- ‘Welcome to the edge of freedom’: Biden’s boots touch down in DMZ
- Obama: Hole U.S. ‘digging out of’ requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
California court rejects Phil Spector appeal
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A California appeals court rejected music producer Phil Spector’s bid to overturn his murder conviction on Monday, saying it was permissible for prosecutors to call a parade of women who said Spector had threatened them with guns in the past.
A three-member panel of the state 2nd District Court of Appeal affirmed Spector’s conviction in a strongly worded, 81-page decision rejecting a number of claims made by defense attorney Dennis Riordan.
The judges also dismissed the contention that actress Lana Clarkson was despondent and might have killed herself with a gun at Spector’s home. In making that ruling, the panel pointed to evidence from her mother that suggested Clarkson was hopeful about the future.
In addition, the judges found there was neither judicial nor prosecutorial misconduct at the trial, and that the testimony of five women who claimed Spector threatened them with guns was properly admitted, even though some of the incidents dated back 30 years.
Spector was never charged in those instances. Still, the judges said the testimony showed a pattern of gun-related behavior.
Spector’s lawyer said the women’s testimony was inflammatory.
Riordan also issued a statement later in the day saying the appellate decision “does not begin to adequately address the prosecution’s remarkable assault on constitutional rights to a neutral judge and to cross-examine all adverse witnesses.”
Riordan said the same was true of the ruling on evidentiary questions.
On another topic, the judicial panel approved a general inference by a witness that Spector was a misogynist who expressed hatred of women and said he wanted to blow their heads off.
Spector was convicted two years ago of shooting the actress to death at his Alhambra mansion in 2003. He’s serving 19 years to life in prison on a second-degree murder conviction. His first trial ended in a hung jury; the second in conviction.
The opinion, written by appellate Justice Joan Dempsey Klein and concurred with by Justices Patti Kitchings and Richard D. Aldrich, validated the actions of Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler in every instance challenged by the defense.
On the tape, Fidler was seen interpreting the testimony of a key forensic witness about the position of blood spatter on Clarkson’s body. Riordan said the judge had taken on the role of a witness. The appeals court disagreed.
“A trial court’s power, indeed its responsibility, to clarify testimony is well-settled in California,” the decision said.
The justices also rejected the claim that prosecutors crossed a line in closing arguments when they accused defense experts of testifying a certain way because they were paid a lot of money.
The appeals court said, “Harsh and colorful attacks on the credibility of opposing witness are permissible.”
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Snow storm sucker punch: U.S. hit by winter wave
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Dick Cheney: Family feud over gay marriage has been 'dealt with'
- Craigslist killers: Police say newlyweds stabbed man for thrills
- Obama tries to calm Israeli fears over Iranian nuke deal 'not based on trust'
- Rush Limbaugh: Obama trying to make Mandela death about himself
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
Opinion, analysis, and musings on politics, pop culture, reinvention, and the resultant flotsam and jetsam floating around the right-of-center quadrant of the Left Coast.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
White House pets gone wild!