Patterico's Pontifications

4/13/2009

Phil Spector Convicted of Second-Degree Murder

Filed under: Crime,Obama — Patterico @ 7:18 pm

First O.J. goes down and now this. It’s almost like there’s hope for the criminal justice system after all. We can convict a celebrity! . . . as long as he’s a psycho freak who has threatened people with guns all his life . . . and occasionally wears his hair in a foot-tall frizzed-up hairdo . . .

. . . and whose defense is that he didn’t just threaten women with guns — he threatened men, too.

Upon hearing the news of the conviction, the news guys on NBC were trying to figure out what the sentence might be. How stupid can these media types be? Sentencing on a case like this isn’t rocket science. How hard is it to contact an expert ahead of time, to know the answers to such questions right away?

As an example, take the L.A. Times article on the conviction . . . please:

The verdict means Spector, famed for his work with Tina Turner, the Beatles, the Righteous Brothers and others, faces 15 years for murder and at least three for gun enhancement when he is sentenced May 29.

OK, wrong and wrong. Second-degree murder carries a sentence of 15 years to life, not 15 years. That’s error number one. A typical gun enhancement under Penal Code section 12022.53(d) — which is almost certainly what was charged here — carries an extra 25-to-life sentence. Not three years.* That’s error number two.

Add them up and the total is 40-to-life. I haven’t seen the charging documents, but that’s almost certainly what Spector is facing. Not 18 years. [See UPDATES below.]

Jeez. Again, how hard is this to figure out in advance?

Spector was remanded to the custody of the sheriff and will likely never live another free moment.

Congratulations to DDAs Alan Jackson and Truc Do.

P.S. It was good to see Spector re-affirm his previous allegiance to Barack Obama:

Spector arrived in court Monday wearing a “Barack Obama” button.

Spector thus continued a streak of Convicted Murderers for Obama. They should form a support group. You know . . . in prison.

[As always, this post is made pursuant to my First Amendment rights as a private citizen and not in any official capacity. APR 5.2%. Offer not good in California. Contents may settle during shipping.]

UPDATE: The press release from the L.A. County District Attorney says:

Spector faces 15 years to life in prison for the murder conviction and another three, four or 10 years tacked on to that term for the gun use.

Ben Sheffner of the invaluable Copyrights and Campaigns blog sends a link to the indictment, which charges only allegations under Penal Code sections 12022.5(a) and 12022.53(b). The reason is not clear to me.

Even if the PC 12022.53(b) allegation were the only gun allegation charged, the gun enhancement would presumably be 10 years, not 3, 4, or 10 years. This 10-year enhancement is mandatory even if the jury also finds true a 12022.5(a) enhancement.

And People v. Izaguirre (2007) 42 Cal.4th 126 holds that a conviction of a 12022.53(d) gun enhancement (a 25-to-life enhancement) can be imposed consecutive to a 15-to-life sentence for a second-degree murder charge. So a standard second-degree murder with a personal use of a firearm should result in a 40-to-life sentence.

UPDATE x2: A reader suggests a reason: that Spector did not discharge the gun intentionally. Now that the reader mentions it, I recall that our office proceeded under an implied malice theory, which does not require intent to kill.

You’d think, however, that a jury (or grand jury) that didn’t find an intentional discharge would find Spector guilty of an involuntary manslaughter and not a murder, though. Intent to pull the trigger and intent to kill are not necessarily the same thing; you can have the former (and a second degree murder) without the latter; but implied malice without an intent to pull the trigger seems like a stretch (though I suppose it’s possible in theory).

52 Responses to “Phil Spector Convicted of Second-Degree Murder”

  1. The three years probably comes from a PC 12022.5(a) enhancement, which was likely alleged in connection with the involuntary manslaughter charge. There is no way on earth that the gun enhancement for a second-degree murder charge is only three years. Period.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  2. There’s has to be a vanity that surpasses narcissism which allows a man who looks like that to look in a mirror and think he looks good. And that vanity may also lead him to think that he can kill a woman and get away with it.

    nk (9eb1c1)

  3. and occasionally wears his hair in a foot-tall frizzed-up hairdo

    That guy looks familiar…

    Did he ever do any acting on the small screen?

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  4. Phil was good enough for Veronica Bennett to fall in love with forty years ago. Poetic justice would be using his head to play Russian Roulette.
    So how are Bobby Blake and OJ doing? Call me sadistic, but a pity Phil can’t be someone’s baitch in prison. Yes, Barack Obama Rocks! Guess this time money and fame didn’t win out. But there are always endless appeals and perhaps the Hollyweird can go to bat for him. Obviously since he was married to a black women, there must be some societal animus. Free Mumia and Free Spector. No bail? Bwahhhhhhh.

    aoibhneas (0c6cfc)

  5. Homicidal Wafro’s For Barcky

    JD (c66133)

  6. [...] Phil Spector Convicted of Second-Degree Murder [...]

    Rathergate.com » LA Times earns another Rathergate mention (2d38c8)

  7. Tookie would have voted for Barack if he could have voted.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  8. quote
    .S. It was good to see Spector re-affirm his previous allegiance to Barack Obama:

    Spector arrived in court Monday wearing a “Barack Obama” button.
    /quote

    Now here’s a fellow already angling for an executive pardon. Given the nature of the executive on the button, it could happen.

    Noesis Noeseos (6a738e)

  9. From the ever-reliable BBC, the perfectly spun headline for Spector:
    Verdict blights Spector’s legacy

    Silly me, I thought it was Spector’s act of murder that blighted his legacy.

    “This tale is so tawdry and so sordid and whatever happened that night … I think Phil Spector has been tainted with that brush at least for the rest of his life,” says Roy Trakin, a pop culture critic and senior editor of HITS magazine.

    The poor man! He’s been tainted! For at least the rest of his life!

    “Hopefully in time we’ll be able to better appreciate his work and what he did and separate it out,” he adds.

    It’s just a matter of being able to better appreciate his work! And what was that other thing, “he did” . . . would it be murder?

    I can sort it out just fine right now: Legendary man of music: Despicable human being.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (0ea407)


  10. I can sort it out just fine right now: Legendary man of music: Despicable human being.

    Hey, that’s my schtick!

    qdpRichard Wagner (5eb540)

  11. You are just jealous of the hairstyle, Q.

    Me, I’m jealous of the hair, and his disrespect toward its presence.

    Eric Blair (4d78ef)

  12. Phil, call me. Despite what Patterico says, Murders for Obama is a pretty exclusive club. I even see a Lincoln Bedroom stay for us soon. You can’t make it because of the whole prison thing? Don’t worry. Two words: Prosecutorial misconduct.

    Bill Ayers (9deca0)

  13. Me, I’m jealous of the hair, and his disrespect toward its presence.
    Comment by Eric Blair — 4/13/2009 @ 10:23 pm

    “If the hat doesn’t fit, you must acquit!” didn’t seem to work. ;)

    Stashiu3 (460dc1)

  14. “If the head is bare, you need not beware!”

    Eric Blair (4d78ef)

  15. “Verdict Blights Specter’s Legacy”.
    Fucking surreal.

    “Mass Murder and Cannibalism Blight Jeffery Dahmer’s Legacy”.

    What planet are we living on???

    Planet Libtard??

    libocrat (b1a191)

  16. __________________________________

    Spector arrived in court Monday wearing a “Barack Obama” button.

    Spector thus continued a streak of Convicted Murderers for Obama.

    Sort of a variation of big-time swindlers like Bernard Madoff having political sympathies similar to Spector’s.

    Spector should have been found guilty based on the way he looked in that top photo alone.

    Flakes, frauds, screwballs, freaks and murderers: Often of the left and/or coddled by the left.

    Mark (411533)

  17. I’m bettin’ his sentence is overturned.
    Someone failed to dot an “I” or cross a “T”.

    Paul Albers (db7e67)

  18. Why would this take six years?

    tehag (ccc4e0)

  19. This guy is his own Chia Pet.

    Peg C. (48175e)

  20. It is so sad that it took so long to put this nutcase away. Already the reporters are referring to race and celebrity. The press is rotten to the core when they put right and wrong completely out of their minds.

    PCD (02f8c1)

  21. Funny, funny stuff on this thread. But this wasn’t funny at all:

    There’s has to be a vanity that surpasses narcissism which allows a man who looks like that to look in a mirror and think he looks good. And that vanity may also lead him to think that he can kill a woman and get away with it.
    Comment by nk — 4/13/2009 @ 7:42 pm

    Would bet a lotta money this is exactly the case.

    no one you know (65b7aa)

  22. Spector, dressed in one of his trademark knee-length suit jackets with a “Barack Obama Rocks” pin on his lapel

    See you know that’s exactly the right way to make the man you support look good: show the world how much you, on trial for murder, think he ROCKS!
    Wonder what he was thinking when he pinned it on that morning: They’re going to love this in the courtroom!

    no one you know (65b7aa)

  23. The reason that a nutbag like Spector was allowed to get away with his sociopathic behavior for so long is that everyone gave him a pass, purely on account of “but he’s a genius!” He basically locked up poor Ronnie Spector for years until she finally ran away from him, and held a cocked pistol to Phil Ramone’s head during one of their recording sessions. Rare was the time that the police called on these and other nefarious incidents in his life, and this was the predictable result.

    Still love the hear the man’s work, though – that Ramones album was among their best, and the track he did for Ike and Tina Turner (River Deep, Mountain High) still ranks among the best of his “wall of sound” methods.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  24. Yes, but what has he done lately?

    Alta Bob (419ad8)

  25. Hah. If you think the media is illiterate about state sentencing, read their crap about federal sentencing sometime. “He was convicted of five counts of mail fraud, each carrying a five-year sentence. He’s going to jail for 25 years!” Uh, no.

    Ken (520800)

  26. Isn’t it a fact Phil wears a wig? So why would he choose one that looked so awful? Makes my head hurt to think about it and my eyes burn to look at him.

    PatAZ (9d1bb3)

  27. How stupid can these media types be? Well, tune in to Faux News and see the fools on parade 24/7. Indeed, Cavuto has high praise for non-existent Faux coverage of the Million Man March.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  28. Wow. “Faux News.” Gosh, I never heard that one before. What’s next? “Wingnut”? “Rethuglican”?

    Could we see your television show? I mean, Olbermann has one. Why not you?

    Eric Blair (4d78ef)

  29. ASPCA – How can you expect Fox News TV to have covered the Million Man March when it was not even on television yet? The Million Man March was 10/16/95, and Fox did not launch until 10/7/96.

    JD (20b35d)

  30. Eric – ASPCA is a mental midget. It finds a way to blame Bush, Fox, Rove for anything and everything. It is to laugh.

    JD (20b35d)

  31. DCSCA … making up stuff since 1957.

    SPQR (72771e)

  32. Actually, I wish the character did have his own television show. That way, I wouldn’t have to read his nonsense here.

    And that was a nice bit about the Million Man March, JD and SPQR. I’m pretty sure the person is a college sophomore, or something similar. The mixture of overly confident sneers and lack of information for the post-25 crowd kind of gives it away.

    I could be wrong, of course. There are lots of people older than 25 who seem remarkably lacking in courtesy and basic background information.

    Eric Blair (4d78ef)

  33. SPQR, #31: I hope not. I keep hoping it is more like, “…since 1987.”

    Eric Blair (4d78ef)

  34. Let me get this straight, this post throws in a random nugget about Spector being an Obama supporter, and everyone here gets their buns in a tizzy over DCSCA’s “Cavuto” pot shot at #27?

    Wow, I need to come here more often, the laughter does me good.

    DJ, Eric, SPQR, I think DCSCA is well aware that Fox News was not on television yet during The Million Man March (Although Neil Cavuto didn’t get that memo) …..

    Oiram (983921)

  35. Oiram, you seem pretty sure. Interesting.

    Have fun laughing.

    Eric Blair (4d78ef)

  36. #34- Precisely. Conservatives can be very Donald Duck. But then, Walt Disney was a Republican.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  37. #35 Am I “pretty sure” that Neil Cavuto thought (I’m sure he’s been given the update by now) that Fox was around during The Million Man March?

    No not “pretty sure”…..

    100% sure.
    Saw him say it with my own two eyes.

    Sad that you think he’s infallible.

    Oiram (983921)

  38. And your comments are not trolling in what fashion, Oiram?

    Eric Blair (4d78ef)

  39. Dmac (#23)

    He also held the original tapes for Lennon’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll” LP hostage and threatened John & Yoko with a gun. Not that there might not have been a case to be made for that, but given Spector’s politics, we have to chalk it up to sociopathology.

    Karl (3bf5f8)

  40. #37- No doubt a Faux News intern told Cavuto it’s on 16 mm in the Fox movietone newsreel archives along with silent footage of Lincoln delivering his Gettysburg Address.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  41. How does Dggcrppp find the time to watch Fox, when he’s already claimed to have worked at the CIA, NASA and Enron?

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  42. Multiple personalaties!

    AD - RtR/OS (e50e17)

  43. When will Specter’s hair dresser be charged with crimes against humanity?

    Vivian Louise (c0f830)

  44. #38

    And your comments are not trolling in what fashion, Oiram?

    Comment by Eric Blair — 4/14/2009 @ 5:03 pm

    Yes I suppose they were trolling Eric, but then again so was this original post.

    Reporting the Spector trial and then connecting him to Obama based on a button? Give me a break.

    Oiram (983921)

  45. I found this to be another notch in the sickening tale of the most ridiculous micro management scenarios one could possibly imagine, and we call it justice:
    ” It went wrong from the start for this master of rhetoric, when Judge Fidler, who is in total command of his courtroom, sharply interrupted him in the first minutes of his statement. Judge Fidler said Cutler could not use Spector’s statement to the police after he was taken into custody on the night of the shooting, in which he said that Clarkson had committed suicide, since it had not been introduced by the prosecutor, Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson, in his opening statement. ” VANITYFAIR (online diary)
    Now that just strikes me as the whole of our justice system as it stands. Ridiculous, and ready to produce nothing but nonsense and confusion in the general public. Hence we have what we have. Screaming idiots who take one side or the other, and noone really knows all too often what the truth actually is.
    Nifong
    Earle
    The recent Stevens reversal
    don’t let me forget OJ
    ….
    On and on.
    I just find that whole vanityfair quote so exactly perfect. Not even what was said to police (interrogators whatever) is valid evidence, since the prosecutor didn’t introduce it ? LOL
    Somewhere in the online babblings of all the purported lawyers in practice, we hear even exculpatory evidence must be handed over to the defense, and of course we fully realize it never is. Not “sometimes actually is” – but actually NEVER is.
    It’s amazing.
    Now all you lawyerly geniuses can scream decades of reasons surround such “procedural safeguards to justice” – as Obama and the googly eyed lunatic dems takeover the banks and the private sectors, in direct contradiction of the highest legal document in the land.
    Yeah, what a joke. Phil’s hair I meant, of course.

    SiliconDoc (f38773)

  46. Oh the other thing that bothers me. He already had a trial, and it was what a couple years ? Then at the last of it – some dorky thing happened, and the powers that be tossed it aside.
    Now we have our SECOND TRIAL for a capital or otherwise infamous crime.
    I guess nobody noticed or cared, and of course, that HATED “technicality” will be amply and liberally applied in discounting the first trial entirely, and pretending it never happened.
    What was it, a “hung jury” ? Somehow that sounds about correct, the “jury” didn’t convict…right ?
    Please, start screaming and correcting like the raving lunatics I know you can be.
    I’m hoping someone has a bit of sense, but I don’t expect it.

    SiliconDoc (f38773)

  47. Ok wait a minute, I have an answer.
    ” Isn’t it a fact Phil wears a wig? So why would he choose one that looked so awful? Makes my head hurt to think about it and my eyes burn to look at him.

    Comment by PatAZ ”

    PatAZ, did you look at his face ? If your face looked like that, you would also wear a continuing and changeable set of the most outrageous wigs your money could buy. At least give the guy that credit, I mean it doesn’t take a genius. Now you’re all talking about his wig, instead of his beyond grotesque face, right ? Hello.
    Maybe he is a lot smarter than most.

    SiliconDoc (f38773)

  48. Oh boy, another liar: ” Reporting the Spector trial and then connecting him to Obama based on a button? Give me a break.

    Comment by Oiram ”
    Is there some way in your world that doesn’t connect him to Obama ?
    Nevermind. Who needs another idiotic lie.

    SiliconDoc (f38773)

  49. Another moron returns!

    Hey Doc, long time no see.

    daleyrocks (5d22c0)

  50. Ahh, not diappointed, the feckless troll spews his hatred, without a thought, no response, not even a partison comment.
    I’m waiting for the competition that isn’t here, huh, daley, certainly isn’t you.

    SiliconDoc (f38773)

  51. In this type of situation. one must factor in one’s own nonsense.

    hutty (9bf4cc)

  52. Using Phil Spector to impugn President Obama reveals your intellectual and emotional immaturity. If you want to get political about people’s associations with crime, let’s talk about George W. Bush. He is the only president convicted of a crime before he came to office. His vice president had not one but two DUI convictions before coming to office and since shot a man in the face and told a U.S. Senator on the floor of the Senate to fuck himself. Both of those events occurred while Cheney was fall down drunk.

    neal (2a9181)


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