Defense wants SBDA Tossed from Prosecuting Jackson – MJEOL Bullet #207 Reuters and the AP are reporting information about the defense’s motion to have the Santa Barbara District Attorneys office tossed from prosecuting Michael Jackson.  These reports are complete with comments from people like Laurie Levinson, Stan Goldman, and Steve Cron.

Fox News analyst Stan Goldman is quoted in the Reuter’s article as saying of the defense’s motion: “Forcibly recusing a District Attorney is a rarely granted motion.  There may be some animosity in this case but the defense is going to have to go pretty far to show enough to actually remove him”.

Cron is quoted as saying in the AP article: “The odds of being successful are very slim.  It would be highly unusual for a judge to take the whole district attorney’s office off a case”.

What these legal analysts fail to realize is that this isn’t a normal “case” that they’ve tried and/or taught about in a classroom.  What they also neglected to see is that this same district attorney’s office has already been very recently removed from prosecuting at least one other case: the Judge Diana Hall case.

As reported by the Santa Maria Times in a report dated September 30 2004, we lean that Sneddon and his office have been tossed from prosecuting Hall because of a huge conflict of interest not to mention what some say is vindictiveness and selective prosecution.  The State of California’s Attorney General’s office will prosecute the case instead. From the report:

Her defense attorney previously said that Hall is being singled out for prosecution, contending that no other candidate in the county, to his knowledge, was ever criminally prosecuted for violating the Political Reform Act of 1974. (see State decides to prosecute Judge Hall )

The Independent also reported about this issue. In their short article, they say:

Instead, the state Attorney General will be tasked with pursing the current eight misdemeanor charges of election violations [against Hall] because the DA’s office has a perceivable conflict in the case and may not be able to prosecute her fairly. Namely, the DA’s office could potentially be seen to have a gripe with Hall because of her expected testimony in a forthcoming civil case against the office—that of attorney Gary Dunlap, who was acquitted despite vigorous attempts to ensnare him in illegal activities—and because the conduct of the prosecution in her former case showed a possible bias against her. (see DA Recused, Hall to Testify in Dunlap Misconduct Case)

Thus, while kicking a DA off the prosecution of a case isn’t a normal thing, it certainly isn’t unheard of. It certainly is something which has happened, just a few days ago, with regard to this very same DA’s office. This certainly goes far beyond common “animosity” or disagreements as Goldman tried to claim. The DA’s office—as Jackson’s attorneys have undoubtedly pointed out in the yet-to-be-released motion—has a history of peculiar behavior with regards to this case. Starting with the joking press conference the day after the November 2003 raid, the prosecution’s bias began to show bright and clear. There were other things as well that set off the stink meter with regards to the motivations of this “case”. This kind of started when tabloid reporter Diane Dimond was mysteriously tipped off early enough to allow her time to fly to Neverland and be outside of Jackson’s ranch with two camera crews in tow—one was at the police station just in case—laying in wait to catch police executing the search warrant. The questions began to start. Sneddon did two (2) interviews before he even filed charges against Jackson. One was with tabloid reporter Diane Dimond and the other with then-CNN reporter Art Harris. By the way, Harris is the reporter that the accuser’s mother videotape conversation was leaked to. Coincidence? Of course not. Sneddon personally vouched for the credibility of the accusing family; something a prosecutor should never do publicly. This partially caused Findlaw’s Julie Hilden to lay into Sneddon for his behavior in prosecuting the “case”. Sneddon delayed filing initial charges against Jackson for a month so that they can set up a media website. As a result, many analysts started to publicly go after the validity of the “case”. It’s quite clear to some observers that the prosecutor’s office, along with the sheriff’s department, have leaked information including what they call “rumors and untruths” as well as ‘real’ information (in the sense of what the accusing family told prosecutors) to the media. The DA’s office hired or accepted the services of a crisis management firm which some say has been systematically starting and spreading garbage to make Jackson look guilty to the public. Instead of vetting the “case” with a preliminary hearing, they ran to a secret grand jury and emerged with an entirely different “case”. They changed the charges, the number of counts, AND the timeline of alleged “abuse”. At first, they claimed the alleged “abuse” started at the beginning of February 2003. After the indictment was handed down, it magically changed to allegedly starting at the end of February 2003. WTH? We found out throughout the course of the “case” that the Santa Barbara sheriff’s department did their own 2 month investigation from Feb – April 2003 into these very allegations and found “the elements of criminal activity had not been met. And it does say in the report, ‘case closed’ “ (see Abrams Report: SB Sheriff’s Dept 1st Investigation (March 12 2004) – TRANSCRIPT). We found out through pre-trial hearings and court documents that Tom Sneddon himself staked out the private investigator’s office (Brad Miller), took pictures of the building, took a picture of the roster, and looked Miller up in the Beverly Hills directory just days before raiding the office. Sneddon also secretly met with the accuser’s mother and spoke to her, unrecorded, where he showed her a photo line-up to identify Miller AND received “evidence” from her—namely a jacket and a CD. Again, just days before the raid. Through the accuser’s stepfather’s testimony, we found out that the Santa Barbara sheriff’s department was even using him as a “confidential agent”. He too was watching Miller’s office. Not to mention the pursuit of this “case” even after the LA Department of Children & Family Services investigated this very allegation and found them to be “unfounded”. An investigation which Sneddon tried his damnedest to downplay in the public. And let’s not forget the multiple times the prosecution has invaded the defense camp (Miller, personal assistant), trampled over Jackson’s rights to privacy, on top of allegations of massive misconduct during the grand jury process. ETC. ETC. ETC. These things, taken in totality, are a bit more than just “animosity”. There is more than likely serious misconduct going on here. And who knows what else the defense found out about the office and Sneddon which sparked the defense to file a recusal motion. These points and more will be further discussed if and when the defense’s motion to recuse the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s office is released (in its redacted form, of course). Stay tuned. -MJEOL

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