Ms. K. C. Arceneaux, Ph.D. has written a very positive article about the current situation and allegations Michael Jackson is facing. She is a Pushcart nominee and winner of a Tara Fellowship from the Heekin Group.
Jackson Case May Be Unraveling: Who's Bad?
by Ms. K. C. Arceneaux, Ph.D.
August 5, 2004
There is growing evidence that the child molestation case against Michael Jackson may be unraveling. Jackson's song "Bad" may be an accurate description, not of Jackson, but of the DA prosecuting the case. In the latest in a series of alleged abuses of power in the conduct of the case, Santa Barbara District Attorney Tom Sneddon has revealed that he notified people that they were potential witnesses in the Jackson case, for the purpose of preventing them from talking to the press.
It was reported by thirty year veteran news-man Robert Matas that Sneddon said, "We sent letters to some people saying we intended to call them as witnesses in order to keep them off TV." Sneddon's statements, made at a conference of the National District Attorneys' Association, in Vancouver, Canada, have drawn heavy criticism. Jackson's attorneys have called for an investigation as to whether the gag order was violated by Sneddon's public discussions of the Jackson case.
In at attempt at damage control, Sneddon has said first, that he did not make the statement, and then, that the statement he did not make was taken out of context. He said, "I would have to be criminally dumb to get up and say that." Criminal dumbness is an unfortunate description of the DA's conduct, but it may be accurate. Matas stands by his story, and says that he took notes during the proceedings. Matas said, "It's definitely accurate. My notes were accurate." Sneddon also said that he thought the session at which he spoke would not be covered by the press. Matas was the sole reporter present.
After the session at which Sneddon spoke, reporter Matas asked him a follow-up question about the Jackson case, saying, "I went up and asked him what he was most surprised about. He said that he's been accused of doing this in revenge." Sneddon continues to deny that this is a revenge case. From its inception, Jackson's attorneys have alleged that the case against Michael Jackson is the result of a vendetta.
Evidence has been growing steadily that Jackson' s attorneys are right in their assertions. There are many alleged improprieties and abuses of power in the case. Jackson's attorneys have filed a motion to dismiss the indictment against Jackson, saying that Sneddon engaged in outrageous conduct and bullied the Grand Jury. Jackson's attorneys have also said that Sneddon violated attorney/client privilege when he confiscated materials from the office of Bradley Miller, a private investigator employed by then Jackson attorney, Mark Geragos. It has been discovered that Sneddon investigated aspects of the case himself, and conducted surveillance. Sneddon also met with the mother of the accuser alone in a parking lot; and that, according to Fox News columnist Roger Friedman, Sneddon's business card was found under the accuser's mother's door on Feb. 16th, long before the allegations were made.
Concerning alleged improprieties unrelated to the Jackson case, Burbank civil rights attorney Joe Freeman has called for an investigation of Sneddon, sending letters on May 24, 2004, to the California Attorney General, the Santa Barbara County Grand Jury and the California State Bar Association. Freeman's letters read, in part, "In my opinion, the matters to be investigated are the possible criminal violations of several felony and misdemeanor statutes, including conspiracy, illegal taping, deceiving a court and a prosecutor illegally assisting the defense of a case." Freeman is calling for an investigation, and for the appropriate sanctions if wrong-doing is verified.
Russell Halpern, the attorney for the father of Jackson's accuser, has also called for an investigation of Sneddon, for allegedly violating his right to free speech by sending him a letter stating that he may be called as a witness. Halpern has said that he has no direct knowledge of the Jackson case, and it is unlikely that he will testify. Halpern's allegations tend to validate Sneddon's statements made at the District Attorneys' Convention, that letters were sent for the purpose of shutting people up.
Adding to the evidence that points to abuses of the power of his office, DA Sneddon has been sued many times for alleged civil rights violations and prosecutorial misconduct, including false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, unreasonable search and seizure, and other alleged violations. These cases were either settled out of court, or resulted in losses in Federal Court for Sneddon and the Santa Barbara DA's office. The settlements and judgments were paid by county funds and insurance. Currently there are at least two similar cases pending against Sneddon, one by Solvang attorney Gary Dunlap who is suing Sneddon for ten million dollars for malicious prosecution, false arrest, and other alleged civil rights violations, and another by Santa Maria City Attorney Art Montandon, who is suing Sneddon for "discriminatory, abusive, and defamatory" behavior, among other charges.
That the District Attorney may have abused the power of his office does not automatically point to Jackson's innocence, but the many alleged improprieties in this and other cases are beginning to gain public attention as a pattern emerges. Among the many irregularities in the Jackson case, the fact that Sneddon made contact with the accuser's mother before allegations were ever made, and the fact that he has pursued the case with a relentless and uncommon zeal, cast doubts on the motivations behind the charges against the pop-star. If vendettas have been business-as-usual with the Santa Barbara DA, then public scrutiny of the case against Jackson may prove to be Sneddon's undoing. Sneddon's public relations firm, Tellem Worldwide, has declined to respond to these issues, citing the gag order in the case.
This article is printed here by the courtesy of MJRedemption.com.