Melville Defies Appeals Court, Denies Bail Reduction Again – MJEOL Bullet #189 Update#2 First, the judge in the Michael Jackson “case” allows prosecutors to violate the gag order without any repercussions. Now he’s thumbed his nose at the Appeals Court by continuing to deny the reduction of Jackson’s unconstitutional $3M bail.

In his August 31 ruling, Judge Rodney Melville uses further speculation about everything from the 1993 “case”, to Jackson’s alleged “similar ties” to places all over the world.

Some observers say this is completely ridiculous and should require a higher court to step in again to finally resolve this issue. The Court of Appeals has already remanded the bail reduction ruling back to Melville’s court and requested him to show why he still hasn’t reduced Jackson’s bail in accordance with the law.

Where is Melville getting his reasoning? If I hadn’t been paying attention, I would have thought I was reading a motion from the prosecution. Melville writes in his ruling, “He has no prior criminal record, but this factor is at least partially offset by the allegation that he has previously engaged in similar criminal conduct the prosecution of which may have been derailed by a private settlement” (see Order Denying Bail Reduction ) So although prosecutors never arrested or charged Jackson, he’s being held responsible for something that has never been proven to have happened. And the judge has equated an unsubstantiated allegation with an actual crime and a criminal record. Why is the judge contributing to poisoning the jury pool; something he claims to be protecting against with the ineffective gag order? Is this more of that “special treatment” Jackson is getting down in ole’ Santa Barbara County again? Looks like it. As MJEOL has written about extensively, reading the 93 settlement agreement documents show that it clearly was no hindrance to prosecutors filing charges if they actually had a case against Jackson before the law changes in California. So basing a decision on what “should” or “may” have happened is ludicrous. Melville also seems to be arguing both sides of the point. On one hand, he’s claiming $3M is essentially nothing to Jackson; something that he can easily come up with. But, on the other hand he’s saying that $3M means so much to Jackson that it’ll insure that he shows up for trial. Did I miss something? Either it’s a significant sum or it’s not. Either it is sufficient to ensure appearance at trial or it’s not. It cannot be both as he tries to claim. He writes, “No amount less than $3M dollars would provide a financial incentive to return and appear for hearings and trial.” Why not $10M then? Why not $30M? $50M? Certainly, $100M would more than ensure that Jackson shows up for trial, right? The problem with this way of thinking is that, if left unchecked, it can set a dangerous precedent where a person’s bail is based on their financial status and prosecution speculation with no basis in fact. There have been laws already passed to prevent that. Maybe Melville thinks Jackson shouldn’t be treated with accordance to pre-existing laws? One would think that an unbiased judge could see that? Maybe not. Geez. Jackson has shown absolutely no signs of fleeing the country. That may be the prosecution’s secret wish, but it certainly is not going nor was it ever going to happen. In fact, Jackson came to court on August 16 with his family when he didn’t have to. So, no, there is zero evidence to base a decision to keep an unconstitutional bail on the “he may flee” theory. The judge even relies on the untested, uncorroborated, and unproven testimony during the grand jury process to deny the bail reduction. “Defendant paid just one of his several attorneys a very substantial sum and he allegedly authorized $1 million dollars to be taken from ‘petty cash’, during the time period alleged for commission of the crimes,” writes Melville. Did I miss something? Is Melville getting his decisions approved by prosecutors before they’re made public? The question is how in hell does he know how much money Jackson has paid his attorneys? And how in the world is that a basis for keeping someone subject to an unconstitutional bail? This sounds much like a rumor that was leaked to ABC News, and later shot down by sources close to the employee that prosecutors claimed was the beneficiary of this $1 million. It turns out that it was not “petty cash” and it was not paid to anyone. It was Jackson’s money which he asked to be delivered to him. In that ABC report, they claimed one of Jackson’s employees was given $1M. However, in a follow-up to the story by Fox news’s Roger Friedman, it was revealed that prosecutors are dead wrong; and apparently so is the judge. From the report:

ABC reported this morning that five Jackson employees, who may be named as co-conspirators in his child molestation case, received huge payouts from Jackson to watch the family of Jackson’s accuser. ABC also claims that one of them, Frank Tyson, received $1 million in cash from Jackson and picked it up himself at a bank. Not only is this untrue, my sources said, but it is completely documented to not have happened. Here’s what they told me happened. Tyson, whose family has been friendly with Jackson for almost 20 years, was asked by the pop star to pick up $1 million from the US Bank on Santa Monica Boulevard in Santa Monica, Calif. Tyson was accompanied by his friend, Vinnie Amen and Jackson videographer Marc Schaffel. The money had been transferred by FOX Entertainment to Neverland Valley Entertainment as part of a payment for a rebuttal video to Martin Bashir’s ABC documentary “Living With Michael Jackson.” The rebuttal video aired on the FOX network on Feb. 20, 2003. (see MJ News : ABC News: Bad Info From MJ Prosecutors?)

There were no pay-outs or payments to the prosecution-alleged “co-conspirators” for any crime as alleged by prosecutors:

Tyson, I am told, was paid possibly a total of $65,000 during the weeks he worked for Schaffel and Neverland Valley Entertainment on video productions. During that time he was also responsible, with Amen, for chauffeuring the 13-year-old accuser and his family on shopping trips, babysitting the boy and his siblings, and even accompanying the mother to family court when she was asking her ex-husband for more child support.

Melville writes, “The grand jury transcript provides detailed evidence that Defendant sought to arrange for the Doe family to travel to Brazil and the statements of the Doe family are that this was being done against their will. Defendant said he would join them in Brazil”. Well, did I fall asleep for a year and miss this questionable and speculative information being proven true in court? No. Did Jackson confess to kidnapping and it somehow slipped past me? No. Or are the people making these wild accusations immune from cross-examination or skepticism? They must be…immune at least to this judge. As if there hasn’t been any case law since then, Melville cites a case from 1908 (Ex parte Ruef (1908) ) in his decision. In internet language: WTF? The Court of Appeals has already told Melville that his first decision not to lower the bail should seriously be reconsidered. Observers of this case have said that the Court of Appeals “showed Melville some respect by sending the thing back to him. They wanted him to ‘do the right thing’.” Too bad he didn’t. In an article dated July 9 2004, attorney Steve Cron told the Associated Press that the Court of Appeals was sending a message to Melville:

Criminal defense attorney Steve Cron said the appeals court was sending a message to Melville that he did not adequately explain his decision to maintain Jackson’s bail at $3 million . “The appellate court, by sending it back to the trial court, is saying there’s something wrong with the judge’s decision,” Cron said. The ruling from the California 2nd District Court of Appeals in Ventura County cited its own 2001 decision in a case involving George Christie of the Hells Angels. In that case, the court also asked a trial court to make more specific findings for a bail of $1 million. (see MJ News : Appeals court tells judge to reconsider Jackson bail amount)

Cron also commented that the case law cited by the Appeals court didn’t mention the person’s bail being based on their wealth. Despite the fact that Jackson could have fled but instead willingly flew to Santa Barbara to turn himself in, doesn’t seem to matter. The fact that he was given his passport back at the beginning of this year and didn’t go anywhere doesn’t seem to matter. The fact that there is zero evidence that the $3M bail is even effective at keeping him here doesn’t seem to matter. The fact that the Court of Appeals has already ruled that you cannot base a defendant’s bail on his finances doesn’t seem to matter. The fact that Jackson has no criminal record doesn’t matter because this judge seems to equate a conviction with an uncross-examined allegation. The fact that Jackson has previously been very vocal about this “case” being a scam and about his determination to seek vindication doesn’t seem to matter. Not in good ole Santa Barbara, where the name “Michael Jackson” guarantees you “special treatment”. This judge has chosen the speculation over factual actions and evidence. Shame. But some say they aren’t surprised this judge is making rather questionable decisions. Keep your ears and eyes open in the future for information regarding the “special” system down in good ole’ Santa Barbara County. Stay tuned. -MJEOL

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