Melville Inexplicably Denies Bail Reduction– Bullet #154

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Melville Inexplicably Denies Bail Reduction – MJEOL Bullet #154 Apparently, Michael Jackson is so special that he has to be given the distinction of being the only person in Santa Barbara County forced to pay $3M in bail on unproven, unchallenged and suspicious molestation charges.The judge in Jackson’s case inexplicably has approved the bail and denied the defense motion to reduce it. In the defense’s motion, as discussed in MJEOL Bullet #153, they slam everything from the prosecution’s fuzzy math to the ever-changing charges. They even cite case laws to back up their statements. They said in their motion:

The prosecution makes no showing Mr. Jackson is a flight risk, and the prosecution’s 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.”(see court filing)

I guess Melville doesn’t think Jackson is like “anyone else in his situation” and probably won’t be treating him like “anyone else in his situation” either. Shame. Despite the complete and total lack of supporting evidence to prove or warrant a $3M bail, the judge has agreed with the arbitrary amount. This lack of supporting evidence was discussed in the defense’s motion:

The prosecution fails to submit to this court any evidence, testimony, or documents to show Mr. Jackson’s 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).

Judge Melville doesn’t agree though. The total and complete lack of evidence for the bail amount doesn’t seem to bother him at all. Jackson, prosecutors say, is a billionaire. So why then would $3M even ensure Jackson’s appearance in court if he didn’t want to be there?? In the actual decision, he shores up his decision by partially blaming his denial to reduce bail on Jackson—or more precisely, on Jackson’s former attorneys:

The Court on May 30, 2004 heard argument on the motion filed by defendant to reduce bail. The motion was taken under submission by the Court and is now denied. Excessive bail may not be required. However, the present bail, although in excess of the usual bail schedule, has twice been posted by defendant without objection or apparent difficulty. No evidence has been presented and no argument made to suggest that the bail amount represents a financial hardship for defendant. His substantial wealth is in fact given as a reason why bail should be reduced. Little has changed in the circumstances that led the Court to impose the current bail amount. A grand jury indictment has been rendered adding a charge of conspiracy to the prior information. A trial date has been set. While there has to date been no significant issue with regard to the defendant’s appearance at scheduled Court events, it continues to appear to the Court that a cognizable financial incentive to do so should be in place. In this respect, consideration of the defendant’s wealth is appropriate. Ex Parte Ruef (1908) 7 CA 750, 753. DATED: June 11, 2004.

Let me get this straight. From Jackson’s own behavior in court so far, there have been absolutely no significant issues with him showing up, but there still needs to be this excessive bail in place? For what? Just in case? Just incase Jackson flees his multi-million dollar Ranch? Just incase he forfeits his millions of dollars worth of royalties and other business ventures? Just incase he leaves the other expensive properties he owns? Is Melville kidding or is this a serious response to what should have been a no-brainer?? My mind is still trying to process this ‘Twilight Zone’-like moment where things simply don’t make sense. Melville admits that excessive bail may not be required; admits that Jackson has had no previous problem posting bail twice; admits that this $3M doesn’t appear to even be a ‘hardship’; and admitted that little has changed since the $3M bail was issued. So again why and how does the $3M ensure Jackson’s appearance in court? And why didn’t he rule for the defense if, by his own admission, he agrees that $3M is not even a ‘hardship’? Why not rule on the side of caution and make sure he’s not reversed by a higher court? In internet language: WTF? The only thing missing is the ‘Talking Tina’ doll! Cited in the short decision was an extremely outdated Ex Parte Ruef law from 1908. Has nothing happened since 1908? In one of the defense’s motions arguing for the reduction, Jackson’s lawyers write:

…the court has been given nothing by the prosecution…The prosecution speculates the reason Mr. Jackson has made all his appearances and complied with every court order is because of the excessive bail…However, Mr. Jackson voluntarily surrendered on Nov 20 2004 with no bail in place, and flight was never a possibility. (see court filing)

Apparently this was either ignored or not considered before Melville made the decision. If Melville says the bail is the financial incentive for Jackson to appear, why in hell would he have voluntarily turned himself in, in the absence of bail—not knowing the charges, the number of people making accusations against him, or what police had done to his home? Some legal experts have gone on record saying the bail amount is indeed excessive and that Melville should reduce the amount. Months ago, despite his other disrespectful comments about Jackson, Jeff Figer flamed old Jackson attorney Mark Geragos for allowing prosecutors to charge Jackson with a $3M bail in the first place. Appearing on Fox News Live, May 28 2004, both Fox legal expert Bob Massey and defense attorney David Schwartz agreed that the amount should be reduced. Massey brought up the fact that Jackson isn’t going anywhere, can’t hide anywhere and has already relinquished his passport so he can’t go anywhere. Massey told Fox:

…I mean, he obviously feels, here’s a guy that is known all over the world and he’s so watched, where is he possibly going to go? So his new attorney has evaluated this. And he’s going to have to show the court, listen, ‘this man is not a flight risk. He will comply with all of the regulations’. I believe at one point, he did relinquish his passport. (see video)

Schwartz agreed and added that Jackson isn’t a threat to the international community or the local community:

Well, the court deals with a lot of defendants that are very rich. Some are really bad people, international drug dealers. But you can’t base the whole analysis based on how rich the person is.

Massey goes so far as to state that there is something going on with the way this prosecutor is going after Jackson that could be indicative of a larger issue than simply trying some random case for justice’s sake:

The other thing I was gonna say [is] it may be another indication that this is just how, I guess, agreesive this prosecutor is with this defendant. I mean, you know it’s been known apparently in this case that this prosecutor has it for Jackson for many years. This is just another indication. I mean, why, where is this guy gonna go that he can’t be found? And for him to have to post $3M, regardless of what we think about the allegations, is just not a usual thing.

Schwartz chimes in again to note the obvious: Jackson has in fact made every appearance he was required to be present for, has set things in motion in preparation for a trial and hasn’t shown the least bit interest in fleeing:

He has made every attempt to face these charges. He’s hired some terrific attorneys and everybody knows he’s going to make his court appearances. This is Michael Jackson. He’s a public figure. And he’s not going anywhere. There’s no basis in law. There’s no logic to that bail.

Massey, when asked if Jackson may be getting treated unfairly on the bail issue, said yes. Check out this exchange from that Fox program:

HOST: So Bob, it sounds like you basically agree with him and that the prosecutor here is being too aggressive. The judge is going along with it and poor Michael Jackson is getting kinda beat-up here. MASSEY: I don’t know if we wanna say ‘poor’ but uh, HOST: I said that facetiously. MASSEY: I know that. I understand what you’re saying. Yeah, I do think that. I think that obviously this has been such a highly emotional case. You know what’s interesting is this whole thing, even though it’s a present time, every time we talk about it, it’s linked to the past 10 or 15 years. Indicative of that is even the recent lawsuit that’s been filed by Mr. Feldman, it’s like when we look at this case, Robert, it’s not just today but ‘hey look at what happened 10 years ago.’ So there’s this enhanced feeling against Jackson—right, wrong or indifferent—it just doesn’t seem that this kind of bail should be indicative of this type of defendant who is not going to be going anywhere.

When specifically asked if Judge Melville should decrease the bail amount, both attorneys said yes. Massey also noted that there is no and has been no basis shown for the bail amount:

MASSEY: I think it’s probably going to be reduced. I think that obviously this particular lawyer that he has now brings a lot of respect. The fact, as Mr. Schwartz said, that he’s shown up for all the hearings, is very important. HOST: Bob, I’m sorry we’re out of time. David, he gets it reduced or no? SCHWARTZ: I believe the judge has to reduce it. It’s completely excessive.

Too bad these attorneys weren’t consulted before Melville made his decision. This decision is just one more suspicious and inexplicable action in the long list of suspicious activity. There’s a feeling out here that there is more to the make-up of these seemingly semi-related rulings, decisions, actions than meets the eye. I’m just glad I don’t own a huge plot of land anywhere near Santa Barbara County. :cryptic Stay tuned. -MJEOL

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