Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Phil Spector: The 'Mad Genius' of Rock'n'Roll

'Inches Count
in This Case'

The defense began their closing argument the next day, accusing the prosecution of attempting to earn its "first celebrity notch in the government's gun belt" to make up for its history of "bad results" with criminal cases involving famous defendants, an obvious allusion to the acquittals of O.J. Simpson and Robert Blake. In statements delivered by Linda Kenney Baden, the defense stayed on message, hammering home its contention that the scientific evidence proves that Phil Spector did not murder Lana Clarkson.

Kenney Baden addressed the key points of the prosecution's case, telling the jury that the government had not proved these points "beyond a reasonable doubt." The prosecution contended that Clarkson had spurned Spector's advances, and yet, Kenny Baden pointed out, his DNA was found on her breast and hers was likely found in his groin, suggesting that they shared some kind of consensual intimacy that night.

There were no signs of a struggle at Spector's house, according to Kenney Baden, and the diminutive Spector, who was 63 on the night of Clarkson's death, had no bruising on his body. If the six-foot-tall, 40-year-old Clarkson had tried to fight him off, wouldn't he have sustained some kind of injury?

The centerpiece of Kenny Baden's presentation was the lack of extensive blood spatter on Spector's white jacket. If Spector had held the gun in Clarkson's mouth and pulled the trigger, why wasn't his jacket covered with blood? she asked.

"Inches count in this case... Every inch back from that two and a half feet is an inch of doubt," she said, referring to the distance his body would have been from Clarkson if he had shot her a point blank range. "Here, ladies and gentlemen, there are feet of doubt."

"They want you to hate Phil Spector," Kenny Baden told the jury, referring to the prosecution, "and they want you to make a huge leap from saying he is a bad person so he must have killed Lana Clarkson because the science doesn't support the facts." She emphasized that being a rich celebrity with an unsympathetic demeanor is not reason enough to convict a man for murder.

Deputy District Attorney Pat Dixon then presented the prosecution's rebuttal. Using animations that illustrated the prosecution's theory of what happened on the night of Lana Clarkson's death, Dixon had a softer and friendlier manner in presenting his arguments. By contrast, Kenney Baden's closing statements had the professorial tone of a lecture as she read from a thick, three-ringed binder. But when Dixon presented his last two slides—photographs of Clarkson slumped in death and her body being removed from the crime scene—the deputy DA showed his emotions, reaching out to the jury and asking them to "hold Phil Spector responsible."

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