Sacramento, CA, Oct 3, 1995 (Disassociated Press) -- California
today joined 6 other states in passing a "wealthy defendant
evidence act" in the wake of this morning's verdict in
the Simpson(TM) trial.
The new law requires prosecutors to evaluate the wealth of very
wealthy defendants, plus any potential income they might gain
from book and movie deals, and compare it to the weight of
evidence against the defendant. If the defendant is really
rich, the case must be very solid before the prosecution will
seek an indictment.
"We just wasted millions prosecuting Simpson(TM), and cost the
country untold amounts of lost productivity," according to
attorney general Dan Lungren. "Let's face it, the police always
make little mistakes and have their foibles -- they're human. A
rich defendant can always afford the lawyers to exploit these
mistakes and get off, so it just wastes valuable taxpayer money
to prosecute them." he explained.
"For example, should Microsoft(R) Chairman Bill Gates (America's
wealthiest man) commit a murder in California, we would want a
videotape shot by the Pope of him slicing his victim's throat
and a full confession. Notorization by the President or doing
the murder in front of the jury would also help. For policemen
beating a motorist, we don't need the Pope as cameraman, but the
video must be in focus. Poor black residents of Los Angeles,
however, would be prosecuted if Mark Fuhrman doesn't like them
-- it's a sliding scale."
State legislators estimated the bill would save millions, in
spite of protests by the Court TV cable network and
Time-Warner/Turner/CNN. An alternate proposal, to simply bill
the wealthy defendants their expected legal expenses in exchange
for the dropping of charges was dropped as potentially