The rantings of a Public Defender constantly fighting against society's pervasive Police Industrial Complex. Enjoy the unique perspective of one whose life's work is to fight the system through the system.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Robert Blake - Toast!?

I haven't been following the Robert Blake trial all that closely, and I don't think I've blogged on it at all. It seems to me, based on everything I've read (which, mind you, is limited to the LA Times coverage of the trial), that Robert Blake's only hope is that his celebrity wows the jury. I wouldn't bet on it. I think that the days when celebrities were immune to guilty verdicts are long gone - think Martha Stewart and Winona Ryder. Nowadays, judges are much less star struck, and much more careful to screen these things out during jury selection. It is harder for stars to get away with things, and I say that this is just fine.

That being said, I don't see how even a star struck judge and jury could help but find Robert Blake guilty. Yeah, I know, it's a circumstantial evidence case, there is no direct evidence of his doing the shooting, but puleeeese! What did he do beforehand, hit up half of Hollywood's stunt men and extras asking if they'd "whack" or "pop" his wife? Here's a hint, Blake, if you're going to hit your wife, go professional, or do it yourself - early, not after having expressed your intentions to the whole city.

Blake's case reminds me of an old Saturday Night Live sketch about the "Death of Buckwheat" (people under 35 who don't watch old SNL episodes can probably stop reading now). The sketch made fun of the way that the media venerated well known killers, profiling them lovingly with long conversations with their friends and family who expressed shock that their family member would actually do the heinous acts they did. The killer of Buckwheat, though, while being venerated, had expressed a desire to kill Buckwheat most of his life, telling everyone he wanted to kill Buckwheat, his high school yearbook has him named most likely to kill Buckwheat, etc. So while everyone is saying what a nice person he is, how he was quiet, kept to himself, never bothered everyone, when the question came "do you think he could have killed Buckwheat?" Everyone answered "absolutely." You had to see it, but it was very funny.

I get the feeling that Blake could have been named "most likely to kill Bonnie Lee Bakely. Yes, she appears to have been a despicable person, and clearly there were other people out there who also wanted to off her (which the Judge has, I think, impermissibly restricted the defense from bringing out, but more on that later). However, this guy really seems to have not just hated her, but to have tried to do everything to rid himself of her. The only thing we don't have is a tape recording of him crying, anguished, "Who will rid me of this meddlesome wife!"

And I think that Blake will continue the trend of actors going down for the count in the courts.

Then again, I lost $5 on the OJ case, so what do I know.


Blogger saltypig said...

i object to the inclusion of martha stewart in a post where you say, "It is harder for stars to get away with things, and I say that this is just fine." a non-star might never have been charged with the ridiculous portfolio of government-invented "crime" thrown against martha stewart, and almost certainly wouldn't have been found guilty by a jury which, in her case, seems to have been motivated less by justice and more by eagerness to shove her success up her gazoo (simply read comments by jurors after the ridiculous verdict).

martha stewart committed no crime. she was not found guilty of government-invented "insider trading", but rather of lying to a government agent. would that juries, and you, were as zealous to see government agents held to account for the manifold lies they tell every day while taking our wealth from us by force to feed themselves.

anybody happy to see martha stewart in jail is a full-blown sicko. it is only a profound lack of empathy which could cheer what was done to that peaceful woman. remember, the jail cell you wish upon someone else for "lying" to a government official may one day be the same one set aside for you. it is absolutely not funny, nor to be taken lightly. "lying" to a government official? give her a medal, and may her kind flourish.

2/10/2005 9:11 PM

Blogger PD Dude said...

Whoa there salty, pour a little sugar on it. Read through my blog, you'll never find a spot in the past where I've showed the slightest inclination to approve of Martha's prosecution. My only point is that it's good that celebrities the same treatment as the rest of us (or, as I'm more concerned about, as my poor, mostly minority clients are treated).

Martha was not punished as much for her celebrity as for her political status, which is even worse. Her situation never even made it into the press until the Republicans in the House of Representatives were so desperate to deflect attention from Enron and World Com that they went after her and Waksel (both big Democratic contributors). The subsequent prosecution stemmed from that witch-hunt.

I never suggested that the case against her was of any value whatsoever, and I certainly don't believe that it is. To the extent that they went after her because she's high profile, that's a pity. However, she's received just about every benefit in life through her celebrity, and getting the shaft due to it (through one means or another) is all part of the game. When you're in the public's eye, you have to expect that greater scrutiny. She just didn't get the celebrity benefit of the doubt that celebrities so often received in the past.

Agree with her prosecution? No, I don't (although I'm pretty certain that she had inside info to make the trade and lied about it). Feel pity on her for being singled out due to her celebrity? No, I don't, but I do feel very angry that she was singled out due to her political beliefs. Ultimately, though, she was just like so many of my less sophisticated clients - she just couldn't keep her mouth shut, and that's what got her into trouble.

2/10/2005 10:24 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

blake is not the trigger man, but the $$$ man; however as unjust as this may sound, this female, not a woman, not a lady was destined for trouble...let me guess - porn business, ugly body, nasty person, gives birth to beautiful baby - brando"s - no, but blakes - come on, is this the lady you would bring home to mama? no - even her children are incested

2/23/2005 4:39 PM

Blogger A Voice of Sanity said...

Agree with her prosecution? No, I don't (although I'm pretty certain that she had inside info to make the trade and lied about it). Feel pity on her for being singled out due to her celebrity? No, I don't, but I do feel very angry that she was singled out due to her political beliefs.

I note that neither Waksel nor Peter Bacanovic transmitted the information to Stewart, and Stewart didn't obtain the information as a result of being an insider. The government's own witness, who got a pass, was the one who took insider information to an outsider.

Makes you think.

8/12/2007 4:57 PM


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