Asinine Theories, Inadmissible Info Permeate Prosecution Case- MJEOL Bullet #170 The defense in the Michael Jackson case has launched salvo after stinging salvo against the prosecutions actions, theories, and execution of this case since before police ransacked Jacksons Neverland Ranch. In a defense motion filed July 23 2004, the defense contends that the grand jury process was racked with misconduct, speculation, inadmissible innuendo and incorrect instructions. What has also come to light is that a mysterious PR person who testified in front of the grand jury only worked for those around Jackson for less than 3 weeks. Whats more, shes never even met Jackson. From her speculation comes some of the barrage of unfounded speculation of what Jackson could or may have done concerning the bizarre conspiracy charge. The defense starts their rebuttal motion (Reply to Plaintiffs Opposition to Defendants Motion to Set Aside the Indictment), by flatly saying that grand jurors wouldnt have returned an indictment had it, partly, not been for a pile of inadmissible information:
The District Attorney presented so much inadmissible information that it is not reasonable to believe that the grand jurors returned the indictment based on real evidence. We stated in our motion that there was no case in the history of the State of California where this type of prosecutorial behavior was tolerated. The District Attorney has conceded this point by failing to cite any such case or even defend its conduct. pg6 of the .pdf file
As illustrated during the July 27 hearing, the prosecutions arguments are full of tabloid-like speculation about everything from the reason why Neverland was built, to the purpose of lavish shopping trips, vacations, and celebrity meet-and-greets. At one point in their reply to the defense, prosecutors actually claim that Jackson doesnt deny that he, nor the alleged co-conspirators, committed a crime. You would have to have not read the defenses motion to miss the repeated statements about Jacksons innocence. The defense, in their rebuttal motion, goes back to the very first day of the grand jury proceedings when prosecutors allowed one witness, whose name was redacted, to testify to an objectionable subject. The defense says this inflammatory and irrelevant testimony would never be allowed at trial. We know that some primetime players from the 1993 case testified at the very beginning of the grand jury process, including Larry Feldman (civil attorney) and Stan Katz (psychologist). Sneddon behaved in an improper and sanctionable fashion when he was questioning more unnamed witnesses, according to the defense. This was illustrated by excerpts from the grand jury transcripts where Sneddon is arguing with witnesses and substituting his own unsworn testimony for that of non-prosecution witnesses. In other breaking news from a few days ago, thesmokinggun.com says it has learned the identity of a key witness in which prosecutors pulled much of their information. This witness, Ann Gabriel, according to sources, is said to have only worked around Jackson for less than 2 weeks and was oh so eager to please prosecutors. A reference to this witness is cited in the defenses motion, although her name is redacted. According to the motion, Green was called to testify about things she couldnt have possible known about. She, the 10-day veteran, gave opinions about Jacksons style of crisis management, his finances and whether another person was caged like an animal. Sources say she wouldnt even have been in a position to know any of the information, nor was she there long enough to have any inside knowledge about what happened from at least Feb 10 2003 and afterwards. And get this: Green has never actually met Jackson or the other person she was allowed to speculate about, in front of the grand jury at the prosecutions behest. The ridiculousness of this is almost overwhelming. There is no way in the world this lady should have ever been called as a witness. The defense says that once all this nonsense is stripped away from the grand jury process, there is nothing left to sustain any of the charges:
Stripped of inadmissible innuendo, speculation, and deficient instructions on the law, the record contains insufficient evidence to support the charges. Under People v. Backus (1979) 23 Cal. 3d 360, 393, an indictment containing such innuendo, speculation and misconduct violates Mr. Jacksons right to due process and must be dismissed. pg 6 of .pdf file
They even give a listing of information alleged by prosecutors where nothing was presented to show that Jackson did any of it:
All of the charges in the indictment should be set aside by virtue of improprieties that permeates the record. In particular:
* The prosecution presented its theories by innuendo, without foundation or compliance with other principles of evidence; *The prosecutors failure to adhere to judicial decorum renders the proceedings unfair.
The conspiracy count is especially vulnerable to 995 relief. More specifically:
*Admissible evidence does not demonstrate that Mr. Jackson was party to an illegal agreement; *There is no evidence that Mr. Jackson intended to extort anyone; *There is no evidence that Mr. Jackson intended to imprison anyone; *There is no evidence that Mr. Jackson intended to abduct any child.
pg 6-7 in .pdf file
Jacksons lawyers say that the grand jury process was so laced with inadmissible info and gratuitous remarks that the Court should conclude that Jackson shouldnt have to stand trial for this nonsense. Maybe they spent more time reading the National Enquirer than they did actually investigating. In its response to the defenses original motion, the prosecutors didnt even try to explain away their own improper behavior. Lawyers say that this failure to even address their behavior is either a concession to the defenses point or done intentionally to avoid addressing their misconduct. They probably dont want to be on the hook for lying to the judge as well, so they just went mum on the subject:
Remarkably, the District Attorney does not address his own misconduct or the improprieties that occurred at the grand jury proceedings. Failure to address this point either represents either a concession or an intention to avoid an issue squarely framed in the moving papers. The issue raised presents a significant criticism of the basic fairness of the grand jury proceeding. The remedy is 995 relief. There is no possible justification for the District Attorneys conduct before the grand jury, and he offers none. pg 7 in .pdf file
As a result of that misconductpoisoning the entire grand jury processit was ultimately impossible for the jurors to serve as an independent bulwark against the actions of the overzealous prosecution, say the defense. Speaking particularly of witness whose names were redacted, defense attorneys say their testimony was:
outrageous, highly inflammatory and irrelevant. ________ made outlandish hypothetical statements alleged that he could have made a large settlement with _________. He even testified that the 1993 case settled for multi-multi-millions. (RT 64:19) This testimony was highly prejudicial and completely inadmissible, yet the District Attorney failed to promptly limit the scope and impact of this testimony. pg8 of .pdf file
Well never know how the grand jurors would have felt about Feldmans testimony had they known that it was an acceptance of an insurance settlement, where the accuser DROPPED the actually molestation allegation (see article). False credibility The defense lays into the testimony of another witness called before the grand jurywhose name, of course, was also redacted. They say this male witness was allowed to opine about conclusions of the law, and that his testimony consisted entirely of inadmissible hearsay. This person, probably the psychologist Stan Katz, was also allowed to draw unchallenged conclusions about the credibility of other witnesses in front of the grand jury. (RT 100:20-21) And as a result of this, defense attorney cite case law specifically addressing why this is improper:
[T]he psychiatrist may not testify to ultimate questions of whether the witness is telling the truth on a particular occasion. (People v. Ainsworth (1988) 45 Cal. 3d 984, 1012; People v. Castro (1994) 30 Cal. App. 4th 390, 396). pg 8 of .pdf file
As a matter of fact, according to the prosecutions own reply motion, Sneddon actually admits that the purpose of this witnesss testimony was to shore-up the credibility of a prosecution witness. This info was redacted from the prosecutions motion, but is referenced in the defenses motion by (Plaintiffs Opposition, 37:17-20). The defense cites a snippet from the grand jury transcripts where prosecutor Ron Zonen said that a psychiatristparticularly this psychiatristcan only report credible accusations of molestation because they are mandated to report whenever someone makes an accusation of abuse. The back-story of this is that Feldman, with the help of Katz, was preparing to file a lawsuit against Jackson BEFORE the accuser ever talked to Katz–according to sheriffs notes–as reported by NBC in March 2003. NBCs Mike Taibbi revealed more information found within the documents obtained by NBC. The psychologist, Stan Katz, told Santa Barbara investigators in June 2003 about the accuser and his siblings:
KATZ: Mr. Feldman actually referred these kids to me because they come to him in this lawsuit Feldmans going to file Whether the mothers motive is to do it for money, I cant tell you I mean, certainly theyre kind of a poor family.
Besides being telling on so many levels, the statement obviously shows the intentions of Feldman and the family even before the accuser was seen by a shrink where he allegedly made the allegations. Heres what prosecutor Zonen argued in front of the grand jury, as taken from the grand jury transcripts:
There was enough information that ___________ had received at that point that he believed he was under obligation as a mandatory reporter to contact Child Protective Services in Los Angeles or the police. A mandatory reporter is a category for certain professionals who, if they receive information, credible information, where they believe that the potential of child sexual abuse takes place, theyre obligated to report it. And psychologists are on that list. (RT 36: 18-26) . (pg 8 of .pdf file)
The statement by the prosecutor was misleading to grand jurors because it gives the false impression that abuse MUST have occurred or else Katz wouldnt have reported it to the authorities. The prosecution apparently tried to cite statements that arent a part of the record in an attempt to justify their decision to call one specific witness to testify in front of the grand jury. What that person said to the grand jury must have been completely ridiculous because the defense calls that persons testimony inadmissible and prejudicial. They also refresh the prosecutions memory that info not on the record cannot be considered for 995 review. Preferential treatment to the max One dirty trick of the prosecution, as reported earlier, was to treat non-prosecution witnesses in a totally different way than they treated their own witnesses. Defense attorneys say more than one of these non-prosecution witnesses were bullied and subjected to rude remarks from the moment they step foot in front of grand jurors. They say:
They were cut off by the prosecutor when they attempted to give answers. Witnesses such as __________, on the other hand, were allowed to give lengthy narrative answers, which were replete with highly inflammatory and irrelevant statements. No justification exists for treating witnesses this way in any proceeding, particularly when the proceeding is non-adversarial. (pg 9 of .pdf file)
But thats not all. In what looks like the cross-examination of the accusers father (but may not be), Sneddon brings up a prior misdemeanor conviction in front of grand jurors in an effort to impeach his testimony. And the defense cites testimony from the grand jury transcripts, (RT 30:25-31; RT 921:15-22; RT 1444:8-12), to backup this violation. The California Supreme Court, in People v Wheeler (1992) 4 Cal. 4th 284, held that you cant use a misdemeanor as a way to impeach someones testimony. Further, that misdemeanor didnt involve moral turpitude, and shouldnt even have been allowed to be a basis to question that witnesss credibility, the defense states. The devils in the details of the family’s accusations As for the accusers mother being allowed to refer to Jackson as the devil, and the prosecutions characterization of her words as rather tame, the defense says prosecutors are missing the point. Besides having the audacity to state that the mothers remarks didnt have an effect on the grand jurors, they also made no attempt to stop the slander. Imagine how it would affect you if you were on a jury, and the mother of what prosecutors are saying is an abused child is allowed to call the accused the devil. No way in hell that wouldnt have an effect; especially in light of prosecutors keeping large amounts of exonerating information from them, treating their own witnesses with kid gloves, bullying and arguing with witness on the stand, downplaying the role of the jury foreperson, not allowing witnesses to be called back to the stand at the request of the grand jury, ETC. Stay tuned for further information about what the defense calls absurd allegations. -MJEOL