19 March 2007

TV Cameras in Court for Spector Trial

The latest celebrity-murder trial is underway. Phil Spector, legendary record producer -- Tom Wolfe once called him the "Tycoon of Teen" -- stands trial as of today for the alleged murder of Lana Clarkson four years ago.

There will be cameras in the courtroom, for the first time in a California criminal court since Lance Ito became a television star. The length of the period since the OJ trial seems to be part of the rationale for trying it again. "We have to get beyond OJ," said someone in authority.

So, first, we have the news about the news here. We have another OJ-style media circus in the making. Second, we have the story of the life and death of Lana Clarkson itself, an actress best know for playing amazon-warrior characters. She had the title role in the Roger Corman cult classic "Barbarian Queen," and a later sequel.


And who could forget her performance as Alpha Beta in "Amazon Women on the Moon," by director John Landis?

At any rate, Spector brought Clarkson to his home after a night on the town. The next certain fact is that a neighbor placed a 911 call about a gunshot. When police responded, they found Clarkson dead, and Spector described it to them as an accident.

Spector has been going through lawyers pretty quickly in the subsequent years. He first hired Robert Shapiro, another OJ echo. Not only is Shapiro not working for Spector anymore, Spector has sued Shapiro for $1 million -- because he apparently refused to return his retainer.

Spector has also hired, and then fired, Leslie Abramson -- the one-time defense counsel of Lyle and Erik Menendez. His latest attorney is Bruce Cutler, who gained some notoriety on the other coast defending John Gotti.

Cutler apparently plans to contend that Clarkson committed suicide. That strikes me as odd, not just because its intuitively implausible but because there is some reason to believe an insanity defense could be made in a plausible way. http://www.playfuls.com/news_00002781_Phil_Spector8217s_Desperate_Trial_Set_To_Commence.html

But there is much to be said about the insanity defense. I hope to say it at another time.

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Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.