Lawyers! When is a settlement a bribe?

I have a question for the lawyers out there.

If Michael Jackson ‘settled’ with the main accuser (Mrs A.), by given her 1 million USD, and asking her to just go away, would it be considered a bribe? Or merely a settlement?

Could the DA charge her with anything if she refused to continue her testimony? Or changed her story? Perjury? What would she risk?

If she withdraws, surely the case collapses, doesn’t it?

some might call it justice…


It would be a bribe and a criminal offense. Micheal Jackson is being prosecuted for a crime, so the DA would need a pretty good reason to drop the charges. I suppose Jackson could slip her the money and she could pretend to recant her story on her own…but unless she had a hell of a convincing reason for doing so, the prosecution would most likely chrarge her with whatever they could, from child endangerment to perjury to conspiracy to commit blackmail,etc…

No. If they still had the testimony of the child, they would probably continue on;although it would be pretty rough on their case unless they could get proof of Jackson’s bribe,in which case it would pretty much win it for them. Or they could argue that she was “pimping” her kids out to Jackson, yadda,yadda,yadda…

If the lawyers arrange for the payment of money (and get their cut) then it is a nice settlement. Only if Mr. Jackson tries to give the money directly to the women without the authority of the lawyers does it become a nasty bribe.

No, this is not a civil suit. The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s office have placed felony charges against Jackson. To be specific:

Michael Jackson is charged in an Indictment that was returned in April, 2004. There is one count charging a conspiracy with five other persons, four counts of committing lewd acts upon a child, one count of an attempt to commit a lewd act and four counts of administering an intoxicant in the commission of a felony.
Jeralyn Merritt
Criminal Defense Attorney

Prosecutors represent the “people”, not themselves, so taking money from a defendant (that has been charged because they pose a threat to the “people”) to drop a case is illegal. Who do you think pays them?

Jackson cannot buy his way out of these felony charges without breaking the law, period.

why not? oj did…


The prosecution dropped the ball in the OJ case, and OJ happened to be able to afford very good defense attorneys to pick it up and run with it. Simpson broke no laws, and he did not bribe witnesses.