Spector Mistrial: An Expensive Defense, Prosecution Flaws


Every time the 1965 Righteous Brothers song “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin” is played on the radio, producer and co-writer Phil Spector makes money. The Los Angeles Times says Spector used that bundle of cash, as well as money from other signature songs of the ’60s and ’70s, to hire seven lawyers, a bevy of forensic experts and several private investigators to mount a defense against a second-degree murder charge. After a jury told Judge Larry Paul Fidler that it was hopelessly deadlocked yesterday, legal experts said Spector’s ability to finance a more elaborate defense than 99 percent of other murder defendants played a key role in his being able to walk away free, pending a retrial. “Whether you are buying a car, a boat or a defense, the bigger the budget, the better the ride,” said Robert Hirschhorn, a Houston jury consultant who has worked on many high-profile cases.

“I think the money Spector used for forensic experts” was well spent, said Loyola law professor Stan Goldman. Most defendants don’t have more than $100,000 to spend on someone like forensic pathologist Michael Baden, who spent several years working on the case. The jury foreman cited three factors that played a role in the mistrial. They included the prosecution’s failure to present a psychological profile of victim Lana Clarkson to counter defense witnesses who suggested she had committed suicide. The foreman cited the prosecution’s failure to establish that Spector had held the gun when Clarkson was shot. The foreman also said that a driver’s testimony that he heard Spector say “I think I killed somebody” was undercut by DeSouza’s videotaped remark to police that his English was not perfect and that he was not positive about what he had heard.

Link: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/la-me-celebrity27sep27,0,4228013.story?coll=la-home-center

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