Area lawyer speaks on Jackson case (Jan 16 2004)

Important Statements from the Jackson camp and pertinent transcripts from various TV shows about Michael.

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Area lawyer speaks on Jackson case (Jan 16 2004)

Post by whisper » Tue Nov 23, 2004 4:09 am

Defense Lawyer: Michael Has 95 to 100% Chance of Winning. Another Lawyer Weighs in on Case
Author: Kimberly C. Roberts
Source: Tribune Entertainment/MJNI

A well-known Pennsylvania defense lawyer was recently interviewed by the Philadelphia Tribune and asked about his thoughts regarding Michael Jackson's criminal case. Below is that interview in its entirety.

Area lawyer speaks on Jackson case
Jan 16 2004

Pop star Michael Jackson, charged with seven counts of performing lewd or lascivious acts upon a child under 14, and two counts of administering an intoxicating agent, is scheduled to be arraigned today in Santa Maria, Calif. The charges stem from allegations by a 12-year-old cancer patient who was featured in the 2003 Martin Bashir documentary "Living with Michael Jackson."

During a recent question-and-answer session, Michael Coard, one of the most respected criminal defense lawyers in the Philadelphia area, addressed some of the issues surrounding the high-profile case.

Kimberly C. Roberts: It has been said that the prosecutor, Tom Sneddon, has a personal vendetta against Jackson because he couldn't make the charges against him stick back in '93. Do you get that impression?

Michael Coard: That's absolutely correct! In fact, the '93 case fizzled, and the other thing that's not getting a lot of publicity is the fact that Sneddon had already announced that he was going to retire. So it looks to me that what he wants before his planned retirement is a Michael Jackson trophy on his wall. He couldn't get it in '93, now there's a slight chance he might get it because, for Sneddon now, it's all or nothing. He couldn't get it in '93, he wants to get it now so that his planned retirement can go on as scheduled, and as I said, he can put that Michael Jackson trophy on the wall. Clearly he is taking this thing too personally, based on the 1993 case. No doubt about it!

KCR: As a criminal defense lawyer, what would your strategy be if you were defending Michael Jackson?

MC: As you know, the prosecution goes first with its case and the defense goes second. If the prosecution did not put on a strong enough case, I would argue something called a demurrer, also known as a motion for judgment of acquittal. It's simply a request to the judge that says this: "Judge, you've heard all of the prosecution's case, you've heard all of their evidence, you've heard all of their testimony. So what?"

You're saying, "Even if you believe what they say, judge, what they say doesn't rise to the level of the crime that my client has been charged with." So I'm arguing as a matter of law the prosecution's case is insufficient, so I'm raising this demurrer, I'm moving for a judgment of acquittal, and I don't even need to put on my case. If the prosecution's case is weak enough, the judge will throw it out right then and there.

But the judge might say, "Well, Mr. Coard, I hear your argument, but the prosecution, I'm not saying put on a strong case, but they did put on enough to carry the case forward." Having said that, the first thing I probably would do, just to let the jury know what kind of guy my client is, I'd put on all my character witnesses first.

Of course you run a risk with Michael Jackson as your defendant, because the prosecution is probably going to deal with the issue of a grown man having boys in his bed. But I would argue that there was no crime committed and there were no charges filed. That stuff might be weird, but it's not a crime.

The third thing I'd do is to call the complainant himself to the stand. Why? During this program that was on back in February, the child was actually interviewed. In fact, he was with Michael Jackson at the time, and he stated that he and Michael Jackson actually were in the same room together, but never in the same bed together. So if the boy, during the trial, when the prosecution calls him, says that, 'Yeah, Michael Jackson and I were in the same room, but never in the same bed,' then I wouldn't call him to the stand because he's already helped me.

But if he, as we say in the criminal justice system, "goes south," if he gets on the stand and says, "Michael Jackson molested me, he brutalized me, he raped me," if he says all those things, what I would do is to have that videotape available in the courtroom and impeach him with his prior statement.

Once you get that in, you can argue during closing, "Ladies and gentlemen, the prosecution has the burden to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. Their major witness is a liar. Either he was lying when he said Michael Jackson did this to him, or he was lying when he said Michael Jackson did not do this to him. But the fact is, he's a liar."

They've got Michael Jackson charged with seven counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14. The problem is this: They say of those seven counts, five of them happened between Feb. 7 and March 10. Now that would mean that Michael Jackson is the dumbest person in the history of criminal defense, because this documentary was broadcast worldwide on Feb. 6! He's already said some stuff that makes him look bad. Why would he then go out and do some stuff? Maybe he could have done these things before the broadcast, (but) now he's thinking, "Oh my God! Now that this stuff is all over the world, maybe I'd better take a back seat and slow down and have no connection with little boys." But if Michael Jackson knew that he had not done anything, then of course he's going to continue to act as he already has.

KCR: I know that you don't have all the facts, but given the information that you do have, do you think that Jackson will be able to beat these charges?

MC: No doubt about it. It's not even going to be close, because everything that I'm telling you now obviously has gone out by way of the media, but (Jackson's attorney) Mark Geragos knows that and much more. All of that's going to come out. The DA has kind of tipped his hand because of this personal vendetta. It's no doubt about it. I'm extremely confident about Kobe's (Bryant) case. I'd say that Kobe has a 75 to 80 percent chance of being found not guilty. I'd say that Michael Jackson's got a 95 to 100 percent chance of winning."

Source: ... wyer_weigh

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