Monday, March 28, 2005

 

People v. Jackson, results of the 1108 hearing

If I had to place a bet, I'd put all of my money on the fact that Michael Jackson's defense team will be burning the midnight oil after this decision was passed down by the judge this morning.
In a major setback for Michael Jackson, a judge ruled Monday the jury can hear allegations the pop star molested or had designs on five other boys, including actor Macaulay Culkin and two youngsters who reached multimillion-dollar settlements with the singer.

Now, all of you legal scholars outside of California are sitting there, scratching your heads, wondering how a prior allegation that resulted in an out of court settlement can be brought up during trial by the prosecution. Well, there's a lovely new penal code in California, established in the mid-90's, that allows for prior alleged acts of molestation to be presented to the jury, although the jury cannot use the information to decide guilt, but only as a point of reference. Sound tricky? It is, and most defense lawyers hate it with a passion, because even though the jury can not use it as evidence, it still can not be considered heresay, thus making it a valid reference point. For your reference, here's a copy of the entire code.

California Penal Code 1108:

(a) In a criminal action in which the defendant is accused of a sexual offense, evidence of the defendant's commission of another sexual offense or offenses is not made inadmissible by Section 1101, if the evidence is not inadmissible pursuant to Section
352.

(b) In an action in which evidence is to be offered under this section, the people shall disclose the evidence to the defendant, including statements of witnesses or a summary of the substance of any testimony that is expected to be offered, at least 30 days before the scheduled date of trial or at such later time as the court may allow for good cause.

(c) This section shall not be construed to limit the admission or consideration of evidence under any other section of this code.

(d) As used in this section, the following definitions shall apply:

(1) "Sexual offense" means a crime under the law of a state or of the United States that involved any of the following:

(A) Any conduct proscribed by Section 243.4, 261, 261.5, 262, 264.1, 266c, 286, 288, 288a, 288.2, 288.5, or 289, or subdivision (b), (c), or (d) of Section 311.2 or Section 311.3, 311.4, 311.10, 311.11, 314, or 647.6, of the Penal Code. (B) Contact, without consent, between any part of the defendant's body or an object and the genitals or anus of another person.(C) Contact, without consent, between the genitals or anus of the defendant and any part of another person's body.(D) Deriving sexual pleasure or gratification from the infliction of death, bodily injury, or physical pain on another person.(E) An attempt or conspiracy to engage in conduct described in this paragraph.

(2) "Consent" shall have the same meaning as provided in Section 261.6 of the Penal Code, except that it does not include consent which is legally ineffective because of the age, mental disorder, or developmental or physical disability of the victim.


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