Dear My2Cents:

Very thoughtful post. I have three questions:

It seems to me that the holding of Hassoldt is that where identity of the actor is in dispute, 1101 “bad acts” evidence may not be used to show intent, lack of accident or mistake, or motive unless the Ewoldt signature test is met. Therefore, whether the possible actors are 20 or are narrowed down to 2, the underlying principle of Hassoldt would seem to apply.

Regarding your reasoning that:

“The evidence that Phil committed 7 prior assaults with a gun against 5 women under very similar circumstances to Lana's situation - tend to show that it was NOT the result of an "accident or mistake" on Lana's part, and therefore, if that is the case - then Phil killed her.”

It seems clear from the panoply of case authority cited by Spector in support of his position on this point that the showing of “similarity” of the crime charged with the prior 1101 incidents must be supplied INDEPENDENTLY and may not rely on inferences drawn from the 1101 evidence itself.

As such, unless you assume, based on the 1101 evidence, that Spector was the actor and that is motive was to prevent Clarkson from leaving, there is no evidence that Spector’s conduct on the night Lana was killed was similar in any way to any of the 1101 incidents.

Q#1: Therefore, on what “similarities” do you rely and what is the independent evidence (apart from inferences drawn from the bad acts themselves) that Spector engaged in that conduct on the night in question?

Second, I am intrigued that you believe Judge Fidler erred in allowing the jury to hear Vincent Tannazo’s testimony that while escorting Spector from a Christmas party at Joan River’s apartment a decade before Lana Clarkson died Spector said “All women are [C-words] who deserve a bullet in the head.”—and yet you do not believe that this error had any potential to affect the verdict.

I don’t recall the exact count, but my recollection is that there were eight women on the jury. The C-word is extremely inflammatory to most women. They hate the word, and they hate any man who uses it. And coupling that with a prior statement that all women deserve a bullet in the head, in a case where they had to primarily determine whether the man who uttered those words was the one who put a bullet in a woman’s head would seem to have the potential to very much tip the balance toward the prosecution.

Q#2: Why, then, do you not believe that the Tannazo testimony was prejudicial?

Third, it seems undeniable that—given prosecution criminalist Lynn Harold’s change in testimony after she testified in trial #1 that the physical evidence could not exclude suicide to (in trial #2) that the physical evidence excluded suicide as a possibility, as well as Harold’s EXCLUSIVE lynchpin for the flip-flop, her “discovery” that Jamie Lintermoot observed (never documented) blood splatter on the back of Clarkson’s wrists—having the trial judge on video tape explaining with words and actions to his own jury that this is PRECISELY where Lintermoot testified in 2007 that she saw blood splatter on Clarkson’s wrists, had huge potential to sway the jury on this CRUCIAL point concerning the ultimate issue in the case: Suicide vs. homicide.

In addition, it is clear that Judge Fidler’s verbal and nonverbal testimony consisted of "out of court" statements (meaning not made at the trial where they were admitted), that were admitted for the truth of the matter asserted, and that there is no applicable exception to the hearsay rule—since the exceptions proffered by the People only apply to the testimony of “parties” to the case. In other words, the Fidler video was improperly admitted over defense objection.

Moreover, once admitted, the prosecution not only played it to the jury in slow motion to bolster Lynn Harold on the main issue in dispute, it took the extraordinary step of displaying a picture of Judge Fidler on the overhead display to the jury when it was listing the prosecution witness AND when Doron Weinberg objected that the judge was neither a witness for the prosecution or the defense, Judge Fidler OVERRULED that objection in the presence of the jury.

Q#3: Therefore, why don’t you think that the admission of the Fidler video was improper or if you agree it was improper, why do you think that this error did not have the potential to affect the verdict?

I would be very interested to hear your take on these three points.

Once again, thank you for a very analytical post.