“D.S.” – Michael Jackson
They wanna get my ass
Dead or alive
You know he really tried to take me
Down by surpriseI bet he missioned with the CIA
He don’t do half what he sayDom Sheldon is a cold man
Dom Sheldon is a cold man
Dom Sheldon is a cold man
Dom Sheldon is a cold manHe out shock in every single way
He’ll stop at nothing just to get his political say
He think he bad cause he’s BSTA
I bet he never had a social life anyway
You think he brother with the KKK?
I know his mother never taught himright anyway
He want your vote just to remain TA.
He don’t do half what he sayDom Sheldon is a cold man [x2]
Dom Sheldon is a cold man
Dom Sheldon is a cold man
Dom Sheldon is a cold manDoes he send letters to the FBI?
Did he say to either do it or die?
Dom Sheldon is a cold man [x2]
Dom Sheldon is a cold man
Dom Sheldon is a cold man
Dom Sheldon is a cold man
THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY
– After having spent millions of dollars on the Michael Jackson investigation in 1993, District Attorney Tom Sneddon did not find enough evidence to bring charges against the pop star.
– Over the next few years, Sneddon and several of his employees made numerous statements to the press where they implied that there was indeed evidence to corroborate Jordan Chandler’s story. They failed to explain, however, why two grand juries did not indict Michael Jackson if such evidence actually existed.
– According to reporter Geraldo Rivera, members of the Santa Barbara Police Department were shown footage of the strip search of Jackson’s genitalia. “I’ve got a videotape that was shown to every cop in Santa Barbara of Michael Jackson’s penis,” Rivera said.
– In 1995, Jackson wrote a song about Tom Sneddon that appeared on his album HIStory: Past, Present and Future Book I. In the song, Jackson claims that he was over-targetted by the DA’s office and accuses Sneddon of being obsessed with attaining political fame. Click here to read the lyrics. (Because Michael Jackson couldn’t actually use Tom Sneddon’s name, he titled it D.S. for legal reasons.)
– Many legal experts dismissed the idea that Sneddon would prosecute Jackson solely for his own self-aggrandizement but perhaps there are other motives involved. According to Thambiah Sundaram, a dentist who filed and won a lawsuit against Santa Barbara prosecutors in 1996, the commercial prospects of Neverland might be one factor influencing authorities’ relentless pursuit of Jackson.
– In 1994, Sundaram attended a private fundraising event where he allegedly heard Sneddon discuss a plan to run Jackson out of Santa Barbara and turn Neverland into a winery. According to Sundaram, Sneddon planned to do this by finding another child to accuse Jackson of sexual abuse. While Sundaram’s allegations are difficult to prove or disprove at this point, it is a widely known fact that winemaking is the leading agricultural industry in Santa Barbara, accounting for about $360 million of the county’s annual economy. The Santa Ynez Valley, where Jackson owns almost 3,000 acres of land, is particularly well suited for growing grapes because of its ideal climate and soil conditions. Numerous wineries located in the Santa Ynez Valley are looking to expand but there isn’t enough available land in the area to do so.
– Whether or not Sundaram’s allegations have any merit remains to be seen, but there are other facts that point to Sneddon having a vendetta against Michael Jackson. Sneddon said in a press conference that after 1993, he changed certain California laws pertaining to child molestation specifically because of the Michael Jackson case.
– In 1995, Sneddon told Vanity Fair magazine: “The state of the investigation [of Jackson] is in suspension until somebody comes forward.”
– Upon viewing the Living with Michael Jackson documentary that aired in February 2003, Sneddon saw an opportunity to re-open the case. In a press statement released on February 6, 2003, Sneddon said: “After conversations with Sheriff Jim Anderson, it was agreed that the BBC broadcast would be taped by the Sheriff’s Department. It is anticipated that it will be reviewed.”
– Regarding Jackson’s comments that there is nothing wrong with sharing a bedroom with a child, Sneddon replied by saying it was, “unusual at best. For this reason, all local departments having responsibility in this are taking the matter seriously.” He then urged any victims to come forward. Read the full press release here.
– Shortly after this statement was released, Sneddon gave an interview to tabloid reporter Diane Dimond where he discussed the 1993 case.
– Coincidentally, the boy who appeared in Living with Michael Jackson – the documentary that Sneddon taped and watched – is the same boy who ended up becoming Jackson’s second accuser. Did Sneddon have something to do with this boy coming forward?
– During his testimony at a pre-trial hearing, Sneddon admitted to having met with the second accuser’s mother in an empty parking lot to give her papers that would qualify her for a state victim’s fund. He also personally investigated the second set of allegations against Michael Jackson, a job that is supposed to be carried out by investigators.
– Linda Fairstein, a leading sex crimes prosecutor, said of Sneddon’s actions: “It’s way too personal. It’s way out of line. If he does any substantive parts of an investigation, he may become a witness in the case.” She continued: “It lets these very talented defense attorneys take him apart before the jury and explain that it’s not his place to do that. He creates trouble in and out of the courtroom for himself by taking on that role.”
– Although the accusing family’s story had numerous holes in it, Sneddon went forward with the case and pressed charges. Read on to learn about the second set of allegations against Michael Jackson.
You’ve already read about Tom Sneddon’s ten year vendetta against Michael Jackson. It seems that Sneddon is not trying to hide the fact that he has it in for Jackson. Read about the unfair treatment Jackson has received since authorities raided Neverland:
1. During the raid of Neverland, police went into areas that they were not permitted to go into and took items that were not on the search warrant.
2. According to a motion filed by the defense, Sneddon conducted an illegal search of the office of Bradley Miller. Because Miller worked for Jackson’s former defense attorney Mark Geragos, anything taken from his office falls under the category of attorney/client privilege. Sneddon tried to justify his search by claiming he did not know that Miller worked for Geragos. In court, however, it was revealed that Sneddon was caught on tape admitting to having known about Miller and Geragos’ working relationship at the time of the raid. Sneddon claimed he was tired when he made this taped statement and did not mean what he said.
3. Sneddon waited until November 18th- the day Jackson’s Number Ones album was released- to raid Neverland. He claimed that he knew about the allegations since June but didn’t take action until November because of Halloween. (Yes, we wouldn’t want to upset anyone’s trick-or-treating experience, so let’s let an alleged pedophile run around for five months and finally raid his house on the day that his new CD comes out.)
4. During the press conference announcing the accusations against Michael Jackson, Tom Sneddon laughed and made several jokes at Jackson’s expense.
5. Sneddon acknowledged that Jackson was investigated for suspected child abuse in February but said “don’t assume it’s the same family.” He knew it was the same family, why did he make this statement?
6. At the press conference, Sneddon invited more victims to come forward.
7. Sneddon said that California law was changed so that child victims in a molestation case could be forced to testify. This was a lie; the law was changed so that if a civil suit was filed, it would remain inactive until the criminal trial was resolved.
8. Sneddon swore that the family was after justice and not money even though it is a widely known fact that they went to a civil lawyer first.
9. Jackson’s bail amount was set at $3 million; this amount is excessive compared to the amount that other Defendants in child molestation cases have to pay. Jackson’s lawyers recently filed a motion challenging the bail amount but their request was denied by Judge Rodney Melville. Melville sided with the prosecution, stating that because Jackson is rich, his bail should be higher than that of other Defendants. He did not use any laws to support his decision. (The court of appeals later questioned Melville’s ruling and asked him to provide a better justification for his decision)
10. Sneddon gave an interview to tabloid journalist Diane Dimond where he referred to Michael Jackson as “Jacko Wacko.”
11. Dimond admitted to knowing about the allegations months in advance. Why was the DA leaking information to a tabloid journalist?
12. Sneddon delayed filing charges until December so that the Santa Barbara Police Department could set up a website exclusively for members of the press.
13. Sneddon enlisted the help of a PR firm to deal with the media. Tellem, the PR firm working for Sneddon, also works for Dave Schwartz, the stepfather of Jackson’s first accuser.
14. Sneddon dismissed the Department of Children and Family Services investigation as an “interview” and accused the DCFS of being incompetent. It turns out that his own department also investigated Michael Jackson in February and came back with the same “unfounded” ruling as the DCFS.
15. In December, Jackson told Sixty Minutes that he was roughly handled by police officers when he was arrested; he showed photographic evidence to substantiate his claims. The SBPD responded to Jackson’s allegations by releasing audio clips of Jackson whistling in the car before he was booked. Jackson, however, did not claim that he was abused on his way to the station. The only mistreatment he alleged before the booking was when the handcuffs were put on but you can hear him on the audiotape complaining about the handcuffs being too tight.
The actual abuse was not alleged to have occurred until Jackson was brought into the booking station. The SBPD did not show any footage of Jackson in the booking station, claiming that they did not film Jackson’s booking because they didn’t anticipate that there would be any problems. This contradicts their explanation as to why they recorded Jackson on his way to the station; they said they taped Jackson because it was a high-profile arrest and they wanted to ensure that everything was handled appropriately. In that case, why didn’t they tape Jackson in the booking station?
16. Sheriff Jim Anderson said that if Michael Jackson’s claims of police abuse turned out to be false, he would charge Jackson with making a false complaint. Since Jackson never actually made a formal complaint, Anderson’s statement is not in accordance with the law.
17. Attorney General Bill Lockyer was asked by Anderson to investigate Jackson’s claims in December; almost seven months later, he still has not issued any statement regarding his findings.
18. Jackson also alleged during the interview that he still had not received a list of what was taken from Neverland.
19. The alleged victim’s parents are currently in the midst of a custody battle. Sneddon wrote a letter to the judge in the custody proceedings requesting that the boy be kept from seeing his father. Why would the District Attorney care if the boy saw his father? What does this have to do with the molestation case? Perhaps Sneddon does not want the boy to change his story once he’s no longer under the influence of his mother.
20. To date, Sneddon has obtained 69 search warrants, including warrants to search Jackson’s bank statements, financial records and security boxes. Please tell me what evidence of child molestation does Sneddon hope to find in Jackson’s financial records?
21. Eight months after arresting Michael Jackson, Sneddon has still failed to hand over all of his evidence to the defense. How are Jackson’s attorneys supposed to prepare for the trial?
22. Court documents filed by the prosecution indicate that Sneddon sends his investigators to read fan discussion boards like MJJForum.
23. Sneddon took his case to a grand jury in order to avoid a public preliminary hearing. This is unfair to the Defendant.
24. The charges from the criminal complaint are completely different from the charges in the indictment. After the inconsistencies in Sneddon’s case were brought to the attention of the public, the timeline of alleged abuse changed, the number of times the abuse allegedly occurred changed and allegations of kidnapping have suddenly materialized. Why is this?
25. Jackson’s defense team recently filed a 126-page motion asking for the indictment to be thrown out. The document states that during the grand jury proceedings, Sneddon bullied witnesses, failed to properly present exculpatory evidence, refused to let the jurors question the prosecution witnesses and provided the jurors with a false legal definition of the term “conspiracy” (for which Jackson was indicted). The motion says: “There is simply no evidence that Mr. Jackson had the specific intent to agree or conspire with anyone about anything.”
26. The grand jury transcripts reveal that Sneddon allowed the accuser’s mother to refer to Jackson as “the devil” when she testified.
27. Although she has never even met Michael Jackson, a woman who worked for him for 10 days was the prosecution’s key witness to the alleged conspiracy. When she testified in front of the grand jury, she answered questions with: “I’m not sure,” “I guess,” “I assume,” “I don’t know exactly,” and “I think.” Sneddon allowed her to proceed even though she clearly had no knowledge of any alleged conspiracy.
28. A defense motion reveals that Sneddon used Jackson’s preference for a clean household as evidence that he was the mastermind of a criminal conspiracy. Seriously. The motion reads: “It is simply not reasonable to infer that Mr. Jackson’s preference for a well run household demonstrates the specific intent to commit crimes. Evidence that Mr. Jackson would complain to his staff when household chores were not done properly is not evidence that he was directing a criminal conspiracy.”
29. While at a District Attorney’s convention in Canada, Sneddon broke the gag order in the case and inadvertently revealed prosecutorial misconduct on his part. He told his fellow DAs that: “We sent letters to some people saying we intended to call them as witnesses in order to keep them off TV.” As it turns out, a journalist from the Globe and Mail was at the conference and printed his comments in a newspaper. Sneddon’s behaviour drew criticism from many legal experts who felt this was an abuse of power on Sneddon’s part. Jackson’s lawyers also brought Sneddon’s comments to the attention of Judge Melville, asking him to clarify whether or not Sneddon had violated the gag order.
30. According to a motion filed by the defense, the amount of search warrants that have been given to them by the prosecution does not match the amount of search warrants that have actually been issued by the prosecution. Six search warrants are missing, 10 affidavits used to support the search warrants have been heavily redacted and 49 affidavits used to support the search warrants have not been given to the defense at all. What is Sneddon hiding?
31. Sneddon has been ordered to testify about his illegal raid of Bradley Miller’s office. The accuser’s mother, her former civil lawyer Bill Dickerman and the therapist who reported the allegations to the police have also been subpoenaed to testify. Sneddon tried to quash their subpoenas so that they would not have to appear in court; the judge denied his request.
According to the defense team: “There is no case in the history of the state of California that has condoned anything like the abuse of power demonstrated in this grand jury proceeding.”
Sneddon’s prosecutorial misconduct in the Michael Jackson case is not an isolated incident; in fact, several other people have accused him of malicious prosecution.
WHAT’S GOING ON IN SANTA BARBARA?
While it is obvious that District Attorney Tom Sneddon has a vendetta against Michael Jackson, there are other allegations of abuse on Sneddon’s part that have been ignored by the mainstream media. The following people have accused Sneddon and his employees of malicious prosecution, conspiracy, abuse of power and civil rights violations.
And these are just the cases that have been made public…
The Adams Brothers
Nuevo Energy Company
Members of the SBPD
Police Abuse Lawsuit
The case Sneddon ignored
Conrad Jess Zapien
James William Herring
Richard Joal Wagner
In November 2003, Santa Barbara defense attorney Gary Dunlap filed a $10 million lawsuit against Tom Sneddon, accusing him of racketeering, witness tampering, conspiracy and malicious prosecution. Earlier that year, Sneddon had charged Dunlap with perjury, witness intimidation, filing false documents and preparing false documents in a case that Dunlap had handled. Dunlap was acquitted on all charges but claims his reputation has been irreparably harmed as a result of the proceedings. In an interview with Online Legal Review’s Ron Sweet, Dunlap claimed that Sneddon stacked the charges against him in order to get a conviction on at least one count; apparently, this is a common occurrence in Sneddon’s office. Dunlap also discussed Sneddon’s frequent abuse of power and claimed that there are other lawyers who have seen this. A judge recently upheld most of Dunlap’s lawsuit and the case will soon go to trial unless a civil settlement is reached.
In related news, Dunlap’s lawyer Joe Freeman recently sent a complaint asking that federal, state and county officials investigate Tom Sneddon and members of the Santa Barbara Police Department for misconduct. “In my opinion, the matters to be investigated are the possible criminal violations of several felony and misdemeanour statutes, including conspiracy, illegal taping, deceiving a court and a prosecutor illegally assisting the defense of a case,” Freeman said in his complaint. “I respectfully request that the U.S. Attorney, the California Attorney General, the Santa Barbara County Grand Jury and the State Bar open investigations and seek whatever sanctions are found to be warranted against Sneddon and his staff.” In response to the allegations, the SBPD’s attorney Jake Stoddard said that Sneddon and his employees are immune from legal action because they are prosecutors.
In 2001, a man named Efren Cruz filed a federal lawsuit against Santa Barbara prosecutors accusing them of negligence and conspiracy to keep him in prison. The lawsuit also accused District Attorney Tom Sneddon of malicious prosecution. Cruz was incarcerated for four years after being convicted of murder in 1997. The lawsuit claimed that prosecutors had evidence favourable to Cruz but failed to hand it over to the defense before the trial. After Cruz was convicted, the real murderer was caught on tape confessing to the crime. Regardless, Santa Barbara prosecutors stood by their conviction until the case was taken to a higher court where Cruz was exonerated.
Thambiah Sundaram’s contentious relationship with Santa Barbara authorities began when he opened a non-profit dental clinic in the county and began to attain political status as a result. After unsuccessfully trying to have the clinic shut down, authorities arrested Sundaram for grand theft, impersonating a doctor and malicious mischief. His wife was also arrested and an employee at the clinic was later charged with committing a drive-by shooting. All three were found not guilty. Sundaram sued Sneddon and his employees for conspiracy, false imprisonment and several civil rights violations. He was awarded almost $300,000 in damages.
Sundaram also attended a private fundraising dinner in 1994 where Tom Sneddon and other government officials allegedly discussed their plans to get rid of certain individuals in Santa Barbara who owned substantial amounts of land. Michael Jackson’s property was allegedly brought up during this meeting; Sundaram claimed that authorities wanted to acquire Neverland for vineyards.
Slick Gardner is a horse rancher who owns 2,000 acres of land in Santa Barbara. In 2003, Gardner was investigated for animal abuse after his neighbours reported that some of his horses looked unhealthy. Around the same time the allegations hit, Gardner ran for 3rd District Supervisor against John Buttny, Steve Pappas and Brooks Firestone. Firestone – who owns a successful winery in Santa Barbara and who also has political ties to Tom Sneddon and former Sheriff Jim Thomas – won the election by a landslide. As a result of the bad publicity from the animal abuse allegations, Gardner got the least amount of votes.
While investigating Gardner for animal abuse, Santa Barbara authorities also stumbled upon evidence of grand theft. Gardner was charged with 12 felony counts and hired defense attorney Steve Balash to represent him in the case. Balash later backed out of the case saying it was too complicated.
According to Gardner, Sneddon has had a grudge against him for 30 years and is only prosecuting him out of spite. “It just seems like it’s almost a vendetta deal. These guys are going so far out of their way to do things to me that normally wouldn’t be done,” Gardner said.
“The same thing that’s happening to Michael Jackson happened to me. One day Sneddon is going to wake up with a boot up his ass with a white glove in it, and it will be about time.”
Judge Rodney Melville, the same judge who will be presiding over Michael Jackson’s trial, is also involved in Gardner’s case.
Adams Bros. Farming, Inc.
In 1997, the Adams brothers purchased 268-acres of land in Orcutt and began agricultural grading on the site. 95-acres of their land was deemed an “environmentally sensitive wetland” by Santa Barbara authorities, which prevented the farmers from using it.
The brothers filed a lawsuit against the County in 2000, alleging that officials had falsely designated a portion of their land as wetland in an attempt to jeopardize the company’s financial earnings. At the request of Santa Barbara County officials, Judge Rodney Melville dismissed the brothers’ action. The brothers took their case to an appeals court where Melville’s decision was overturned.
The Court of Appeals ruled that the County had violated the company’s constitutional right to use its land and that the County and a county consultant had conspired to interfere with the company’s income.
Emilio Sutti is a dairyman and farmer who recently filed a $10 million lawsuit against Santa Barbara County, claiming to have been the target of a government conspiracy to interfere with his company’s profits. Sutti alleged that Santa Barbara authorities have been targeting his family’s land for years. The battle began when Emilio’s brother and business partner Ed was sued by Santa Barbara County Planning and Development for alleged environmental and grading ordinance violations.
After winning a partial victory in the lawsuit, Ed Sutti was arrested and indicted for arson, witness intimidation, making terrorist threats, making false statements to an insurer, giving false deposition and four counts of state income tax evasion.
Emilio’s Sutti’s civil lawsuit was handled by Judge Rodney Melville.
Nuevo Energy Company
According to an article from The Lompoc Record: “Nuevo Energy Company has a launched a three-pronged legal attack on Santa Barbara County, claiming it violated state environmental law in using wrong baseline data in an environmental impact report, wasn’t the correct lead agency to prepare the report and wrongly applied mitigation measures in denying the Tranquillon Ridge project.” Judge Rodney Melville presided over the case.
Santa Maria City Attorney Art Montandon recently filed a claim against the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office, alleging that they falsely accused him of bribing a defense attorney in a case that Sneddon was prosecuting. Montandon had evidence favourable to the defense and prosecutors tried to stop him from interfering by threatening to bring bribery charges against him. A judge later ruled that Sneddon’s office had no right to stop Montandon’s involvement in the case.
In a letter, Montandon denied any wrongdoing and lashed out at Sneddon and his employees, saying: “Unlike (Assistant District Attorney Christie) Stanley and current and former members of her office, I have never had my license to practice law suspended by the State Bar, have never been convicted of a crime, and have never been terminated from any attorney job.”
At the end of his letter, Montandon said he would reveal in court: “the full and complete story of not only the District Attorney’s unprofessional conduct, but the inappropriate conduct and motives of others working behind the scenes to cause community conflict.”
Recently, Montandon requested that the State Bar investigate Sneddon and his office for obstruction of justice.
According to Gary Dunlap, when a local judge refused to change her ruling in Sneddon’s favour, Sneddon brought bogus charges against her, ruined her career and publicly humiliated her by exposing that she was a lesbian. When it became apparent to Sneddon that this judge would be a witness in the Gary Dunlap case, he threatened to bring more charges against her. The judge in question is Diana Hall.
On September 29, 2003, Hall was acquitted on charges of battery but eight months later found herself accused of violating campaign laws. On January 16th, 2004, she showed up at Michael Jackson’s arraignment because she wanted to see how Judge Rodney S. Melville handled motions. Hall told reporters: “I’m not being treated well. This has ruined my reputation, and I’m just not going to take it any longer.”
Members of the SBPD
In 2002, Santa Barbara County law enforcement groups filed a lawsuit against Tom Sneddon for threatening the police officers’ right to privacy. The lawsuit stems from a policy which allows the District Attorney’s office to give information about police misconduct to defense attorneys at its own discretion. According to Sgt. Mike McGrew, “It’s confusing. He’s an aggressive DA. There are actually no files right now on any officers in Santa Barbara. We really don’t know why he did this.” Future blackmail material perhaps?
David Allen Richardson, Carina Richardson and George Beeghly
In a civil lawsuit that was settled out of court, David Allen Richardson, Carina Richardson George Beeghly sued Sheriff Jim Thomas and several Santa Barbara police officers for unreasonable search and seizure, false arrest/false imprisonment, excessive force, retaliation for exercise of speech and petition rights, conspiracy to violate civil rights, violation of First Amendment right of association, malicious prosecution, negligence, battery and conspiracy and other charges.
The Case Sneddon Ignored
Is Tom Sneddon a concerned government official seeking justice for an allegedly abused child or is he merely a prosecutor with a grudge trying to get a conviction? Sneddon’s handling of a past child molestation case would indicate the latter.
In 2002, David Bruce Danielson, a forensic investigator for the Santa Barbara Police Department, was accused of molesting a 14-year-old girl. After returning home intoxicated, Danielson climbed into his bed where the girl, who was a guest at his home, was sleeping. Danielson admitted to “accidentally” molesting her, claiming he had mistaken her for his wife. Sneddon closed the case stating that there was no evidence to corroborate the girl’s claims.
The girl involved in the case wrote her feelings down in a letter that was published in the Santa Maria Times. “I am astounded at the stupidity the DA showed by allowing this man to be released of all charges. David Danielson may be free, but I am still emotionally trapped. There is not one day that I don’t wish I wouldn’t have come clean.”
About Sneddon’s handling of the Michael Jackson case, the girl’s father said, “Maybe it’s because it is high profile… but still, in her mind it’s the same situation. She’s still angry.”
While it seems that child abuse might not be Tom Sneddon’s first priority, the question still remains whether or not he would really pursue seemingly false allegations in order to carry out his own personal agenda. After learning the facts about the Michael Jackson case and reading through the numerous accusations that have been made against Tom Sneddon, I’ll let you draw your own conclusions about that…
In September 2003, a drama teacher named Druyan Byrne was arrested after police were told that Byrne had photographs of a partially nude 15-year-old girl on his camera. Although the photographs were taken for an art project and were not sexual in nature, authorities insisted on going forward with their case against Byrne.
The girl in the photographs, who was brought in for questioning on five separate occasions, repeatedly denied that anything sexual had transpired between her and Byrne. In response, police told the girl that she was a liar and that it was “obvious to everyone around here that there is some kind of relationship going on.”
Santa Barbara Police Detective Stuart Gardner then lied to the girl, falsely stating that police had proof of Byrne’s past sexual relationships with minors. Although no such evidence actually existed, Gardner convinced the girl that Byrne was a sexual predator and that it was up to her to prevent him from harming anybody else. “I’m just telling you the pattern with these guys. And he fits it to a tee,” Gardner told the girl. “Do you see how this could happen to other girls? Do you see how important you are that this isn’t going to happen to any other girls?”
After being interrogated for hours, the girl finally told Gardner that she and Byrne had kissed on the lips, a statement that she later recanted. “I felt the only way I was going to get out of that room was to tell [Gardner] what he wanted and tell him something happened,” she testified.
The case against Druyan Byrne is still pending. Thanks to MJEOL for the info.
Conrad Jess Zapien
In 1985, Conrad Jess Zapien was arrested for allegedly murdering his brother-in-law’s mistress. While jury selection was underway, Deputy District Attorney Gary Van Camp and investigator Harry Heidt inadvertently came across a tape that belonged to Zapien’s defense counsel. The tape was in a sealed envelope that bore the name of Zapien’s attorney Bill Davis.
Upon finding the package, Van Camp allegedly urged Heidt to open the envelope and listen to the tape. Van Camp later denied ever having made such a statement and both he and Heidt denied ever having listened to the tape, an act that would have violated Zapien’s attorney-client privileges. Rather than return the package to Zapien’s attorney, Heidt discarded of the package by throwing it in a dumpster.
Zapien’s attorney argued that by getting rid of the package, Heidt had “deprived the defense of the only physical evidence it could use to impeach Heidt and Van Camp regarding whether they unsealed the envelope and listened to the tape.” For example, if the envelope was unsealed, he argued, such evidence would have contradicted both Van Camp’s and Heidt’s assertion that they did not open the package. Furthermore, tests could have been conducted on the tape to determine whether or not it had been listened to.
Zapien later filed a motion asking that Tom Sneddon and the entire Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s office be recused from the case. Zapien argued that although Sneddon had taken Van Camp off of the case, he failed to properly investigate the violation of Zapien’s attorney-client privileges. He further argued that Sneddon brought an auto theft charge against him even though there was no credible evidence to support the charge. Zapien’s motion was denied.
In 1985, a man named Anthenasios Boulas retained a lawyer after being arrested for selling cocaine. Shortly after hiring the lawyer, referred to in court documents as “Attorney S,” Boulas also hired a Private Investigator named William Harkness. On Boulas’ behalf, Harkness got in contact with sheriff’s deputy Scott Tunnicliffe to inquire about a possible plea bargain. In exchange for leniency, Boulas would provide authorities with the names of several drug dealers in the area. “Attorney S” was not aware of this potential deal.
After meeting with Boulas and Harkness, Tunnicliffe broached the subject of a plea bargain to Robert Calvert, the Deputy District Attorney at the time. Calvert said that he would only agree to the deal if Boulas fired his attorney and hired a lawyer that met with his approval. After being convinced by Tunnicliffe that “Attorney S” was a drug addict who could not be trusted, Boulas fired him and attempted to find another attorney. Taking the advice of Sheriff’s deputies, he hired “Attorney C,” who later backed out of the case.
Without a lawyer representing him and under the pretense that he would be receiving a plea bargain, Boulas met with authorities and gave them information about several drug dealers in the area. After giving them this information, Boulas was told by authorities that the plea bargain would no longer be possible.
Several months later, Boulas filed a motion to have the charges dismissed. The court ruled that although “conduct by the district attorney’s office and the sheriff’s department interfered with his rights to counsel and to a fair trial,” they would not drop the charges against him.
Boulas then took his case to a higher court where the case was ultimately dismissed. According to documents, the court found the conduct of Sneddon’s office: “outrageous in the extreme, and shocking to the conscience; we are, thereby, compelled to order the dismissal of the present case.”
James William Herring
In 1993, the Santa Barbara District’s Attorney’s office was admonished for making racially insensitive comments during the trial of James William Herring, a biracial man who had been accused of rape. During closing arguments, prosecutors described Herring as “primal man in his most basic level… his idea of being loved is sex. He wouldn’t know what love was. He’s like a dog in heat.”
Herring’s conviction was overturned because of the highly prejudicial, unfounded comments that prosecutors made about him throughout the trial. Prosecutors described him as a “parasite” and made the inference that because Herring was unemployed, he was more likely to have raped the complaining witness. Furthermore, prosecutors made inflammatory comments about defense attorneys in general, saying: “my people are victims. His people are rapists, murderers, robbers, child molesters. He has to tell them what to say. He has to help them plan a defense. He does not want you to hear the truth.” Such a statement created the false impression that anyone who is accused of a crime is guilty.
The Court of Appeals ruled that “the prosecutor’s… statements about a biracial defendant are, at the very least, in bad taste” and that his unfounded remarks about Herring’s defense counsel lead to an unfair conviction. As a result, Herring’s conviction was overturned.
Richard Joal Wagner
In the early 1970s, Richard Joal Wagner was convicted in a Santa Barbara court of selling marijuana. He appealed the jury’s conviction, claiming prosecutorial misconduct during his own cross-examination because prosecutors implied that he had been caught dealing narcotics in the past. Some of the questions asked include:
“Q. Isn’t it true, Mr. Wagner, that in Alaska you are not only in the business of putting up fences, but you are also in the business … of furnishing cocaine a drug, for sale, illegally, isn’t that correct?
“Q. … Isn’t it true that you have in fact sold heroin?
“Q. … To your knowledge, at your place of business, is there any illegal sale of narcotic activity going on?
“Q. … Isn’t it true that on December 30, 1971, that you have received … a shipment of ‘pure pharmacy’ cocaine?
“Q. … Now, isn’t it true that on December 30, 1971, you had in your possession approximately three kilograms of pure pharmacy cocaine . .?
“Q. … Isn’t it true that those three kilograms of cocaine were in a shoebox?”
Although prosecutors failed to present any evidence of Wagner’s alleged past offenses, they created the impression in the minds of the jurors that Wagner had been involved in the sale of narcotics before, thus leading to an unfair conviction. Sneddon was not the District Attorney at the time but he was one of the led prosecutors on the case. The appeals court ruled that the conduct of the District Attorney’s office was prejudicial to the defendant and thus overturned Wagner’s conviction.
All credit goes to: Mjjr.net – http://mjjr.net/content/mjcase/tomsneddon.html
And racism play a HUGE role in Tom Sneddon’s witch hunt against Michael Jackson.
Picture Source: MJJ-777.com http://www.mj-777.com/?p=8062