Upcoming Hearing in Anand Jon Case to Address Alleged Prosecutorial Misconduct

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According to statements made in court by Anand Jon's defense team, prosecutors defied a court order and intercepted a juror. Hearings on the defense's sealed motions to be held on April 1, 2009.

AJ headshot 06 by Steven Eastwood

But for the District Attorneys blocking the door to justice…we would have found out why the juror contacted (the defendant's sister)

Following the latest hearing in his case, Anand Jon said, "I will wait as long as it takes for the truth to come out and for justice…"

The next step in that struggle for justice will take place at an April 1 hearing, at which time his attorneys are expected to discuss alleged prosecutorial and juror misconduct.

Recently filed defense motions are presently under seal, but during a Feb. 27 hearing in the case (BA327190, LA Criminal Court) before Honorable David S. Wesley, Jon's attorneys alleged that one or more jurors contacted the defendant's family on at least one occasion. According to the defense, the law would demand a new trial in such an instance.

Also discussed during the hearing were the actions by the investigators for the prosecution. According to the defense, the prosecution defied a court order barring any contact from either side with any of the jurors as their investigators intercepted a juror just prior to an outside meeting. As the defense asserted in court, the reason for the contact will never be known, but a new trial is again warranted according to established case law.

"I've never seen anything like this in my 25-plus years practicing law," said Leonard Levine, defense attorney for Anand Jon.

"The motions are under seal and still cannot be discussed at this time," Levine said. "We trust that the court will do the right thing by granting these motions. We are enthusiastic for a new trial for Anand Jon, a trial that will send an innocent man back home to his family."

On Nov. 5, 2008 a special hearing occurred during deliberations where at least one juror (juror #12) admits that they wanted to vote not guilty on all counts but other jurors were ganging up in the jury room and pressuring some to vote against their will.

In a 180-degree turn, the prosecution is now protecting the same juror whom they tried to have removed from the jury. On Nov. 13, 2008, the prosecution filed a motion to have juror #12 removed. The reasons include: 1) refusing to follow the law; 2) potentially breaking another law; 3) disagreed with the law as instructed by the court and 4) would not properly participate in deliberation.

"There is still a considerable amount of discovery that needs to be uncovered," commented defense attorney Ronald Richards. "But for the District Attorneys blocking the door to justice…we would have found out why the juror contacted (the defendant's sister)," Richards said at the news conference as reported in LAWeekly.

DDA Francis Young was absent from these proceedings on February 27th, however, Mara McIlvain, the lead DDA, indicated to the court that the decision came from supervisors above.

"The D.A.'s office thwarted the defense's ability to get to the truth. We don't know how high up (in the prosecutor's office) it goes," Richard told MSNBC.

"At this point, nobody is immune from being called to the stand and explain what happened," said Judge Wesley in the MSNBC report.

During the Feb. 27 proceeding, it was also alleged by the defendant that prosecution threatened one of the defense attorneys directly. The court would address any motions regarding these actions during subsequent hearings after April 1.

Anand Jon has beaten 43 counts during his ordeal. Early on, during news conferences and press releases in March 2007, the prosecution painted him in the media as a serial rapist. However, in the end they recanted those statements in court in November 2007 and on the eve of trial in September 2008 they dropped more than half of the charges against including all but one rape count. According to trial testimony, that sole rape count produced a negative rap kit result - there were no signs of trauma. Also important to note is that Anand Jon passed a lie detector test regarding the testimony from that same complaining witness in December 2008 as reported by numerous news agencies.

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Christopher Davis

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