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As the hearing for Jackson got under way Wednesday, newly filed court papers disclosed that the judge had offered to disqualify himself from handling the cases against Jackson and his wife.

As a Harvard Law School student, Wilkins said he had supported the presidential campaign of Jackson’s father and that as an attorney in 1999, Wilkins had been a guest on a show hosted by Jackson’s father.

Prosecutors and lawyers for the couple said they were willing to proceed with the cases with Wilkins presiding. Judicial ethics require that a judge disqualify himself if his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.