California Justice, Cont'd
Oh - well, no time for parrot wielding actor Robert Blake (Kid Various has heard him referred to as a star on TV. That's stretching it a bit.)
But, as Mr. Surly pointed out, beating Kid V. to the punch, a California jury has acquitted Blake of the killing of his wife, Bonnie Lee Bakely. Or maybe they weren't married. Maybe she just thought they were married because they kind of had the same last name.
Not to speak ill of the dead, but she was a little crazy.
Bakley had been married several times, had a record for mail fraud and made a living scamming men out of money with nude pictures of herself and promises of sex.
Which segues us into a discussion of what is really interesting about this case, and it's comparison to the other big CA trial (well, one of several) the Scott Peterson case.
As pointed out on today's Lionel Show (710AM NYC WWOR), here we have two cases in which the defendant could not be linked to the crime by any forensic or eye-witness evidence.
Nobody could place Blake or Peterson at the scene of the crime or in possession of the murder weapon. Both cases were entirely circumstantial.Not that circumstantial evidence is not valid, but both cases are characterized by a complete lack of any direct evidence. And in today's jury pool that's been fed a steady diet of three (THREE!) versions of CSI, people are expecting a lot more than,"Well, he was acting real suspicious"
In fact, the CSI effect is something that is troubling prosecutors because jurors are all of a sudden demanding a lot of whiz bang technology driven evidence which simply doesn't exist most of the time. And hey, CSI, guess what? Medical Examiners don't investigate or question suspects. Homicide detectives do that. Haven't you ever watched Homicide, Life On The Streets? (The last good cop show) And also, turn on the f*cking lights in the lab! How can anyone get anyone get any forensic work done in the f*cking dark?
[STOKES] You see this smudge on the fiber?
[STOKES] Right there. The way it's been wiped crossways instead of vertically.
[GRISSOM] I can't see it.
[STOKES] It's right under that groove...
[GRISSOM] Can we turn on the f*cking lights? What are we under a power restriction or something?
And, of course, the biggest and most unlikely technological miracle pulled off by CSI on a weekly basis, the revival of David Caruso's career.
In any case, The Kid digresses.
What was the fundamental difference in these two cases? In both you had absolutely no direct evidence to tie the defendants to the crime. What made one jury go one way and another completely opposite?
The difference was that in the Peterson case, the jury hated him. In the Blake case, the jury hated the victim, Bakely. Peterson played it all wrong from the get go. By some miracle, he avoided leaving any evidence that could incriminate him. But he wasn't properly grieving. He was an adulterer. A scoundrel who also lied to his mistress. And in court, he was not properly chastened and humble. The smirk. The attitude. The jurors
Blake, on the other hand, who's alibi was "I couldn't have killed her because at the time of the murder I was going back to the restaurant to get my gun..." (Kid various don't know nuthin' about no homicidin', but he's pretty sure the police don't want to hear that.) was properly chastened. He seemed fearful, respectful. And old guy, white hair (remember Leland in Twin Peaks?) and more importantly he seemed to have been trapped in a loveless marriage by a wacky and criminal Bakely.
People vote on juries the same way they vote at the ballot box. Not with a rational calculus of the evidence, but rather about how they feel about the people involved in the trial. Much more important than the actual facts is the way that jurors perceive defendants and witness to be credible or not credible. This is almost exclusively based on intuition and feeling. Again, to make an analogy, it's not part of the "reality based" community. It's relegated to the sphere of the "perception based."
Which is why Kid Various will now give Michael Jackson some free legal advice.
Wear a freakin' suit you freak!