Sneddon Stays for Now as Defense Outlines his Misconduct – MJEOL Bullet #215

Posted by

Sneddon Stays for Now as Defense Outlines his Misconduct – MJEOL Bullet #215 In court documents released November 2 2004, the defense replies to the prosecution’s opposition for recusal of the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s office. The defense rips into the arguments made by prosecutors in their Reply to the District Attorney’s Opposition to Motion for Recusal of Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office Pursuant to Penal Code 1424. The current judge in the “case”, not surprisingly, didn’t kick Sneddon off the “case” with his latest ruling. But this judge has made some questionable decisions already, so most saw him siding with prosecutors again as no surprise. But why did the defense want these prosecutors off the “case”? Their own actions are enough to get them tossed, many observers say. The defense says prosecutors don’t have a “personal” right to prosecute Jackson. They emphasize the fact that as a result of the 1993 investigation, two grand juries didn’t had down an indictment against Jackson. They also talk about the “more than sufficient” evidence which shows the prosecution’s bias. Defense attorneys say a prosecutor has an obligation to pursue cases in a fair manner, and that any deviation from this obligation should result in the removal of the prosecutor(s). They also talk about neutrality (or lack thereof) and the DA’s obvious bias:

This is a matter that has to be examined in an objective fashion by a neutral trial judge. Unfortunately from a neutral vantage point there is no question that the District Attorney crossed the line so many times during the course of this case that more than the required “reasonable possibility” exits. So be it. If Mr. Jackson ought to be prosecuted, the Attorney General will step in and do so but the Santa Barbara District Attorney should step down. (see Defense’s Reply to DA’s Opposition to Motion for Recusal pg 2)

The defense brings up a point that many observers have touched on by reading the current Judge’s recent decisions. They say it’s not the court’s job to clean-up the mess made by prosecutors or to apologize for prosecutor’s behavior. From the motion:

The Court, of course, should not be asked by the prosecution to be an apologist for the prosecutors actions, nor should they ask the Court to turn a blind eye to the obvious. The Court has the duty to “call balls and strikes” without regard to the consequences to who is at bat. (see Defense’s Reply to DA’s Opposition to Motion for Recusal pg 2)

As discussed here earlier, prosecutors did a number of things that were very obvious to most observers. Legal experts and lawyers alike have weighed in on the bias of this prosecutor(s). People like legal analyst Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom called the DA’s public protests about taking the stand “preposterous.” Then there are others like former prosecutor Eileen Daly who agreed that Sneddon’s conduct concerning the Miller raid was questionable to say the least and may rise to the level of prosecutorial misconduct. The defense highlights this:

The facts, obvious to the most casual observer, demonstrate more than a reasonable possibility of bias. This is not a close case. There is more than sufficient evidence to suspect that the District Attorney has a personal bias against Mr. Jackson. (see Defense’s Reply to DA’s Opposition to Motion for Recusal pg 2)

Sneddon’s conduct and failure to “get” Jackson 11 years ago seems to many to be the driving force behind his biased actions in this “case”. Jackson is not requesting the judge to give him a prosecutor who “likes him,” the defense says. They want the Attorney General (AG) to step in. The AG by the way seems to be running away from this “case” like the plague. He does not want it and has filed a motion trying to help prosecutors keep control of it. A copy of that motion, coincidentally (one hopes) had not been given to the defense by November 1 and they need it in order to reply to it. One of the major sticking points involved in this issue is the fact that Sneddon will be a witness in the “case”; a situation in which his bias actions has placed him. Sneddon became a investigator by staking out Miller’s office building in Beverly Hills, taking pictures, looking for Miller’s office, and taking pictures of the roster of occupants in the building. Then he met with the accuser’s mother secretly and without an official sheriff’s deputy or investigator present. There, he did a photo line-up with the accuser’s mother and handled “evidence” (properly) given to him by her. Reportedly, none of this was taped and there were no third parties present. The defense states in no uncertain terms that Sneddon will be a witness in this “case”:

Mr. Sneddon’s active participation in the investigation of Mr. Jackson, without the presence of an investigator, has made him a witness in the case. (Motion for Recusal, pages 6-7) He will be required to testify at trial since ____________ credibility, or lack thereof, is central to both the prosecution’s and defense’s case. (see Defense’s Reply to DA’s Opposition to Motion for Recusal pg 3)

They continue to hammer away at behavior demonstrated by Sneddon since the investigation started and after the story broke in November 2003; namely at that ridiculous press conference given by Sneddon and the current sheriff of Santa Barbara Jim Anderson. Attorneys for Jackson say that Sneddon tried to downplay his behavior at the press conference after being severely criticized by a number of legal observers, legal analysts, reporters and commentators. That disaster of a press conference let to the DA’s office bringing in a crisis management firm: Tellem Worldwide. Some reporters have openly blamed, or become suspicious of, negative Jackson information they suddenly seemed to receive right before a hearing in the “case.” Other reports say that every two weeks, almost like clockwork, there is yet another Jackson fallacy being pushed by someone. And that ‘someone’ may be the DA’s PR firm, say some. The defense calls the move unprecedented:

In fact, the press conference was such a debacle and raised so many questions about the District Attorney’s bias that, in an unprecedented move, the Santa Barbara District Attorney’s office hired a public relations firm to repair the damage done by the press conference. Despite the District Attorney’s efforts to suppress its obvious bias against Mr. Jackson, it remains apparent that the prosecution’s blind zeal to convict Mr. Jackson creates the reasonable possibility that it is unable to exercise its discretion in an even-handed fashion. (see Defense’s Reply to DA’s Opposition to Motion for Recusal pg 4-5)

The defense had to make Judge Melville force prosecutors to hand over discovery concerning the 1993 investigation. The defense says that recent discovery from prosecutors showed that they subpoenaed a large number of people to testify in front of both grand juries—one in Los Angeles and another in Santa Barbara. Yet prosecutors claimed they never asked either of these grand juries to hand down an indictment. Many found this excuse ridiculous. The defense calls the failure a “pro hoc” rationalization:

The prosecution’s argument amounts to a pro hoc rationalization for the prosecution’s failure to obtain an indictment from these grand juries. These grand juries were convened in earnest. Recent discovery shows that the prosecutors presented numerous witnesses to each body. With the resources of two countries at his disposal, and without defense counsel for Mr. Jackson present, the District Attorney was unable to convince either grand jury that probable cause existed to indict Mr. Jackson. (see Defense’s Reply to DA’s Opposition to Motion for Recusal pg 3)

The defense also states what some legal analyst have come to believe about the 1993 investigation: the “case” was weak if not non-existent, and that is why prosecutors didn’t even feel comfortable to ask for an indictment. From the motion:

The fact that neither grand jury was asked “to indict anyone” suggests that even the prosecutors were aware of the weak nature of their case. A grand jury does not become “investigative” when the District Attorney realizes that it would be futile to ask for an indictment. (see Defense’s Reply to DA’s Opposition to Motion for Recusal pg 3-4)

As discussed earlier, the 1993 investigation was used by prosecutors to further this current “case”. Reportedly, prosecutors used speculation and/or the allegation from 1993 to obtain “dozens” of search warrants in this “case”. There have been over 100 search warrants issued in this “case” by at least two different judges, including Melville. What the public has learned from articles written during the 1993-94 period is that the description(s) the accuser gave of Jackson’s boy didn’t match at all the photos taken of Jackson. (see: Photos may contradict Michael’s accuser (Jan 28 1994) – USA Today Jackson photos will clear him, source says; Settlement didn’t end probe (Jan 28 94) Police photographs may save Jackson (Jan 28 94) – The Herald The public also learned from comments of Larry Feldman, Gill Garcetti (LA DA at the time) and others that a settlement was not the reason a criminal “case” couldn’t go forward at the time. There were a number of reasons why prosecutors could not pursue a “case” back in 1993. They could not get the accuser to testify in front of the grand jury and there was a lot of evidence of extortion gathered by Jackson’s defense at the time, say sources who have spoken to the media in the past 11 years. Reportedly there was evidence uncovered showing that police officers lied to and badgered young children in an effort to get them to make accusations against Jackson; so much so that some parents actually filed complaints against some of those officers. For further info, check out MJEOL Bullet #214 Update Yet another sticking point was the behavior of these prosecutors during this recent grand jury process. The defense says that Sneddon was determined to get an indictment no matter what they had to do to secure it. That’s the problem, of course. The attorneys say prosecutors presented a “mountain of inadmissible evidence” like Larry Feldman being allowed to essentially misled grand jurors (AP Report). But this is from the defense’s motion:

Determined not to fail to obtain an indictment with a third grand jury, the District Attorney presented the grand jury with a mountain of inadmissible evidence and displayed an unprecedented lack of courtroom decorum. Attorney __________ and __________ were called in the early stages of the proceedings and were invited to prejudice the jurors with inflammatory and irrelevant testimony about matters that poisoned the well and eliminated any chance that the grand jury proceeding would be fair (Motion for Recusal, pages 8-11.) (see Defense’s Reply to DA’s Opposition to Motion for Recusal pg 4)

Picking up on Feldman related information, yesterday (Nov 4 2004) Jackson attorney Tom Mesereau also revealed more of what Sneddon allowed Feldman to tell grand jurors earlier this year. In an AP article out today titled “Judge Refuses to Remove Michael Jackson Prosecutor from Case”, reporter Linda Deutsch reported about the Judge’s decision yesterday and about what defense attorneys said in court. Besides learning that prosecutors have spent a large amount of money trying to prosecute Jackson, the public also learned of the “misrepresentations” about the accusing family’s motives:

Mesereau said that Sneddon was so personally invested in pursuing Jackson’s case that he misrepresented to grand jurors the potential motivation of a boy’s family in accusing Jackson. Mesereau said that Sneddon brought an attorney, Larry Feldman, before the grand jury and had him tell the panelists that a criminal prosecution of Jackson would diminish the chances for the boy’s family to win compensation in a civil suit against the pop singer. (see Judge refuses to remove Michael Jackson prosecutor from case (Nov 4 2004) – AP)

No that’s not a typo. Apparently Feldman was allowed to talk grand jurors into actually believing that the accusing family had no monetary gain by bringing criminal charges. This is ridiculous, and Mesereau argued the point to the current judge:

In truth, Mesereau said, a criminal conviction would mean that the family would be more likely to win a financial claim against Jackson. “It goes without saying that if you obtain a criminal conviction, that will establish liability,” Mesereau said. “Every lawyer here knows that if Mr. Jackson was convicted of these allegations, the alleged victims could walk into civil court and get a judgment.” (see Judge refuses to remove Michael Jackson prosecutor from case (Nov 4 2004) – AP)

Prosecutors were also accused of bullying, intimidating and arguing with witnesses who didn’t agree with him in front of grand jurors. For one, prosecutors claim a “conspiracy” started before any alleged “molestation”:

Witnesses who contradicted the prosecution’s incredible theory of a conspiracy to cover up a child molestation, following by the child molestation itself, were subjected to bullying by Mr. Sneddon. (Motion for Recusal, pages 11-21.) The claim that Mr. Sneddon’s conduct with _________ and __________ amounted to “apparent impatience” with “two distinctly” hostile witnesses (Opposition, page 7) is simply not supported by the grand jury transcripts. (see Defense’s Reply to DA’s Opposition to Motion for Recusal pg 4)

Yes, that is what prosecutors claim. They say there was a conspiracy to kidnap to cover up molestation BEFORE prosecutors claim any molestation was supposed to have even taken place. In other words, they kidnapped this family–which Jackson has known for years before 2003—specifically so Jackson could allegedly molest him after the world is questioning his relationship with children. And right when two simultaneous investigations were going on: one by the LA Child Services and another by the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s department. This is ridiculous (to the 1000000th power). But getting back to the actions of these prosecutors, the defense say prosecutors failed to present exonerating evidence to the grand jury. Sneddon claims that an indictment was some sort of proof that everything was just peachy during the grand jury process. Not so, say the defense. From the motion:

The District Attorney’s claim that their investigation was vindicated by the fact that Mr. Jackson was indicted (Opposition, pages 4-5) ignored the fact that this indictment was obtained after a grand jury presentation in which the District Attorneys failed to present evidence fairly and behaved in a fashion that would not have been permitted in open court. (see Defense’s Reply to DA’s Opposition to Motion for Recusal pg 4)

The defense wants an “even-handed prosecutors from the Attorney General’s office” to determine whether or not Jackson is worthy of prosecution. And if so, they want an impartial figure to decide for what should he be prosecuted. They also want an even-handed prosecutor to try the “case” if there is to be one. There have been recent bombshells revealed in court during the writing of this MJEOL Bullet that will be discussed coming up. One of them being that the DNA testing the state did on Jackson’s mattress turned up negative. There was NO DNA from the accuser on Jackson’s mattress (see NO DNA found of the Accuser in Jackson’s Bedroom; Mother depositing welfare checks ). Another bombshell includes details of the accuser’s mother possibly being guilty of welfare fraud and these prosecutors looking the other way. More coming up soon. -MJEOL

Leave a Reply