Judge Rodney Melville, the judge in Michael Jackson's child abuse case, has blacked out the words "obscenity" "pornographic" and "sexual conduct" from the text of U.S. Supreme Court decisions released in a legal motion filed by Jackson's lawyers.
Jackosn's lawyers are seeking to expunge references to these words, during the trial, lest they prejudice the jury and play to their emotions.
The judge's actions were, in theory, designed to keep secret the purpose of the motion. However, the cited cases in the motion can be compared with the original text; and the blacked out words identified, viz:
The 1973 case of Miller vs California, the high court stated, "... no majority of the Court has at any given time been able to agree on a standard to determine what constitutes obscene, pornographic material."
Melville blacked out the words "obscene" and "pornographic."
The decision continued: "We now confine the permissible scope of such regulation of works which depict or describe sexual conduct."
Melville expunged the word, "sexual."
Whilst the reasoning behind the secrecy is well meant, it is clearly ineffective. The level of leaks, and this latest farcical attempt to hide the facts, are in fact causing more "chatter" speculation and "idle gossip" than full and open disclosure would ever do.
I cannot see that the cause of justice, from anyone's perspective, is being served here.