Thursday, October 2, 2008

Phil Spector, OJ Simpson & Kazuyoshi Miura

Phil Spector's retrial for the murder of Lana Clarkson over five and a half years ago kicks off today with 300 jurors showing up at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center today and tomorrow. Judge Larry Paul Fidler's courtroom 106 is not large. A placard on the wall indicates the seating capacity is "80."

Here's how the process works. 75 potential jurors will show up in the morning and squeeze into 106. Another 75 will show up in the afternoon. The same process will be repeated on Friday. There may be a pre-screening process to exclude those jurors who can not serve due to hardship reasons. The remaining jurors will then receive a detailed questionnaire to fill out and turn into the court at a later date. Copies of the jurors questionnaires are then turned over to the prosecution and the defense. I'm betting that sometime later, the questionnaire will released to the public.

During the first trial, the initial stages of jury selection was not open to the public. The reason was logistics. There just are not enough seats in the gallery and jury box to accommodate any extra bodies in the courtroom. Ciaran McEvoy, who covered the first trial for City News back then, told me that he waited out in the hall (possibly for days) until there was a free seat that he could occupy.

Yesterday, it was agreed that the kick off of voie dire would be moved back one week from October 14th to October 20th, to give counsel more time to review the jurors responses.

Back on September 15th, Spector's lead counsel, Doron Weinberg made an initial petition to the court for Spector to replace his 1 million cash bond with "his own property." The people objected. This could possibly reduce the bond to half it's current amount. Fidler responded that this is a lengthy process to get the property valued and to determine if there were any title liens. He would allow the defense to submit [the request] "under seal." It may be a while before we get to know if Fidler approves a bond reduction or a property swap for the cash bond. This could be an indication that Spector is hurting for cash, seeing as how he's got a few lawsuits pending for nonpayment of royalties and hotel bills. If he really is hurting, why not sell his catalog? Do you think Spector would consider parting with that continual cash cow to pay his lawyers? It could just be like Michelle Blaine has indicated on her blog, Spector is typically not fond of paying bills.

OJ Simpson's defense in his robbery trial rested yesterday and this morning, all parties are currently hammering out jury instructions. Those of us who have watched this trial on The Legal Edge, are anxiously awaiting the start of closing arguments. There is the hope that the jury will receive the case sometime today. Tomorrow is the 13 year anniversary of the "not guilty" verdict in OJ Simpson's infamous murder trial. OJ Simpson is currently facing 12 counts, including kidnapping. How astronomically coincidental would it be if this jury reaches a verdict tomorrow?

Kazuyoshi Miura is currently sitting in a jail cell in Saipan, waiting to be picked up by LAPD detectives and returned to Los Angeles to stand trial on conspiracy murder charges. It's been speculated in the Asian press that this will not happen until sometime next week. On September 26th, Judge Van Sicklen ruled that double jeopardy applied, and he could not be tried on the murder charge. Miura was convicted of the 1981 murder of his wife, Kazumi, in downtown Los Angeles in his native Japan but the verdict was later over tuned by a higher court. The Japanese are fascinated by all things Miura, and his notoriety and murder trial in Japan are often called "Japan's OJ case."



Susan said...

Hi Sprocket, Thanks for the updates. On the Spector front, he's such an odd duck it's difficult to get a hold on his current financial situation. His house is worth, carp. It's a dump, (by LA/Hollywood/Beverly Hills) standards. So, where is all his money? He has a huge catalog of records, which must be worth a fortune so, what gives? His attorney fees, while high (by my meager standards) should be quite affordable for him. HoI understand that people move on and can't hold their anger, which is exactly what the defense wants. Thanks again. P.S. How's your hubby feeling?

Sprocket said...

Hi Suzi,

Yes, that "castle" cough, cough is a dump. Blood red carpet throughout and a suit of armor in the house. The trial bride certainly isn't a "decorator" along with her many other "talents," wouldn't you say?

It will be interesting to see if the court accepts his real property for part of his bond.

Thank you for asking Mr. Sprocket got his last cast off Sept 3rd. He is not allowed to have any physical therapy or lifting of any weight of his right arm until mid December. I'm hoping he will be able to return to work 2-3 months after that.

Anonymous said...

Phil Spector needs a nice soft padded cell and as long as he's in a mental hospital, I dont think he's a threat.
OJ, on the otherhand, is what I hope will be big bubba's girlfriend for the next 60 years. He'll still be scheming from behind bars, but who the heck cares about the loser who will never get out. Only bottom feeders want a piece of that crapbag.

Anonymous said...

Good morning Sprocket.

Spector hates giving up control.
He has been so tight-fisted with his music through the years--from controlling musicians in the studio to being quite selective as to who gets to use his music, that in my opinion, he'd rather give up house and home (and in this case, hovel). As far as RS's decorating skills (LOL-good one) interior design would cost Spector $$$$$$ and we all know Spector just HATES SPENDING it on ANYTHING. You mention the photos of his house. What creeped me out more than the burgundy-on-burgundy blood red pool room...were the pics of those house were poor animals locked in their tiny cages. What was up with that?? PETA would have a field day.

Anonymous said...

This time around Spector will not be convicted. A hung jury will be good enough. Doubt that little AJ will try it again.

Sprocket said...

It's my guess that this trial will not last as long as the first trial, so I think we'll find out sooner or later if the defense can find 12 people who lived in a cave.

I say on the outside, four months and hopefully shorter. No Cutler to get sick and delay the proceedings for a week. No Dr. Lee to claim he didn't lose anything. And other delay drama.

What could make it go longer is how long the defense takes to cross examine witnesses, of course.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the updates - the mainstream media seems to have removed Spector from their calendar

Barrier Island Girl said...

I'm glad I found your blog (in search of an update of Phil Spector's new trial. There's practically nothing out there! What's going on?

I hope we don't have to wait 10 or 15 years for Lana to get justice as it did Nicole.

I'll bookmark your blog.

Barrier Island Girl said...

By the way, did they ever announce the cause of death for Dianne Ogden, one of the witnesses in the Phil Spector trial?

First of all I didn't realize she was 61, but all I saw in the news was that she "died in her sleep". I must be getting old, because 61 seems a very young age to pass away in your sleep.

Sprocket said...

Welcome Barrier Island Girl,

Dianne Ogden:
I believe it was the LA Times that reported Ogden's cause of death was ruled an accidental overdose of prescription medications.

Voie dire is scheduled to kick off 10/20. Opening statements will depend on how long the voie dire process takes.