[b]Editorial: Paying for the Michael Jackson Trial[/b] June 24, 2005 POSTED: 10:06 am PDT June 24, 2005 The dust has settled, the verdict is in, and our KSBW Editorial Board thought we could make it through the entire Michael Jackson mess without having to offer up an editorial. Well, we made it through the trial, but in the wake of Michael Jackson’s acquittal, there is an issue we just can’t overlook. It’s the question of paying for costs associated with the trial. It appears that the cost of prosecuting Jackson will fall squarely in the lap of Santa Barbara taxpayers. But there are additional costs: the costs for handling all the security and public safety around the courthouse. Our Central Coast state Sen. Abel Maldonado wants YOU to help pay for it. That’s right, the wacky, meandering lines of the 15th State Senatorial District don’t just include a large portion of the Central Coast; they extend all the way down to Santa Barbara County. And in his zeal to win favor with voters there, Maldonado has introduced a bill, which calls for the state of California to pick up the tab on many expenses related to the Michael Jackson trial. We don’t see why we should have to do that. Throughout the trial, Jackson’s defenders accused Santa Barbara’s District Attorney of having a personal vendetta against Jackson. [b]While the D.A. continues to deny that, we do know Santa Barbara has run three investigations, two prosecutions, and has come away with ZERO convictions against Jackson. [/b] [b]We don’t know how much money Jackson has been forced to spend to defend himself, but we feel certain it’s safe to say it’s a small fortune; and agree with the verdict or not, Jackson is, in the eyes of the law, an innocent man. Seems to us that if anyone could argue for reimbursement, Jackson is more deserving than Santa Barbara County.[/b] Make no mistake: this is not to say the state should require a conviction if it is to assist counties with the cost of a complicated and high-profile prosecution. [b]But in this case, Santa Barbara County and D.A. Tom Sneddon have chased this one around the barn, not once, but twice. We don’t want to pay for it! [/b] Sen. Maldonado, we hope you will withdraw this bill. It has nothing to do with justice; in fact, we see it as taxpayer injustice. Source: http://www.theksbwchannel.com/editorials/4648693/detail.html

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