Thursday, March 19, 2009

Phil Spector Retrial Day Fifty-nine

Update 2!
Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Today, Judge Fidler will rule on final jury instructions. I will report as soon as a decision is made on the lesser included charge.

Update: 1:00 pm
After all that Judge Fidler still didn't rule on the lesser included! He will rule on that tomorrow when counsel meet in court again at 10:30 am. I have already decided not to go since I am way behind at home.

9:19 am: I'm inside 106 and the only other person there is Linda from San Diego. I notice that there is sunlight coming into the courtroom from the jury room door that has been left open. I get up out of my regular seat to walk down to the far left of the second bench row and try to take a peek in from the gallery. The court reporter Cindy is at her desk and I mention that I've never seen inside the jury room. She replies, "It's just a room." I don't see much. There is a short, wide hallway, a table on the far left with what might be a microwave and a television on a stand behind that. The actual jury room table is out of view. The courtrooms ~at least on the 9th floor~ are all designed where the jury rooms (and I believe the Judge's chambers) have windows.

When Jackson and Truc Do enter the courtroom, I ask Wendy if it's possible to know why the court is dark on March 30th and the 31st. She tells us that the 31st is a State holiday, honoring Cesar Chavez. She also adds that it's customary when a holiday falls on an odd day like Tuesday, most of the courts also take the day before or the day after off.

Wendy asks Weinberg, "Is Mr. Riordan here?" Weinberg responds, "He's trusted this delicate operation to me." When Wendy sees the new table of contents for the defense exhibits she says, "This is a beautiful table of contents." Weinberg responds, "I take full credit."

Truc Do is wearing a dress I don't think I've seen before. It's a deep purple dress with a matching fabric belt. It has pockets and a v-neck with ruffles. All parties mention that the courtroom is hot and Truc takes off her black jacket she's wearing with her dress. It's then that I see that her dress is sleeveless. Even Weinberg took off his jacket. When Fidler finally takes the stand, even he mentions that it's hot in 106 and that he's already put in a request.

Harriet Ryan of the Los Angeles Times enters 106 and sits in her familiar spot in the back row.

When Jackson came into court and sees Linda from San Diego and myself, he makes a comment that we are "hard core" trial watchers because this part of the case, going over exhibits and jury instructions even he would rather not be here. I say to him, "I wouldn't normally be here except for the fact of the defendant's repeated efforts to try to intimidate me."

The first issue that Fidler addresses is a question that Weinberg made of Ester Rodriguez that the people objected to and the objection was sustained. Fidler wanted to get on the record the clarification of his ruling on that issue. Even after Fidler explains his position, Weinberg states for the record that he understands the court's position but he disagrees with it. One of his arguments is something to the effect of, "The defense has been foreclosed from examining [...] them on prior conflicting testimony." As Weinberg continues to argue, Fidler has what I can only describe as an exasperated expression on his face.

The next issue that is discussed is the involuntary manslaughter charge and whether or not it will be included for the jury. Fidler tells the court, "I have a rough idea of what People v. Lee is and People v. Garcia is." Fidler then tells the prosecution that he would like them to refresh Fidler's memory on the 1101(b) witnesses. He won't tell them why, but he is asking them to just go along with him for now and that it has to do with what he thinks is his resolution. Jackson pauses for a time and then tells the court that he is getting his thoughts together. The court tells him to take his time.

Jackson then goes through the 1101(b) witnesses. First he presents Dianne Ogden and the two events that happened to her in summary. Fidler asks, "Did he ever point the gun at her in the second incident?" Jackson responds, "Yes." Next is Stephanie Jennings, then Dorothy Melvin, then Devra Robitaille and last, Melissa Grosvenor. Jackson states that in every incident, at every point, a gun was pointed at each of the women.

Fidler then states what he believes are the facts of Lee. "Lee stands away from all other cases. [...] In Lee, the gun was always between them. There is no testimony that ever said the gun was pointed at her. [...] The people's theory is based on the other incidents. [...] In any event, using that to [...] And in Lee, the description (it was) without further incidents (prior brandishing) is a close contact wound."

In continuing with his train of thought to the people, Fidler asks something to the effect of, "Your prior is [...] show me some substantial evidence [...] give me evidence that it happened any other way."

Jackson responds to Fidler's request. "How did the gun get in her mouth?" He states that he can think of any number of ways and he describes them. He goes onto say, "The question is of intent. Did he intend, (or) tell her to open her mouth?"

There are quite a few more statements by everyone but I don't write them all down. Fidler says something about "Brandish and a completed assault are not (?) events." Jackson continues with, "We believe that there could be a reasonable interpretation where Spector pulls the gun (and a juror could infer themselves how the gun got there)." Fidler speaks again. Then Jackson mentions that Weinberg in questioning every one of the 1101(b) witnesses stated Spector waves a gun around. "Given that we know he waves it (the gun), given that he points it." Jackson finishes with, "I don't know if that gets you any closer. [...] We don't have to know how it got to that point." Fidler, trying to be funny states, "Every time I think I'm close, they drag me back." He then clarifies that this is a line from the Sopranos.

Truc Do then argues a bit more for the people. I think it's Truc who mentions that in People v. Garcia, there are witnesses to verify that there was an assault. There's no question that it wasn't a brandishing. (I'll add a note here that I believe both sides prepared motions on the lesser included issue.)

Weinberg speaks so quickly that I don't get the main thrust of his argument. To start, he says something to the effect, "There is no problem with the court in respect to (invulnerability?) in ruling..." He argues that in Lee, "We don't know what happened." He argues that there is a conflict with 1101(b) witnesses where (there is absence of mistake). He has more argument but I miss getting that last part of it written down.

Jackson states, "We're not going to work on some legal fiction. [...] We are interested in what the law requires. [...] Do I think it's required by law? Yes I do." (This is the crux of why the people have requested the lesser included. Their argument is they feel it is required by law.)

After all this, it's when Fidler waffles and won't give a ruling. "I'll give you a decision this afternoon. Even if we're not in session, I'll get it to you and put it on the record." (Later, at the end of court, he asks both parties if he can give them his decision tomorrow, when they meet at 10:30 am.) At that point, I was going to leave because I did not see the point of staying, however I'm glad I did.

They go over the people's exhibits that number #1 through #299. They withdrawal exhibit #286 which has to do with the MySpace profiles. Weinberg objects to many of the prosecution's exhibits being stylized as to "crime scene." Fidler reminds him that he's told the jury many times that this is just one party's view of the case and not facts in evidence and he overrules on this objection.

Weinberg objects to several documents. He starts with #41(b) which I believe is an image of the Viagra blister pack and that objection is overruled. He objects to the images of the other weapons that were found as well as the images of the holsters and those are overruled.

10:32 am: Pat Dixon enters 106.

Fidler removes exhibits #287 and #288 which were the NIMH's (National Institute of Mental Health) descriptions on depression. The people already indicated that they would not come in. Fidler states he also excludes the information on Intermittent Explosive Disorder. He feels that these documents might take the jurors down "the wrong path."

Weinberg requests that Lana Clarkson's resume be excluded and he's initially overruled. (Later, Fidler states that he will rule on the resume as well as the CV of the defense expert witnesses probably tomorrow.) Weinberg then goes into a long argument to exclude the video tape from the first trial of Jamie Lintemoot's testimony (describing where she saw blood on Lana Clarkson's wrists). His grounds were that it was not produced during her examination. It was only produced during expert opinion. Fidler rules but Weinberg continues to argue. He goes on and on and on trying to get the video out but Fidler stands by his ruling.

Then the defense's exhibits are reviewed and the people are objecting to specific documents. The first exhibit, #500, is a page of transcript testimony from the first trial. Fidler states that, "It can be used to refresh a witness's testimony but basically they cannot be admitted." The people also object to exhibit #501 because (I believe) it's a duplicate of a prosecution exhibit and Fidler does not allow duplicate exhibits. He feels it doesn't matter "who" introduces the exhibit, it draws undue attention to an exhibit if it's duplicated.

Weinberg then goes off on Fidler for removing his exhibits. His tone and demeanor is very upset and angry. He feels that it isn't fair since the defense introduced the exhibit first and it's putting a disadvantage on the defense to have all of "their" exhibits removed when they were the one's who first introduced the exhibit! Fidler says to him, "You're getting excited over something that I don't believe is that important." Weinberg won't let the issue go though, and Fidler snaps back, "I'm NOT going to leave it both in! The answer is no!" He then says to Weinberg, "Mr. Weinberg! You're mad-dogging me!" He actually said that! And then he says something about the look on Weinberg's face staring at him. I can't see Weinberg's face because his back is to me but the Judge obviously reacted to the face that Weinberg gave him.

The people object to defense exhibit #502 and #503 being duplicates of the people's #157. Weinberg is upset again because these are exhibits he introduced first, so I'm gathering from his complaint that these exhibits should be in the defense's book and not the prosecution's. He gives the same argument and Fidler has to explain to him, again, that this is not important whose book the exhibits are in and he will make sure the jury understands that. "I'm going to tell the jury exactly [...] This is a non-issue. It's a made up issue," Fidler states to Weinberg.

Truc Do objects to the Pasadena Police Report on the Dorothy Melvin incident. I then learn something I did not know. Police reports are considered hearsay (because they often contain language of witnesses and/or rely on witness statements). I did not know this. The people want a clarification as to what defense exhibit #506 is. It's a CD and they wish to know the content. Weinberg's response is, "The clerk has it." Jackson's response shows he's clearly irritated by Weinberg's rebuffed answer and asks him directly, "Well, what is it!" We don't get an answer from Weinberg.

More exhibits are removed because they are duplicates of the people's exhibits. The people object to the defense expert's CV's being introduced because not all items on the CV's were discussed in testimony, therefore they argue, they are hearsay. When the people object to that then Weinberg objects to Lana Clarkson's resume on the same grounds. The people also object to many witnesses hand written notes being introduced because they are not official documents. One such example is the notes Dr. Pena took of a staff meeting.

Sometime before 11:00 am, Harriet Ryan leaves. Weinberg then states that he didn't realize that so many of his exhibits would be objected to and therefore he needs to go back through the people's exhibits in the same manner that his exhibits were gone through. Court is finally recessed at 11:30 am. They will reconvene at 10:30 am tomorrow to make the final decisions on jury instructions as well as exhibits.

Just an afterthought, there was no mention of special instruction #1 that the defense wanted.

P.S. I'm still planning on updating the entry on the last day of testimony as well as putting up an entry of all of Spector's statements he made at the house as well as the Alhambra Police Station. At this time, I'm not sure when I'll get that completed.

Update 2: 4:50 pm

After I published this last update, I realized I forgot to give everyone information on closings! Weinberg asks Fidler about having reserved seats or extra seats for the defense. Fidler tells him to let the clerk know (but I believe he adds that it's got to be a reasonable number. It can't be people far removed). Fidler states that he doesn't think there is much media interest but he does say that closing arguments will be filmed. There is no mention that it will be live streamed. Wendy adds that from the number of calls she's been receiving, she believes that there is a lot of interest in the closings and that quite a few people will be showing up. On the first floor, as Linda from San Diego and I exit the elevator, I see Allan Parachini just clearing the security on the first floor. He looks to be in a big rush but I ask him, "Mr. Parachini, Judge Fidler stated that there will be cameras in the courtroom for closings. Is that confirmed?" Allan states, "Yes, there will be cameras." Since it's apparent he was in a hurry to get to wherever he is going I don't bother him with another question.

It is unknown how the court will handle the press and public that show up for this trial. The Public Information Office could take names on whomever shows up first like they did for opening statements, or they could decide draw tickets. For those of you planning on going to closing arguments, be aware that the gallery is quite limited in it's seating. Keep in mind that both sides will get seats for their supporters. And, I suspect that there will be several members from the district attorney's staff that will automatically get seats.

When vior dire was in progress, they were barely able to seat all 75 jurors in the gallery at one time and also have a seat for Rachelle and Spector's bodyguard. During vior dire there was only a single seat for the press and no seats for the public. I only got to sit in the press seat next to the door when the press did not show up. Regardless, I still recommend getting to court early if you plan on trying to get in.

Before court started for the day, I asked Joshua how long the prosecution will argue. He indicated that in total (Jackson and Truc Do) the prosecution will argue about one day. So I ask, in total, about five hours? Joshua thinks that's about right. I also ask about how long the defense will argue. He states that the defense will argue a day-and-a-half. I expect closings will take three days and we will be lucky if the jury gets instructed on Wednesday. I predict the jurors will get instructed on Thursday and get the case directly after.


Anonymous said...

Are you at the courthouse today, Sprocket?

bballgrl said...

I just wanted to say a big Thank You to Sprocket, Donchais, ritanita and Caligirl9 for all you do for us on T&T. Especially Sprocket for bringing us the information that we can't get anywhere else. Your dedication to this trial is amazing and for that I am truly grateful! Love your stuff!

Tubilidentata said...

We await your posts, as always, with gleeful anticipation. Keep up the great work . . . and did I mention I love your random fashion comments. Adds a certain je ne sais quoi to the proceedings!

Stacy said...

Thank you Sprocket

shari said...

Yeah Sprocket, finally a light at the end of a loooong tunnel. THANKS AND THANKS in a gigantic way for keeping us all up to date. Mr. Sprocket must be glad to be close to getting you back LOL We are all waiting patiently for the last few weeks until we (hopefully) see Harvey Hairball in the slammer and justice for a beautiful woman who happened to reluctantly go have a drink with a psychotic little troll. You have done an amazing job letting us get a glimpse into this trial. I too have enjoyed some of your fashion commentary, as well as your insight and legal knowledge. You are the BOMB!!!!!!!!! Looking forward to the end..S.

blogonutjob said...

Your description of what the jury room looks like is exactly the result of what an interior designer does, not an interior decorator. Somehow, I just don't see Ms. Riedl configuring the angles, shapes, and configurations of sunlight. An interior designer, more often than not is part of the architectural team.

Can anyone perceive Ms. Riedl having a degree in Interior Design?

Although Mr. Weinberg owes Spector a duty to argue against any lesser charges, I'm quite sure he's secretly hoping for involuntary manslaughter to be included. This way during sentencing, he can argue the shaky hand thing thus confirming Spector's statement to the police "It was an accident."

Anonymous said...

Wow. I could never be a lawyer: all the hair-splitting about past cases, brandishing yea or nea, the hypotheticals about how the gun got where, etc. Honestly, I don't know how you keep up with it.

Between trials, I had someone check on Ms.Riedl's credentials. As far as could be told, she was not a member of ASID, the benchmark organization for professionals in that occupation. That, plus the bad press, probably did her in.

Weinberg acts like a child, gets scolded like one. The judge must feel like a kindergarten cop half the time. Another reason not to be a lawyer.
Wes J.

Anonymous said...

And you thought jury instructions would be boring. NOT!!!
Thanks for the update.
I keep sending emails to TruTV asking them to televise/stream closing arguments. They don't answer nor has Lisa Bloom mentioned her testimony. Go figure....

Sharon said...

Finally some cameras in the courtroom. I miss seeing AJ. He was really cute during the first trial

Carol L Beck said...

Weinberg should be embarrassed with the way he is acting. When kids were 3 yrs old they would have got a time out. It's mine, no it's mine. Bet Judge Fidler never expected to be mediating between adults and whining babies. He needs to give someone time out. Defend your client to the best of your ability, but quit sweating the small stuff that really doesn't matter. And quit backtalking the Judge. PLEASE

Great coverage as usual Sprocket.


Anonymous said...

If Lord Weinberg can pontificate for a day and a half in his closing, what on earth can he say to stretch it out that long? All those minute discrepancies he found? He sure as hell can't talk about how great HIS witnesses were!The jury will SO be tuned out.........

Anonymous said...

Do you think the defense knows they’ve lost and Spector is preparing to flee? I would hope law enforcement is keeping an eye on the evil wee one.

Sprocket, thanks again for your tremendous reporting. I truly hope you write a book or five about this trial and your experiences in the courtroom!

Elizabeth Davis

Liz said...

I also wonder what can take 1.5 day in the defense closing. I assume Weinberg will bypass the fact that many of his witnesses were discredited and discuss their testimony regardless.

Thank you so much Sprocket for all your efforts. I look forward to the last day's testimony - probably because I have read the police reports so many times, I would like to know what Ofr Rodriguez had to say.

In regard to the "hearsay" side of police reports - is this also the case if the report is based on a recording of what a witness (or defendant) said?

Sprocket said...

Where am I?
Yes, I was at the courthouse today. I put that short entry up before I left home. The original plan was to call donchais and have her add to the entry as soon as Fidler ruled on the lesser included. Since he didn't rule, I came home and started working on my notes. While I was adding the update, I accidentally "saved" my already published entry which is why it disappeared for a short time. I apologize.

Mr. Sprocket glad to have me back?
Well, that's debatable, lol! It means I'll be on top of his study habits for his upcoming exam more often.

Jury room:
I didn't get to see much of the jury room; just the hallway and a table and the TV. I don't know anything about what designing credentials Ms. Hayes Reidl might or might not have.

Televised Closings:
Understand that it's not been confirmed if TruTV will be covering closings or not. My guess is most likely not. It's not likely that the closings will be live streamed, although I have not yet received a confirmation on that from Beth Karas. She said she would get back to me on whether or not they are sending anyone. She said that she will not be here.

The long closing arguments:
Before court started, Linda from San Diego was talking to Jackson about the long closings. She was (jokingly) recommending that every once in a while, he do something to keep the jury's attention, like dance or something. Jackson, responded by doing a little impromptu side step and I chuckled to myself. If I'm recalling correctly, Jackson did mention that he tried his best to cut his closing down to as short as possible.

Anonymous said...

why would the " intermediant explosive behavior " thing be excluded from the exhibits? I thought the "requirements" of that disorder fit Phil Spector to a T.

Linda in Tx

Anonymous said...

Spector reminds me of Gloria Swanson in the movie “Sunset Blvd”… the old dinosaur Swanson shot & killed the much younger William Holden when he tried to leave. Does Spector still have guns in his home? With his fate looming on the horizon his stress level must be escalating and everyone around him should probably be on guard. I can’t imagine he’s thrilled with the prospect of wifey getting of all his goodies while he spends the rest of his life in prison.

Many thanks to you, Ms Sprocket.

Anonymous said...

The next few days should be VERY interesting. Alan Jackson has worked sooo hard to put Phil away. I pray he will get the job done this time. Alan is so cute. Is he married? Who needs Tru T.V. to cover this trial when we have Sprocket. She makes me feel like I'm right there with her wonderful coverage.

Sprocket said...

The exhibits of the description of Intermittent Explosive Disorder:

The exhibits that put the text up on the ELMO were excluded.

It's my opinion (guess, really) that Fidler excluded them because this would possibly have pointed the jury towards Spector's character and that's not admissible in this trial. Spector cannot be convicted for his character. He has to be convicted on evidence.

Alan Jackson:
I do know that Alan Jackson is not married. However, I do believe that he has a girlfriend.

Anonymous said...

Hi, this is from your notes from opening statements:
"One of the weakest arguments for me was, "The evidence will show that there was physical evidence of sexual intimacy before she died. Phil Spector's DNA was on Lana Clarkson's left breast. Lana Clarkson's DNA was found on Phil Spector's scrotum. There's no basis of fact that he didn't want her to leave because he wanted sexual activity [...] in the face of those DNA facts."

During the trial, did such evidence get presented? If it was, I surely missed it. Thanks. (and don't feel obligated to put up the police statements from the initial 911 call, people can go to the and read it, and you can take some time off!)

Anonymous said...

I wonder how good a night's sleep Phil Spector will get in the next few days?

Thanks again for your work in covering the trial for us.

David From TN

Sprocket said...

Sexual contact:

The evidence of sexual contact was weak, in my opinion. The Spector DNA on Lana Clarkson's left breast was not proven to be from saliva. It "could have been" but the DNA expert stated that there wasn't enough Amalyase? (sp?) to conclusively say that.

Lana's DNA was found on Spector's scrotum area ONLY; no where else. Also found on Spector's scrotum was male Y marker DNA from (I believe) two other sources. Lana's DNA found there was not particularly strong. Did Spector also have sex with two other men that night because there is Y DNA on his scrotum?

If the sexual contact was true, why didn't Spector mention it to police when he was ranting and raving at Alhambra Police Station that she killed herself?

Another thing that was absent from Spector's statements of suicide (at the house or at Alhambra Police Station( were any last words from Lana before she picked up the gun.

Why did Spector not detail for the Alhambra officers, the last words spoken by Lana Clarkson's if she truly picked up the gun and placed it inside her mouth?

Did she do this without saying a word before hand?

Miscellaneous Thoughts:
I also wanted to address something that keeps being brought up again and again, and that's the almost complete "absence" of blood spatter on Spector's right sleeve.

There is quite a bit of misconception about blood spatter and what one would "expect to see." All the laboratory experiments with bloody sponges show that there will always be a significantly larger amout of forward spatter than there will be back spatter.

Another thing that all the forensic blood spatter experts agree on is this famous phrase by James Kish, who was a paid expert by the defense who did not testify. It's a phrase out of one of his books.

"The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."

In simplier terms, what that literally means is, just because there isn't spatter evidence, (somewhere) that does NOT mean the individual(s) charged could not have committed the offense.

When people (even experienced attorneys who should know better) have used the "absence of evidence" on Spector's right jacket sleeve as proof that he did not fire the weapon, they are ASSuming that this absence of blood evidence is proof of innocence.

The blood spatter analysis experts tell us again and again that you cannot make that conclusion from the lack of spatter (on a defendant).

That type of argument ASSumes that it can be scientifically proven there should be "more spatter" coming out of Lana Clarkson's mouth in a particular distance, pattern or direction. There is no scientific validity to that argument.

In laboratory experiments, in an ideal world, certain patterns do emerge and certain travel distances can be obtained for how far "mist like" blood spatter will travel.

However, you cannot take laboratory results (which can not be compared to real shooting events) and then predict what specific amount of blood will come out in a spattering event. You just can't make those type of conclusions.

However, defense attorney's will continue to make those arguments to a jury, implying that you "can" make that totally unscientific leap of logic.

In my review of the evidence, I believe the gun blocked a significant amount of spatter from coming out of Lana Clarkson's mouth. And, in my opinion, from reviewing the evidence, the spatter that did come out did not travel very far and was angled downward, towards her slip dress and the chair. In my review of the evidence, only a small amount of spatter traveled far enough to reach Spector's white wool jacket.

Anonymous said...


Am I missing something here?

Did the jury hear Spector's statements to police at the jail (where he claimed Clarkson shot herself)?

Otherwise, how can the jury consider what Spector left out of that rant?

Second, can you elaborate on what you told Alan Jackson--that Spector has been trying to intimidate you? How is PS doing this and why is not the judge making him stop?

Sprocket said...

Spector's Statements:
You are correct that the jury did not hear anything "else" Spector said besides the "I think I killed somebody."

I was just free form thinking, asking a question of T&T's readers in regards to the other things we know Spector said. I wasn't necessarily considering evidence.

Intimidation tactics:
If you search the last trial entries, you will know about what happened to me in August, 2007 during the first trial.

Once a verdict is reached I will consider detailing a few of the events that were directed at me in this trial.

Anonymous said...

Judge Fidler's joke, "Every time I think I'm close, they drag me back" is from The Godfather 3. It may also be from the Sopranos, but if so they were referencing GF3.

Anonymous said...


When you said: "Understand that it's not been confirmed if TruTV will be covering closings or not. My guess is most likely not."

Does that mean that you don't know if TruTV will be covering it at all? Or it's just unknown and/or unlikely that they will be airing it live?

Sprocket said...

Coverage of Closings:

There has been no notice from TruTV that they will be covering the closing arguments of the second trial. They've not covered any of the second trial, except to have Beth Karas give a few reports from when she was out here for a couple of days and dropped in on testimony of Adriano De Souza for 1/2 day.

Beth Karas told me she was not going to be here to cover the closings. She said she would get back to me to verify if her network would be sending someone or not. She did not know.

It's my guess that they will not be covering it. I believe the camera in the courtroom will not be a live feed, but I could easily be wrong about that.

Whatever station/network does the filming, (most likely local) could have the camera hooked up to a laptop computer and stream it that way. That "is" possible.

When the first trial was covered by CourtTV, there was a satellite dish in the parking lot and a ton of cable snaking up through to the 9th floor. Since that time, the courthouse has been equipped with WIFI.

I will be hanging out in 106 during jury watch and blogging from the back row in real time. I hope to be the first to report hearing the three buzzes that indicate the jury has reached a verdict.

Anonymous said...


Over all, do you think that the totality of the evidence phase of the case (prosecution, defense, rebuttal) went better for the defense, worse, or about the same as in trial #1?

Second, are you sensing any expressional (is that a word?) reaction form any of the jurors in response to any of the three attorneys one way or the other, or are they pretty stone faced?


Sprocket said...

Second Trial:

I think the evidence went better for prosecution this time around, but you have to take into account that I have a bias. I openly admit that bias, so I don't know that I can be truly "objective" in reading this jury. We all know things this jury doesn't.

One thing I have learned from so many people who do report on trials for a living, or are practicing attorneys is that your case is won or lost in jury selection. It really is the most important part of the trial, voir dire.

We've seen recently in the hung jury in the Raynella Dossett Leath case, where the jury foreman indicated the hold out jurors wanted more eyewitnesses. The foreman also indicated the jurors had a lopsided understanding of circumstantial evidence.

If counsel does a good job in voir dire, you can weed out those potential jurors that might rely on eyewitness testimony more than circumstantial evidence, or those jurors that don't completely grasp how circumstantial evidence is treated with equal weight as eye witness testimony.

Additionally, you also want to weed out those jurors who will have a bias to a particular race or police officers or feel that a defendant is guilty just because they did not testify.

I do not know if it was uncovered in voir dire during the first trial, that Juror #10 did missionary work in Brazil, or that he spoke Portuguese. I believe it was Juror #9 who said that Juror #10 "did not believe Adriano De Souza." It's my personal opinion that Juror #10 came to the table with a bias against people from Brazil. I don't have anything to support that; it's just my rationalization for why he didn't believe De Souza.

Getting a potential jury in that jury box to clearly understand circumstantial evidence and apply what they understand is key to bringing a verdict to a conclusion.

All this is just my personal opinion of course.

Anonymous said...

Has this trial lasted longer than the first trial?

Sprocket said...

Length of trial #2:

I believe they might be close.

Here is an old CTV page that details the time line through their reports of trial #1:

According to that page, Voir Dire supposedly started in trial number one on March 19th, 2007, but I don't know how accurate that first date is. The next entry lists the attorney's questioning the jurors a month later on April 16th.

The trial officially ended on September 26th, 2007.

Understand that the links to the stories don't work on that page.

I'll do more research to find out when Voir Dire actually started in trial #1.

Anonymous said...

Will you be posting Judge Fidler's decision to give (or not) a manslaughter instruction to the jury today?

Anonymous said...

Dear Sprocket:

I remember when the jury site visit was being discussed the LAT article mentioned a misdirected email posted by former Spector personal assistant Michele Blaine on her website. I also recall that Spector fired Blaine after his arrest and sued her for stealing $900,000 from his accounts, and that she had countersued for $5.25 M for sexual harassment—which if her allegations could be proven (Spector forcing he to hire hookers, appearing naked in front of her ect. ect.) sounded like a reasonable dollar amount. Blaine also contended that Spector authorized all of the $900,000 in expenditures, including half a $550,000 check Blaine wrote to herself to buy a $750,000 house.

I Googled the lawsuit and was shocked to learn that in February, 2007, Blaine paid back the $900,000 she withdrew from Spector’s accounts and dropped her countersuit. (See this article: )

Do you know what Michelle Blaine is doing now?


Keep up the good work, Sprocket!

Sprocket said...

Michelle Blaine:

I sent off an email to Michelle on this issue and she responded. There are some facts you listed that are not accurate. From my understanding, Michelle did not write the check herself. Spector did and he signed it.

Michelle states that she will address all these issues in her book that she is writing.