Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Phil Spector Retrial: Closing Arguments Day 3

Doron Weinberg finished his closing argument at 2:10 pm. Fidler then asked Jackson if he needs any time to set up any presentations. Jackson says no, and quickly stands up to take the podium.

Jackson starts off by telling the jury, "You've heard almost two solid days of what I would call a filibuster. [...] Not a word that he said, was evidence. [...] That was an attempt to distance you from the facts. If it's not here (slapping his hand on the ledge of the witness box) or in a binder at Wendy's desk, it's not evidence. [...] Mr. Weinberg on 3/24 told you, 'I want to be straight forward, This is a difficult case.' [...] Well, I want to tell you about this case."

And Jackson goes back to where he tells the jury the case starts, at the House of Blues where Phil Spector meets Lana Clarkson and asks her to go home with him. At first she's reluctant but then relents and agrees to go home with him. Lana's got to do things the next day so she makes arrangements to move her car and she goes back to the castle with Spector to have a drink. And after a few hours, Lana Clarkson wants to go home. And Phil Spector does what he does time and time and time again. He pulls a gun and this time the gun goes off. He goes out to Adriano De Souza and says, 'I think I killed somebody.' And then he realizes, I just told somebody! I've got to get rid of these bloody clothes. I got to get rid of this bloody gun. He goes upstairs, grabs a diaper and he wipes her face off. And he waits. That's how difficult this case is. Mr. Weinberg wants you to think that this is the most difficult case. This case is straight forward. I just showed you this straight forward case in under a minute. 1. Women. 2. Alcohol. 3. Loss of control. 4. He pulls a gun.

Court normally ends at 4:00 pm but today it went way over. At almost exactly 4:30 pm, Judge Fidler asks Jackson how much longer he has. He states that normally, he would have to close the courtroom now but he can sometimes extend it a little bit. Jackson tells the court he has about ten minutes more. Judge Fidler looks on over at the jurors and asks if anyone has a problem with staying longer. Juror #5 raises her hand and says, "I have to go," and that effectively ended Jackson's hopes of finishing the last few minutes of his summation today.

Outside in the hallway, Jackson was disappointed that he didn't meet his own goal of getting all his argument finished by the end of the day today.

Court resumes tomorrow at 9:00 am for Judge Fidler to go over with counsel any last minute issues. Court resumes for the jury at 9:30 am. At that time, Jackson will finish the prosecutions closing summation. I expect immediately afterwards, the jury will be instructed. Last year, jury instructions took 30 minutes. I expect them to go a little bit longer than that, probably 40-45 minutes, depending on how fast Judge Fidler can read them.

It's doubtful I will be able to get any more notes covering today up tonight. I expect I will be transcribing my notes from inside 106 while I'm on jury watch. I hope the free WIFI at the courthouse works tomorrow.

More to come....

Steve Mikulan of the LA Weekly weighs in on closing arguments.

Harriet Ryan for the LA Times
, story written for tomorrow morning.


Anonymous said...

Another wonderful job of reporting.
Thank you so much for keeping us in touch. You are our eyes, ears and you certainly have our heart felt thanks.

Anonymous said...

Weinberg goes on for an entire day, and then most of a second day. This is to make the jury think that the case is real complicated. AJ then gets up and tells the jury that the case is NOT complicated.

Spector talked Lana into coming home with him. Spector gets angry and takes out a gun. Spector causes the gun to fire and Lana Clarkson is dead. Spector cleans up as much as he can. That's it.

AJ is bringing it back to the reality of what happened.

David From TN

Christine said...

Sprocket, thank you as always for your report.

I'm sorry I didn't get to hear the closing arguments on any TV or internet streaming, this has been an extremely interesting and emotional case.

I don't know what most attorneys charge, at least 2000 a day in court and then extra for preparation etc. I am sure Weinberg must have made a lot on a stack of handwritten notes for "preparation". Just a couple of these cases are enough for a great retirement..

I just hope the jury is able to be clear with it all and that the verdict comes before Friday night.

Anonymous said...

Only in California would a jury not be able to go a few minutes past 4:30 in the afternoon.

Sprocket said...

Length of the court day:

Well, the jury wasn't deliberating. It was closing arguments.

I don't think it's like that in "every" courthouse in California, but certainly in a 19 story criminal court building in downtown Los Angeles, that's the norm. The building closes at 4:30 pm. If a judge holds his court open past that time, the building would required to have over time for those sheriff's involved in being assigned to this courtroom, as well as other areas of the building.

It's certainly not a perfect system, but one that doesn't cost the taxpayers money each and every time a judge decides to keep his courtroom open longer.

Liz said...

I am glad both prosecutors gave short prsentations. This has truly gone on way too long. I would not like to be on the jury, having to sort though fact and fiction, without being able to read and listen to analysis and summaries from many different folks. Many times I have returned to T&T to check for something that was/wasn't said.

Thank you again for your reporting

Anonymous said...

Sprocket ~

Thank you. For everything you do. Everything.

Up until closings, you have been the only one in the media to keep Lana's fight for justice at center stage, and I don’t know how many people realize that… you are a saint in addition to being a fabulous journalist!

Hope you have a wonderful night of rest & relaxation before heading down the final stretch!

Elizabeth :)

Janice said...

Oh My.... I have knots in my stomach thinking about this almost being over for the second time....

I pray that Spector is found guilty... As AJ said - I believe the case to be straight forward.... That nasty lil tyrant killed Lana Clarkson.... NO doubt in my mind.

Thank you again for your "beyond" incredible coverage which enabled all of us to keep up with this trial...


Des said...

Thanks much. I have read everyday. It's only my opinion, bu Weaselberg is getting paid a ton to lie and lie again.

Spector did it (Boy, did he ever). Do was great, the jurors will view Weaselberg as a mouthpiece for high-priced fabrication, and AJ will deliver the coup d'grace.

I believe, and I hope.

Thanks again for everything.. all of your many hours and hard work is VERY MUCH appreciated.

suzanne said...

Thank you - Thank you - Thank you a thousand times thank you. Here I am reading at 4:00am. And the only reason I know anything about the trial this time is because of your wonderful work.

I know Spector is guilty not a bit of doubt - lets hope the Lord leads that jury to the right decision.

I'll be holding my breath - wouldn't it be wonderful if the jury went into the jury room - voted and turned around and delivered a guilty verdict all in about 1/2 an hour. I've seen a few of those in my time. That is my dream for this trial.


Anonymous said...

It's actually good that Jackson gets to come back today and finish up. His words will still be ringing in their juror's ears. Something tells me he spent last night adding some good flourishes and facts to his arguments.

Looking forward to deliberations.

Anonymous said...

I assume Riordan is no longer around (but will be back for submitting an appeal).

The LA Times article contained a good line from AJ: If you can't change the science, buy the scientists (or words to that effect). I guess he is not using the poster-board to mark off the points made by the defense: I thought that was pretty effective last time.
Thank you.
Wes J.

Anonymous said...

I still believe that he was standing over her, threatening her with the gun, demanding that she put something else into her mouth. Suddenly, in pure rage and the hatred of a lifetime, he puts the gun in.

Sprocket said...

Marking off points by the defense:

AJ did do something similar, marking off items by the defense but it was done on the screen for the jury. He told the jury that the defense, never told you what happened. The only time they came close, was with a hypothetical question to Steve Renteria.

Jackson put that long, hypothetical question up on the screen, and then broke it down into 9 or 10 point lines. He then systematically went over every item and crossed it off, on the screen.

In another part of his summation, going over Dr. Di Maio's reason's he why he based this a suicide rather than a homicide.

1. intra-oral gunshot wound... Dr. DM agreed it could also be interpreted as a homicide
2. The GSR....Dr. DM agreed it could also be interpreted as a homicide
3. The back spatter....Dr. DM agreed that evidence could be interpreted as a homicide
4. The smear on the gun...Dr. DM agreed that evidence could be interpreted as a homicide


How does a homicide become a suicide, you write a BIG FAT CHECK!

If you can't change the facts, change the evidence!

If you can't change the evidence, change the science!

If you can't change the science,

Total cost: $419,000!!!!

Conjugate on that for just a second. $419,000 to hid the truth from you.

At the end of the day, the defense experts were paid $419,000.

I'll be writing more, from inside the courtroom and posting during the day as long as I can make a connection with WIFI.

Anonymous said...

This coverage has been great. Thank you.
Last time, AJ got into the "consciousness of guilt", an important thesis to explain PS's behavior after the event. I thought it was helpful--for me at least--to explain not calling 911, not being cooperative with police, etc. Hope this is covered again.

Sprocket said...

Consciousness of Guilt:

It was completely covered!

Tubilidentata said...

Spocket . . . thanks again as always. A few thoughts as we move to, I hope, a conviction:
1. Whineberg may be annoying but he has been an aggressive and dogged advocate for his client.
2. I think one attorney in charge has made for a much better flow for PS instead of the four attorneys he had stumbling through the case the last time.
3. As a Texas resident (though born in FL I've been here since 1965) I'm a Jackson homer . . . and can't wait to see more of your coverage on his rebuttal.
4. I hope the lesser included is not reversible error on the court's part.
5. The quicker they return a verdict the more likely it will be a conviction . . . I'm just guessing here that they might want their lives back . . . like NOW.

Anonymous said...

I am so grateful for the time you have taken - not only to report the detail of the testimony and evidence - but to enlighten those of us who cannot be there about the actual mood and atmosphere in the courtroom.

I have followed this case every day and believe sincerely that Phil Spector should be convicted this time.

I think the prosecution presented a much better argument this time and the focus was more on the evidence than bringing in a host of Lana's ner-do-well friends who were willing to purjor themselves, for a brief moment of televised fame.

Lana Clarkson deserves justice. Phil Spector is and always has been clearly guilty.

I cannot think you enough -

Toni from St. Louis

Anonymous said...

Thank you Sprocket. You are the best. I know you must be soooo tired. I am keeping my fingers crossed for a guilty verdict today.

Anonymous said...

Under the circumstantial evidence instruction “could also be interpreted as a homicide” = an acquittal?

Sprocket, perhaps you can listen for that instruction this morning and confirm?

Anonymous said...

Dear sprockett, As so many have said, thank you so very much for all of your effort. I am so grateful that I was able to follow this coverage, and it has been fantastic. It was nice to see you mentioned, positively, in an article by Anderson Cooper 360. I hope you are getting the respect you deserve.

I was wondering if it would be possible for you to notify us when the jury actually begins deliberations. Then I can officially start my "verdict watch clock" LOL.

I will be glued to this site all day and I so look forward to your coverage and perspective.