Sunday, May 31, 2009
Phil Spector Was Railroaded In A Legal Outrage
Los Angeles, CA—Judge Larry Paul Fiddler seemed like such a personable fellow when I met him in San Francisco at a function hosted by the Investigative Reporters and Editors some six years ago. First impressions are sometimes misleading.
Fidler had the duty to give murder suspects a fair trial under our sacred system of justice. When legendary record producer Phil Spector’s murder case came before Judge Fidler, fairness was replaced by judicial tyranny.
Fidler consistently ruled for nearly every request by prosecutors while denying nearly everything for Spector’s defense. Fidler was more biased than any judge I’ve seen in some 40 years.
Fidler was out to prove that a celebrity could get convicted after a stunning series of acquittals of other accused Hollywood notables.
Fidler was asked repeatedly to recuse himself and when he refused the defense went as far as the Court of Appeals and lost the argument.
The real abuse of judicial discretion was surrounding the newly revised California’s evidence code 1101B that could allow the introduction of so-called prior bad acts committed by the defendant.
Fidler allowed a string of women jilted by Spector to come into court and accuse Spector of whatever they wanted. Allegations surfaced that were never reported to police and there was never a prosecution or trial to sort out fact from fiction. The tales were decades old and the women telling them were felons, freeloaders and even sold their stories to the tabloids.
As for the evidence or rather a lack of it, the jury was allowed to be tainted by a very public hate campaign often centering on the aging Spector or his appearance.
The case was far more about salacious gossip than facts. The pretty dead woman, Lana Clarkson was painted as saintly or angelic. The truth was that she was a troubled alcohol and drug addicted woman who stole from her friends and lived under a cloud of poverty and depression.
The prosecutors took steps to cover up Clarkson’s real problems by asking the Los Angeles County Medical Examiners to not conduct the normal psychological autopsy done in such cases. This obstruction of justice was criminal to say the least.
The prosecution made a, Motion to Fix and Judge Filer sustained that motion. The jury was swayed by the avalanche of what should have been inadmissible garbage rather than evidence. The result was a miscarriage of justice.
Lana Clarkson died at her own hands while heavily intoxicated.
Now Phil Spector can watch the Clarkson family loot his estate as he rots in a prison cell for a year or few until his case is reviewed by a higher court.