Published Mar 12, 2010Ah, the judicial system. It seems like not a single high-profile murder conviction doesn't go by without a team of high-priced defence lawyers filing some sort of appeal.
Well, that's exactly what's happening in the music world's most infamous court case in quite some time: the murder trial of legendary producer Phil Spector. According to the Associated Press, Spector's lawyers have asked a U.S. appeals court to throw out his second-degree murder conviction on the grounds of judicial error and prosecution misconduct.
In a 148-page appeal filed Wednesday (March 10), Spector's lawyers cite many reasons why they say he was denied a fair trial for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson, who was found shot through the mouth in Spector's home seven years ago. The lawyers have asked the California Second District Court of Appeal to reverse the verdict and begin a new trial.
If the appeal passes, this would be the third time Spector's case would be tried in a court of law. The first trial ended in a jury deadlock, while the second one convicted Spector of 19 years to life in prison.
Among the issues raised by the defence team are the improper use of witness testimony, evidence being admitted into court by the judge (a legal no-no), and inflammatory attacks by the prosecutors against the defence and the defendant himself. They also claim the prosecutors were guilty of egregious conduct when they accused the defence of bribing key witnesses. The state attorney general's office is set to file a reply to the appeal next month.
A gripping documentary film about Spector, entitled The Agony and Ecstasy of Phil Spector, was released last year and it details the murder case and the trial.
Meanwhile, Spector has been sitting in jail for almost a year already. And, yes, he's still looking a lot like Gollum.