Tom Mesereau: such hearsay merited Capital Punishment

  by Helena on

This is what TOM MESEREAU, Michael Jackson´s principal defense attorney in 2005, said about the treatment Michael used to receive from his former lawyers, the coverage of court proceedings by the press and the unique practice of introducing the 1993 hearsay into the 2005 case:

“The prosecution was permitted to introduce evidence that Jackson had settled other claims of child molestation in civil court. The actual dollar amounts were not admitted (as if anyone hadn´t heard them!). It was also permitted to introduce evidence of alleged prior similar acts of child molestation. Prosecutors were permitted to introduce such evidence extending back 10 years.

As icing on the cake, the court permitted them to call third-party witnesses who watched the alleged acts without any requirement that the actual alleged victims testify.

During the prosecution´s rebuttal, the court permitted the prosecutors to play a police interview tape of the alleged victim. Of course, this was rank hearsay. The theory of admissibility was that I had challenged the demeanor of the alleged victim and the tape was relevant to rebut.

Five lawyers testified. Three were called by the prosecution and two by the defense. I have always believed that lawyers are the easiest witnesses to discredit. Throw them any measure of flattery and the seeds of arrogance are sown.

We had more good days in this trial than anyone can reasonably expect. But the public never saw how many prosecution witnesses were scorched on cross-examination.

The judge imposed a gag order, which I supported. While this permitted more flexibility in court, it made the trial easily distorted by self-serving pundits. I would often return to my duplex, turn on the TV and turn apoplectic at what was being reported. Quite often, former prosecutors in New York would wax passionately about how a witness behaved.

Their theatrics were totally lacking in substance or accuracy. I thought we were winning all along. But the media reported the very opposite.

And, of course, jealous, shallow legal pundits had a field day criticizing my performance. To them, God help any lawyer who engaged in unconventional trial behavior. SUCH HEARSAY MERITED CAPITAL PUNISHMENT.

My reaction to this cauldron was stoicism and a hermit-like existence. Our team lived in condominiums far from the media hotels, restaurants and bars. I was in bed at 7:30 most evenings with a 3 a.m. start. Our staff worked all night updating witness books and performing other chores. Because they had a key to my apartment, the door would open virtually every hour with updated binders appearing miraculously on my stairwell. We lived like this for six months.

In the wake of his passing, I am haunted by certain late-night phone calls I received from Michael. Childlike, kindhearted and terrified, Michael begged me not to allow corrupt enemies to co-opt my performance. He seemed skeptical about any lawyer truly acting in an honorable, professional manner.

I repeatedly assured him that my background had more to do with civil rights than it did Hollywood. THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS CELEBRITY WAS NOT ACCUSTOMED TO HONEST, DECENT REPRESENTATION.

The 14 acquittals were tantamount to complete legal vindication.

Nevertheless, I write this with a heavy heart. Michael was one of the kindest, nicest people I ever met. His wistful desire to heal the world with love, music and artistry clashed horribly with the barbaric way he was exploited.

The world is a far better place because of him”. Meserau & Yu

Thank you Helena for your generosity sharing your investigation!