CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Friday, June 10, 2005

Jackson Trial A Financial Boon, Peterson A Bust

The town of Santa Maria has hit a homerun financially with the Michael Jackson trial.  With all the extra tax money brought in by the crowds, the town will be able to finally do things such as fix pot holes and buy new library books.  One small business owner near the courthouse plans to buy a new BMW with the windfall that has come her way in recent weeks.  The situation of Santa Maria stands in contrast to the locales that were involved in the Scott Peterson trial.  Stanislaus County, where the crime occurred, and San Mateo County, where the trial was held, initially competed over the right to host the trial perhaps because they thought they would enjoy a similar financial windfall.  As the costs of the 5-month trial began soaring into the millions, however, San Mateo, which ultimately hosted the trial, came back and sued Stanislaus for a share of the costs.  Stanislaus County recently ponied up, settling the lawsuit and ending the dispute.  Perhaps going forward counties in California should have "celebrity trial consulstants" on staff so that when a murder occurs they can determine whether they should host the trial or allow it to be passed off to some neighboring locale.  [Mark Godsey]

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