prosecutors had not changed course and used a grand jury to further the case. Miraculously, the entire case, the timeline, and the actual charges themselves were drastically changed by prosecutors. Some observers say these charges were in direct response to the many media reports casting doubt on the prosecutions so-called case. They say prosecutors may have changed the case to explain-away the many inconsistencies and seemingly illogical behavior of the accusing family. These inconsistencies and illogical stories would have certainly been questioned in court had there been (or if there is) a preliminary hearing. Speaking of the possibility of a preliminary hearing, Jacksons lawyer say that the prosecutors risked a cross-examination of their witnesses had they gone that route. They write:
The prosecution originally filed an information and faced a preliminary hearing. At a preliminary hearing, they risked defense cross-examination and impeachment. Suddenly, they changed their mind and chose a secret grand jury where the witnesses could not be cross-examined. No judge or defense lawyer was present in the secret hearing.
The defense calls the charges flimsy, ridiculous, and promised that the truth would be revealed when the accusers and familys story is tested in open court. Up until now, only the untested and unfounded stories from the accusers family have been touted in the media. When the actual trial comesor a preliminary hearing if the indictment is thrown outthe accuser and family will be cross-examined by the defense. The document says:
The defense promises that when these flimsy, ridiculous charges are tested in open court, the truth will come out. These bogus, outrageous charges will be revealed as false and malicious.
The defense has argued that the bail amount is excessive and that prosecutors havent presented anything at all as a reason for why the bail amount is so unusually high. The document reveals that Jacksons bail wasnt even set by a court. The prosecution is the one that set the bail amount in an apparently arbitrary way:
The bail in this case is excessive and the prosecution has not presented any evidence, testimony, or justification for a bail that is 43 times the amount of the bail schedule. The prosecution fails to respond to the bail standards established by Penal Code sections 1275 and 1289, and the unrebutted facts are that Mr. Jacksons financial circumstances, property holdings in this county, family ties, 30 employees, and 17 years of residence in this community make his flight virtually impossible.
In direct response to the prosecutions claims that Jackson is a flight risk, Jacksons lawyers write, while partially quoting from prosecutors:
The prosecution makes no showing Mr. Jackson is a flight risk, and the prosecutions speculation and unsworn hearsay is not evidence More important, the prosecution makes no showing why Mr. Jackson, like anyone else in his situation should receive a bail different from anyone else in his situation.
Jacksons attorneys also slammed the prosecutors use of the Andrew Luster case as a means to shore up their decision to charge Jackson with an astronomically high bail. They made the point that Luster was born into his wealtha trust fund babywith mobile assets. By contrast, Jackson is a self-made, hard working entrepreneur who simply cant liquidate his many assets in some asinine and imagined attempt to flee. The defense also lays into the prosecutions total lack of supporting evidence to warrant the bail and speculations about Jacksons financial condition:
The prosecution fails to submit to this court any evidence, testimony, or documents to show Mr. Jacksons financial condition, likelihood of fleeing, or any of the other assertions it has made in its hearsay, speculative, and conjectural memorandum. Fuller v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 7 Cal. App. 3d 690, 693 (1970) (unsworn statements are inadmissible in evidence).
The prosecution has shown the court nothing but speculation and arbitrary assertions, says the attorneys. He also states case law In re Pipinos, 33 Cal. 3d 187, 201 (1982), which says that it is insufficient for a trial court to use pure speculation as a means to set bail. He even squashed the notion by prosecutors that the only reason Jackson showed up for his court appearances is because of the excessive bail:
The prosecution speculates the reason Mr. Jackson has made all his appearances and complied with every court order is because of the excessive bail. (Prosecutors Memo, p.7, lines 13-15). However, Mr. Jackson voluntarily surrendered on Nov 20 2003, with no bail in place, and flight was never a possibility he will not flee because the case against him is a fiction.
Mesereau also rails against the nonsensical way in which prosecutors calculated the $435,000.00 sample figure they reported earlier. Apparently, prosecutors counted the same acts multiple times. Count 1 is calculated three times to get a total of $90,000. They multiply Counts 2, 3, and 4 three times to get $240,000, then tacks on another $60,000 for good measure. Sounds like fuzzy math to me, and to Jacksons lawyers as well. They write:
This double and multiple counting of various acts results in an inexplicable multiplication of the bail schedule which is unknown in any other case in this state. The prosecution provides this court with no case or statutory authority for its duplicative and multiplicative additions. There is no showing of a reason for the compounding, nor is there any showing of particularized evidence to justify the multiplication. The arbitrary and capricious multiplication perpetuated by the prosecution fails to show why Mr. Jackson is different from anyone else in his situation.
On top of this, they outright blast the prosecutions fuzzy math by saying in no uncertain terms:
Three million dollars has no basis in logic, fact, or law, and the prosecution does not even begin to establish a basis for such bail.
As proof of Jacksons positive activities, the defense lists examples of activities Jackson has been involved in, including cancer charities, childrens hospitals, and other humanitarian activities. Jacksons lawyers also bring up a very important point with regard to the alleged unnamed co-conspirators: they havent been charged. As of this writing, none of them have been charged. They, including Dieter Weisner, have all said that they are not afraid of prosecution threats nor are they afraid of defending themselves in a court of law if it comes to that. They have all previously denied any such allegations such as the ones the family is making. None of themcontrary to sad and desperate rumors by hack journalists–have flipped on Jackson either. This is one of the points Jacksons lawyers make:
it is apparent these crimes are not serious enough for the People [the prosecution] to charge the other alleged unindicted conspirators. Perhaps this is because the prosecution realizes that Mr. Jackson never conspired with anyone to commit any crime at any time. The prosecution claims Mr. Jackson might flee, yet the prosecution has not the remotest concern the alleged unindicted co-conspirators, who were the alleged actors, might flee Certainly, the alleged co-conspirators who allegedly committed the [overt] acts in this case are apparently not deemed dangerous flight risks nor worthy of being charged. This paradox is not explainable by the People.
In support of the defenses motion to lower bail, attorney Brian Oxman speaks to the character of Jackson. He confirms that Jackson is not a flight risk because it isnt in his nature nor would he ever consent to anything of the kind:
More important, Mr. Jackson would never consent to such a thing because under no conditions would he create such a situation where he ran away from what are fictitious allegations.
Oxman writes that Jackson turned himself over to the Santa Barbara Sheriff on Nov 20 2003 voluntarily because he knows he will be vindicated and exonerated [of] any wrongdoing. He never had any thought of fleeing Oxman writes that whenever he has represented any member of the Jackson family, he has always asked that they are treated just like everyone else in our justice system. He continues by stating the obvious for those who have forgotten: Mr. Jackson is a human being who is kind, descent and honest Jackson receives royalty payments from his music that arent mobile and which could be easily stopped by a court order, writes Oxman. This is just one example of what he would have to lose if he fled. As the trial date approaches, he states, Jackson becomes increasingly more determined to fight these false allegations in a court of law. He also blasts any lofty fantasies prosecutors or the accusers may have about his flight:
Wishful thinking by those who have created these false allegations that Mr. Jackson would flee will not change the fact that when this case comes to court it will be proven false. Mr. Jackson, his family, and his friends are working toward that day because they know the truth will expose an abominable injustice against Mr. Jackson.
Also attached to the defenses bail motion, is a long list of charitable and entertainment activities in which Jackson has been involved just since 1997. They include Jacksons performance at the April 2002 Democratic National Committee at the Apollo Theatre which helped raise $3M towards voter registration; Jackson inviting more than 200 Team Vandenberg members who had just returned from oversees deployment, and their families, to spend the day at Neverland to show appreciation for the sacrifices of the military; and in June 2003, he personally helped a family who had lost everything during the huge flood in Saxony, Germanywho spent 3 days at Neverland. To read all of the stinging and scolding details of the report from the defense, click over to Jacksons official website MJJSOURCE.COM -MJEOL