updated 5/16/2005 8:31:56 AM ET 2005-05-16T12:31:56

Guest: Al Sharpton, David Gascon, Stacey Honowitz, William Fallon, Yale Galanter, Dana Kennedy, Michael Medved, Dylan De Silva

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  One-hundred-twenty bullets fired into this SUV in a residential California neighborhood.  But is it a case of racial targeting?  Tonight‘s top headline:  Rev. Al Sharpton says yes, and he is here to tell us why. 

Welcome to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY: No passport required, and only common sense allowed.

The sheriff‘s office is investigating.  Today, deputies are apologizing.  The Rev. Al Sharpton says he wants more answers.  But was race really the issue here?  That‘s tonight‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY showdown. 

Then, Michael Jackson‘s former lawyer says, Jackson himself was a target.  If and when will Jay Leno be taking the stand?  We are going to have the very latest in Michael Jackson‘s crazy show trial. Focusing on Mark Geragos, the lawyer to the stars who defended Robert Downey Jr., and lost; Winona Ryder, and lost; Scott Peterson, and lost.  So why do celebs keep hiring this guy?  We are going to be asking the experts. 

And the little girl‘s photo posted on child pornography Web sites launches an international hunt to save her and to bring a predator to justice.  Now a major break in the case for child investigators.  It‘s the girl they called “the girl without the smile.”

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Welcome to our show.  Tonight, in Compton, California, residents there are angry.  And the police are still trying to figure out what caused 10 sheriff‘s deputies to fire over 100 rounds at an unarmed driver in an SUV on Monday.  The driver‘s name is Winston Hayes.  Yesterday, he met with Rev. Al Sharpton, who is demanding an investigation.  Rev. Sharpton has just returned from California, and he joins us now to talk about the case. 

Reverend, thanks you for being with us tonight. 

REV. AL SHARPTON, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK:  Thank you. 

SCARBOROUGH:  What did you find out on the Left Coast, as they say?

SHARPTON:  Well, I didn‘t find out many answers.  I found a lot of questions.  I do not understand how an unarmed man could be shot at 120 times, and even houses in the area in Compton.  We—I walked through the area with the sheriff.  As far as a block and a half away, bullets from the sheriff‘s deputies had gone through the windows, through the closets, into people‘s clothing.  It was the most reckless display of disregard for human life I have seen in my lifetime. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Reverend, let me ask you the tough question here:  Do you think police officers would have shot up the neighborhood in Beverly Hills the same way, or in Westwood, the same way they shot up at this neighborhood in Compton?

SHARPTON:  Absolutely not.  I don‘t think that‘s a tough question at all.  If this had been on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Al Sharpton wouldn‘t have been called by the family; Arnold Schwarzenegger would have probably been there firing deputies himself.  It would have been inconceivable for over 100 rounds of ammunition to have been used under any circumstances. 

Ironically, while I was there, there was a chase in which a man armed was chased through several counties into Long Beach, and was finally killed by deputies, and there was nowhere near those amount of bullets used, and I am against deadly force being used in any case, unless someone is threatened. 

But clearly, this is not the pattern to shoot, like you are at the OK Corral, and at the risk of residents and the risk of innocent people‘s lives. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, Reverend, what do you say to those who say, this guy, he was in an SUV, it was late at night, he was going all across the county.  There was no way the police officers knew if he was a danger or not.  When they finally get him cornered, the last thing—because, again, they didn‘t know he had a gun, whether he did or not.  Of course, he ended up being unarmed.  But they had him cornered.  They said, hey, We don‘t want to let this guy escape again, so let‘s shoot for the tires; let‘s shoot low. 

SHARPTON:  One-hundred-twenty shots is not shooting at the tires, and not shooting low.  And clearly, there are ways that they apprehend people every day in California, that they don‘t do this.  I think that that is no excuse at all.  The sheriff himself cannot explain it, and was out, to his credit, trying to deal with it in the community. 

As well as the fact, I must say, Joe, that not only do I think it‘s reckless and brutal, they are not even good shots.  Can you imagine, 120 shots, and they really don‘t even really do anything?  It‘s absurd.  It is almost a comedy of errors, if it wasn‘t so sick and so sad. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Now, some people are talking about racism here.  Would you suggest that there‘s racism in the sheriff‘s department in L.A., and that‘s why they shot at this man?

SHARPTON:  Well, I mean, there‘s been any number of patterns raised of racism in the sheriff‘s office there.  I think, clearly, as we just said, if this was not in Compton, in the middle of an African American community, it would not have happened.  So the element of race is certainly there.  Whether it is by commission, whether they intended it because of his race; or by omission, the fact they knew they could get away with it in Compton, or felt they would, I think race is certainly a factor. 

SCARBOROUGH:  What about the fact there were some black officers there, too?

SHARPTON:  Those black officers would not have done it in Beverly Hills.  You can have a racial profile in mind, no matter what your race might be—again, by commission or omission.  I can assure you, those black deputy sheriffs would never have shot like that if they were in Beverly Hills or Westwood. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Because they would have thought they would have lost their jobs.  I agree with you there. 

Let‘s look at Hayes‘s - let‘s look at Hayes‘s rap sheet for a second.  Hayes told the sheriff that he had been high on crack cocaine, and had been driving around the neighborhood.  He has been convicted of battery, resisting arrest, public drunkenness, reckless driving, and apparently has a very long rap sheet.  What would you say to people who say, Hey, this guy is a bad egg—it does not matter whether he is black or white or Asian or Hispanic—that is why he was fleeing from police officers, and so, he deserved what he got?

SHARPTON:  I would say three things:  One, his rap sheet wasn‘t on his forehead nor on the windshield of his car.  They didn‘t know who or what his background was.  Secondly, if he was a bad egg and was doing something wrong, he should have been apprehended.  But, thirdly, when you have eight or nine homes that have bullet holes, that I witnessed with the sheriff in Compton the other day, of people who are not bad eggs, do not have rap sheets, what crime did they do they were subjected to a life-threatening circumstance because of the recklessness of the sheriff‘s deputies?

SCARBOROUGH:  Let me ask you, sheriff, I don‘t have police training.  I don‘t think you do either.  I am just curious:  If you - I wouldn‘t venture to guess what I would do in this situation.  Let‘s say you chased somebody all across Los Angeles County; you got him cornered in the neighborhood; you‘re standing there with other police officers; you blocked the road; and all of a sudden, this SUV starts driving towards you.  Do you get out of the way?  Do you let him go back out and continue driving recklessly across L.A. freeways, or do you shoot for the tires and try to stop him?

SHARPTON:  Again, I do know the training.  I do not know that you do any of what you say.  I do know what you do not do, is you don‘t shoot 120 times, all in innocent people‘s houses.  Even the sheriff there has conceded that.  We had on the same day of this incident, when I visited him, we had an airplane going through three miles of the White House, we didn‘t shoot.  The absurdity of 120 shots is something that they can‘t explain away in some kind of training miscalculation. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Reverend, it certainly sounds excessive to me.  Thanks for being with us tonight.  We greatly appreciate it. 

SHARPTON:  You broke it, Joe.  I give you credit - you broke this one. 

We don‘t agree all the time, but you broke this story. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, reverend, thank you very much.  I greatly appreciate that. 

Now, I want to bring in—to try to figure out what happened here, we have retired LAPD Assistant Chief David Gascon.  David, thank you for being with us tonight.  Tell us what happened.  Is there any way to justify over 100 shots into this SUV?

DAVID GASCON, RETIRED LAPD ASSISTANT CHIEF:  Well, I don‘t think, at this point, anybody has even tried to justify those shots.  I think, what the sheriff has asked for is patience so that his investigators can evaluate what occurred.  And it‘s going to be a lengthy and complicated investigation, and that way you will be able to determine the responsibility for each individual deputy sheriff‘s actions, and that will lead to a number of actions, I am sure, by the sheriff. 

But I have seen nothing but responsible activity on the part of the sheriff‘s department, and particularly Sheriff Baca, since the shooting occurred. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, there was actually had an attorney for the sheriff‘s department come out, and actually was quite critical of the behavior.  How does something like this happen in a police force when, apparently, these officers received proper training and yet they go out and just, again, not only shoot up this SUV, but shoot up the entire neighborhood?

GASCON:  Well, it‘s hard to explain, and when you try to explain the dynamics of the situation, people immediately think you are trying to find a way to justify it.  And that‘s not the case.  And, I think, the sheriff is real clear about that.  You have to, methodically, piece this together to see what the perspective was of every individual deputy—what they saw, what they were thinking—when they made their decisions to fire the weapon. 

And a lot of times what happens in high-stress situations, very risky situations, is the focus and the intensity is so narrow that you are only aware of what you are doing and what you see directly in front of you, almost like a tunnel vision situation.  And you may tune out everything going on peripherally. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, let me read you what the attorney for the sheriff‘s department said:  Said, “The fact that 120 rounds were expended indicates panic, lack of planning, and absence of control.”

I want to follow up with a question I asked Rev. Al Sharpton earlier: 

If this guy were going through Beverly Hills, if this guy were going through Westwood, would he have been shot at this way?

GASCON:  Well, you know, the hypotheticals come in droves when something like this occurs. But let me take you back:  These are good people; this is a good sheriff‘s department.  It‘s led by an outstanding leader.  They are very well trained, and these very deputy sheriffs probably work in the Compton area, day in and day out.  This has gone on for a period of time.  We haven‘t seen a situation like this.  This is entirely unique.  It doesn‘t justify what occurred, and certainly, the people in the community are outraged by it, and they should be outraged by it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right. 

GASCON:  And I can tell you, I think the sheriffs are embarrassed by it, and they will be looking within to make sure they fix this so it doesn‘t happen again. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, thanks a lot, David—we appreciate it.  I tell you what, I never second-guess officers in the field.  I am certainly concerned about this though.  We will have more in a second.          

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Breaking news tonight in a horrific child sex abuse case that has stumped police for years. Hundreds of sexually explicit pictures of a young girl have been circulating on the Internet for at least three years now, but police have simply not been able to find the young girl. 

So recently, they digitally removed the child from the photos; they published a few of them; and they made a public plea for tips, asking if anybody knew where these photos were taken and by whom. 

Well, the tips flooded in, but authorities then went even further, publishing the girl‘s photo. Officials found a match yesterday in databases of child pornography, and they tracked the girl down near Pittsburgh.  They think she has been abused almost daily since the age of 12. 

Let‘s go to the very latest now from Amanda Ober.  She is in Orlando with the latest. 

Amanda, get us up to date on this story. 

AMANDA OBER, WESH-TV, ORLANDO:  Well, Joe, law enforcement was circulating these photos because they feared that this little girl was in grave danger.  But it turns out that for at least two years now, she has been safe and sound living with a foster family, and her abuser, who has been identified as her adoptive father, has been doing time in a federal prison in Massachusetts since 2004. 

Now, it was authorities in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania FBI, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children who made this discovery yesterday while they were working on this case and looking at some images of exploited kids. 

Why this wasn‘t figured out earlier isn‘t clear.  A few hours ago, law enforcement here in Florida held a news conference.  They became involved because some of these pictures had been traced to Disney World. 

Here‘s what they had to say: 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DET. MATT IRWIN, ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF‘S OFFICE:  Well, we have got a variety of images from—that were recovered online that depict this victim in various sexual poses and very sexual acts.  We are ready to conclude our investigations through properly prosecuting them, and so forth.  But the victim is going to remain a victim for the rest of her life, based on the images that are on the Internet and that will never be able to take back, and that‘s truly the shame of the whole situation. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

OBER:  Now, in regard to this child continuing to be a victim, that is one reason that we are not releasing the name of her convicted abuser, her adopted father, because that would also reveal the victim‘s identity. 

Now he, again, is serving time in federal prison in Massachusetts, a 15-year sentence, on charges of producing child pornography.  And this little girl, who is now 12 years old, is with a foster family living in Pennsylvania. 

About a week ago, Florida law enforcement released a full face photo of a little girl who was believed to have witnessed some of this abuse.  Again, they were just trying to drum up tips.  That little girl has also been identified.  She was a neighbor of the victim, and she, too, is safe and living in foster care.  So encouraging news tonight, to know that these little girls are safe.

Live in Orlando, Florida, Amanda Ober reporting—back to you, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Amanda, you know, the police officers have seen this young, little girl grow up, unfortunately, on the Internet, on these sexually explicit sites.  I would guess, they have got to be so relieved that this case has finally come to an end. 

OBER:  Absolutely, Joe.  And the law enforcement agency that really put its heart and soul into this case was actually in Toronto.  They had a unit that specializes in researching and trying to go after criminals who post pornography on the Internet.  And certainly, they are very happy tonight to know that this little girl is not in danger. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Let me now bring in Stacey Honowitz.  She is a Florida assistant state attorney for sex crimes.  And also William Fallon, he is a former sex crimes prosecutor. 

Stacey, let me begin with you first of all.  Obviously, a happy ending to a very tragic story, but there certainly was some risk involved here also.  When you publish these pictures, and you alert people to try to track down this young girl who has been sexually exploited for three years, there‘s always a risk that the person who is exploiting her could catch on to it and kill her. 

STACEY HONOWITZ, FLORIDA STATE ATTORNEY‘S OFFICE:  Yes, Joe, you know, this is really—although it‘s such an important, important breakthrough, and a fabulous day for everybody today, you know, we are always weighing the public policy of not knowing the victim‘s identity for the mere reason which you just stated, that the person, if he is still out, he hasn‘t been apprehended, certainly could then go after this child again.  But in a case like this, it was so crucial—it really was, and in several cases, not just this one, but many cases across the country, across the world, like you said, over continents—these cases become so important that you really have to realize that it comes down to having to show this victim‘s identity to make sure that she is safe. 

And in this case, thank God it happened to work.  And I think that this is going to open a whole new door for many law enforcement personnel, for prosecutors, because now they are going to look at a case like this, and they are going to see what a happy ending it was, and they are going to try now to, maybe, use the victim identity and not have to worry about whether or not this person is still in danger. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Bill Fallon, what do we do as we move forward?  Obviously, this was a big break in the case.  Is this something police are going to be doing a lot more in the future, even though it may be endangering the very young girls and guys that police officers are trying to protect?

WILLIAM FALLON, SEXUAL ASSAULT & CHILD ABUSE UNIT:  Well, I certainly hope that we see this as a breakthrough, but a baby step of a breakthrough.  It worked in this case.  It is a really important thing. 

What we evaluate in the 20 years that I have been the chief of a child abuse unit, you had to evaluate, did you want to reveal an identity?  When you had a case of child pornography - which is what we have here—you make certain decisions that you might not make because you don‘t want to reveal the identity of the sexual assault, or the rape victim. 

What I am hoping here, and I am hoping they decided to do in this case also, because sometimes when you have pornography, you really want to find where did the rape occur, because not only do you want the child abuse—the child pornographic crime - prosecuted, but you want the child abuse and the rape prosecuted.  So I am hoping prosecutors do this, but do it gingerly. 

I think, you still have to be careful.  Every single case should be weighing the needs of the victim, the rights of the victim, the needs of the prosecution, the rights of the prosecution, if you will, and the need for public safety.  In this case, I think it worked, and I think we should always look at this, but we should not always end up publishing.  But there are very legitimate reasons to do it, and I think, as long as they are not publishing the pictures of the rape.  I mean, that‘s the one thing I would consider over the line in any way stretch of the imagination. 

I am hoping someone comes forward and says, I saw this in my town, because I know, they might be able to say, now we can prosecute this.  We saw this girl here.  She was victimized here, because the locos of where the actual rapes occurred is always a problem. 

HONOWITZ:  Well, I think...

SCARBOROUGH:  Let‘s talk about what is next.  I mean, how do we—what do police officers, what does law enforcement do next.  I mean, in this case, for instance, for three years, you had law enforcement officers in America, up in Toronto, we heard—on two different continents—trying to figure out who this young girl was, how to track her down, how to protect her from future harm. 

Isn‘t there a better way to do this?  These photos are probably digitally made.  Can we implant something in the photos that help us track down the person who is taking the photo, possibly?

Stacey, I will start with you. 

HONOWITZ:  As Bill knows, nowadays, the Internet is so common.  I mean, that‘s where all our child pornographers are.  And what they do is when you find that you prosecute these cases is they trade pictures amongst each other.  Sometimes what happens, if you are able to get one guy, what you do is you basically make a deal with him, and you tell him that, maybe, the prosecution or the penalty won‘t be so stiff with him if he is able to turn over to us where he got the pictures from, who sent them to him, if he has the person‘s code name on the Internet. 

And that‘s really what law enforcement, the FBI, the National Center for Exploited Children, that‘s exactly what they do. They try to find these guys that are sending these pictures, that are committing these crimes.  They trace it back, and they are hoping that guys will flip on each other.  But there‘s really not that great of a way.  This is the way.  It took so long, because this is really the only way you can do it. 

FALLON:  It is... 

SCARBOROUGH:  Bill Fallon. 

FALLON:  I think it is the only way you can do it, and that is the tragedy.  In fact, when you talk about digitally enhanced, what we are going to get to is cyber porn soon, and that‘s really going to have the detrimental effect that people are going to get all happed up sexually about children, but they are not going to use real children, which is, in fact, a good thing.  The bad thing is, for the pedophiles out there, they are not really going to care whether this child is real or not.  I think, from our purposes, obviously - and I know this sounds bizarre—I would rather they use fake porn than actual real children.  This is the only way that I know of that you are actually going to be able to track them down. 

As Stacey just said, the hope is somebody going to flip, going to flip, going to flip, because there is no way.  I mean, in this global world, we have courts that are saying, you can‘t run this, everybody has First Amendment rights.  Let‘s look at the rights of the victim here.  And until we come up with a better solution, that I don‘t really see, and I feel like I am back in the 19th century, because we should have a better solution here than we have, and you‘re going to have to show it. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You are exactly right - Bill Fallon, thanks a lot. 

And Stacey, stick around, because when we come back, we are going to

be talking about Michael Jackson.  And later, “Star Wars” is back and

bigger than ever.  There are two reasons for that—good and evil

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  We‘ll have the latest strange twist in the Michael Jackson case, including Jay Leno testifying. Also, talking about “Star Wars,” and how that great epic returns to positive reviews.  It‘s a battle between good and evil.  We will talk about it. 

First, here‘s the latest news your family needs to know.  

(NEWSBREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Michael Jackson‘s former lawyer, Mark Geragos, took the stand today after skipping two previous court dates.  He had a possible warrant out for his arrest if he didn‘t show.  But magically, something about those warrants made Geragos show up.

MSNBC‘s Jennifer London also showed up in Santa Maria today for another reason.  She is, of course, covering the trial for MSNBC.

Jennifer, what‘s the latest tonight on the Michael Jackson trial?

JENNIFER LONDON, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT, SANTA MARIA, CALIFORNIA:  Well, Joe, good evening.

Celebrity attorney Mark Geragos found himself in a rather unusual position today.  He was answering the questions instead of asking them.  He was called to testify as a defense witness.

And lead defense attorney Tom Mesereau wasting no time attacking the prosecution‘s claim of conspiracy, Mesereau asking Geragos if he was ever part of a conspiracy to commit a crime against the accuser and his family.

Geragos replied, “No.  I was trying to prevent a crime against client.”  He went on to say he thought they were going to try and shake Jackson down.

Geragos also said he became suspicious of the family after the documentary “Living With Michael Jackson” aired.  He said he thought the family might try and sell a false story to the tabloids for a six-figure sum.  He then said, that‘s when he started to have the family followed.

Now, there was a bit of controversy near the end of court day today.  It was during cross-examination when prosecutor Ron Zonen asked Mark Geragos if he ever investigated the 1993 allegations against Jackson.

And Geragos said, well, look.  That goes beyond the limited waiver I signed.  That is a waiver to release him from the attorney-client privilege.

This halted testimony, because both the judge and the prosecutor said, we didn‘t know there was a limited waiver.

Now, it is not clear what ramifications the defense may face for not informing the court that there was a limited waiver.  But I can tell you, Judge Melville seemed very unhappy with the defense.

In any event, Joe, Mark Geragos will return to the courthouse here in Santa Maria to finish his testimony a week from today.

SCARBOROUGH:  So, Jennifer, what‘s the talk around the courthouse? 

Did Geragos hurt or help his former client, Michael Jackson?

LONDON:  Well, Joe, there was some speculation as to what the dynamic would be like inside the courtroom, because there had been some rumors that Mesereau and Geragos didn‘t see eye to eye, they didn‘t get along.

But I can tell you that I think Geragos proved to be a very strong witness for Michael Jackson.  He not only explained a lot of the behavior that the prosecution claims was a conspiracy to abduct the family and force them to participate in a rebuttal video.  Geragos basically saying, look, it was just the opposite.

I was worried about the intentions of the family.  And I ordered the family to be followed, because I was suspicious about what was going on.

And in some ways, a lot of the legal analysts saying that Geragos really seemed to be a defender of his former client.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thanks a lot, Jennifer London.  As always, we greatly appreciate it.

Now, as Jennifer reported, Mark Geragos represented Michael Jackson at the story - when this case first started.  And Geragos, of course, has also represented a who‘s-who of celebrity defendants, including Scott Peterson, who now sits on death row for killing his wife and unborn child, Winona Ryder, who did 300 hours of community service for shoplifting, and Robert Downey, Jr., who did time for drug possession.

Well, you know what they say in the legal profession.  At least this was what we were taught.  You lose some - and you lose some more, if you‘re Mark Geragos.

So, why do celebrities keep hiring this guy, Mark Geragos?

With me now to talk about that and the trial is Yale Galanter.  He represents O.J. Simpson.  We also have Stacey Honowitz.  She‘s here.

Yale, I want to start with you.  You‘ve got a celebrity or two that have hired you before.

Why would celebrities keep going back to the well if it‘s always dry, when it‘s Gallagher that‘s in charge of their representation?

YALE GALANTER, O.J. SIMPSON‘S ATTORNEY:  I think you‘re 100 percent correct, Joe.  I mean, I don‘t know why people would hire Geragos, especially people who watch shows like yours and the other legal shows and listen to analysts.

I mean, during the Peterson case, I mean, Mark Geragos took a beating by all of the analysts, and when he was representing Winona Ryder he took a beating.

I mean, after all, if you can‘t win a shoplifting case as a high profile celebrity attorney, you‘ve got a lot of problems.

So, it is a good question.  I don‘t know.  It probably has a lot to do with publicity, not knowing who to go to.

What I do know is that Michael Jackson made a good move by substituting in Tom Mesereau, because Tom Mesereau has done an excellent job.  And I think Mesereau will end up eventually carrying the day.

So I think dismissing Geragos in this particular case was a very good move for Michael Jackson.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes.  I don‘t understand, though, why he hired him in the first place.  I mean, Yale, is it kind of like cable, loose talk show hosts - there are only so many of them to go around - that you‘ve got to keep going back to a guy like this that loses?

GALANTER:  Well, the truth of the matter is, there really are just a handful of criminal defense attorneys in the country who not only have the trial skills, but also have the media savvy and the media skills.

Because, as we know today, it‘s not only what you do in the courtroom.  It‘s also what you do outside the courtroom to sway public opinion.  And that‘s extremely, extremely important.

So, there really are a lot of people who have the TV savvy and the trial experience, who could, you know, do a case like Michael Jackson‘s.

SCARBOROUGH:  Stacey Honowitz, what does that say about our court system, that instead of just worrying about what‘s going on inside of the courtroom, that we have so many of these high profile cases now, that you‘ve got to be a PR specialist, as well as a specialist in the law?

HONOWITZ:  Well, you‘re 100 percent right.  And I‘ll have to agree with Yale on one issue today.

And that is, that with regard to these high profile lawyers, you really do have to know - I don‘t want to say how to manipulate the media - but you really have to know how to get out there, talk in front of a crowd, kind of get out your side of the story without getting out all the facts.

So, I think that‘s what most people do look at.  They see these shows all over every single night.  They saw Geragos on the news every single day.  The savvy looking guy in the glasses talking on the phone with throngs of people around him.

And that‘s what people were attracted to.  I don‘t even think people concentrated so much on what he did in the courtroom as what he did on the outside.

And when they see a big-shot lawyer who‘s representing big-shot clients, they want to be the next big shot that gets him.  So, I don‘t know why they keep going back.

We‘re going to have to see what happens in this case with Mesereau. 

Maybe he‘ll be the next big thing after this case.

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Yale Galanter, when we heard about Robert Blake and those tapes that the government secretly recorded, he talked about how he was going to turn his trial into a celebrity showcase.  And, of course, he talked about getting Captain Steuben from the “Love Boat,” and several other celebrities.

But he said he was going to parade all of these celebrities in front of the jury.  Then he was going to allow them to go outside, hold press conferences.  And said that the jury would be wowed by that, that they would be swayed by that.

If you look at recent history and all of these high profile cases, maybe Robert Blake, though very cynical, is correct.  That there‘s just something about the power of celebrity that makes juries acquit time and time again.

What do you say to that?

GALANTER:  I think, you know, representing a celebrity, you‘ve got to use that to your advantage.

And getting back to your original point, there are really very few lawyers in the country who know how to do that.  It worked for him.

Listen, look at what happened with Pamela Mackey and Kobe Bryant.  I mean, she was able to get that case dismissed, because the media - that the media scrutiny placed upon the complaining witness.

And everything came out about the complaining witness, and really put the complaining witness on trial before jurors or witnesses were ever called.  And it‘s an excellent play.

HONOWITZ:  But you know what .

GALANTER:  I mean .

HONOWITZ:  I‘m sorry to interrupt, Yale.

GALANTER:  Go ahead.

HONOWITZ:  But, Joe, I want to remind you of one thing.

You know, we all talked about Geragos and what, he was the next big thing, and he had these wonderful - he had all these big, celebrity clients.

You‘ve got remember, it can work against you, too.  Because, if you remember, in Peterson, everyone thought Geragos was behind putting that boat out there.  I don‘t know if you remember that.

It‘s a kind of a - not kind of a reenactment.  And people were really upset, thinking that maybe Geragos was behind this.  And how dare the lawyer go ahead and do something like that.

So, you know, you could be a big shot in front of the cameras.  You could be a real, big-shot lawyer and represent these celebrities, but sometimes it really can work against you.

And I think in Geragos‘ case, that‘s what really came to be.  So, you have to be very careful .

SCARBOROUGH:  Stacey - yes, Stacey.  You know what?  I think you‘re exactly right.

I think, again, you look at some of the other moves that he made in the Scott Peterson case, and some of these other cases.  I think after a while, your 15 minutes is up, and people don‘t want you anymore.

Thanks a lot, Stacey.  Thank you Yale Galanter.  As always .

GALANTER:  Take care, Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  . we greatly appreciate it.

Now let‘s move on to some videotape that will make you wonder what in the world is going on in some of our high schools.

It‘s a brutal beating at a high school just east of San Francisco, and it was all caught on tape - and then posted on the Internet.

The video was taken by a Hercules high school student in the school bathroom.

Police say the 17-year-old, in the red jacket, is being attacked by a fellow student because he apparently snitched on him to police.

Two students have been arrested, and a school spokesman has an explanation for what happened.

He told our NBC station in San Francisco that, “Our kids are exposed to a lot of violence outside of school.  Technology has ramped.  When you put the two together, you get some bizarre and incomprehensible things.”

Bizarre?  Incomprehensible?  Absolutely.  But you know what?  I‘ve got a radical idea.  How about some closer supervision to make sure that these sort of things don‘t happen?

If we‘ve got this sort of technology, then certainly we have the kind of technology to keep after our students, and make sure that they‘re protected and not beaten to a bloody pulp.

And you know what else, friends?  If this is happening in high school under so-called parental supervision, and adult supervision, what happens - what happens when they get out in the real world?  It‘s truly scary.

Well, something else that may be scary.  Lines of grown men and women outside of theaters dressed like people from a galaxy far, far away - or a nuthouse just around the corner.

It‘s got to mean just one thing.  Another Star Wars episode is hitting the theaters.

Coming up, why George Lucas and the people behind the Stars Wars Trilogy got it right.

And, a 12-year-old kid doing more than his part to help our troops in Iraq.  He‘s this week‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY champion.

You‘re not going to want to miss that.  We‘ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWSBREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Learn to know the dark side of the Force, and you will achieve a power greater than any Jedi.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCARBOROUGH:  If you haven‘t been living under a rock, you probably know that Star Wars is back.  The final installment in the six-part saga had its multi-city, all-star premiere last week.

“Revenge of the Sith” opens officially next Thursday.  And so many fans plan to call in sick to see it, there are estimates it can cost employers some $625 million.

The first movie, almost 30 years ago, was a classic story of good and evil.  And in a rare, big-screen twist, the good guys won.

But did the last few films go up under the dark side?  And is the only

·         or this the - is this last one finally going to bring Star Wars back on track?

Here to talk about it, we‘ve got Dana Kennedy, MSNBC‘s entertainment editor, and also Michael Medved.  Dana, let‘s start with you, though.

You know, every time we do a segment people say, well, what‘s the

SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY angle doing?  I say, there is not SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY angle to it.  This is Star Wars.

This is red state, blue state, you know, white, black, Hispanic - whatever.  I mean, this is something that all Americans love to go out and see.

Why?

DANA KENNEDY, MSNBC ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR:  Wow.  That‘s a big question.

I think because we respond to not just the action and not just the adventure, but really, it‘s a bit of something almost religious and spiritual in this movie.

When it first came out in 1977, it was really just when the era of blockbusters were beginning, and the era when the big sci-fi blockbusters were beginning.  We hadn‘t seen anything like this.

And it really just got to something deep within everybody.  And George Lucas obviously borrowed from pretty much everybody - mythology, religion and all that.

But it‘s a great story, deep down.  And I‘m so happy to report that this final installment is really good, because the most recent two movies, the first two prequels, in my opinion, really were not good.

I don‘t think .

SCARBOROUGH:  Oh, Dana, I was - I was so disappointed.  So, you‘ve seen this.

KENNEDY:  Yes.

SCARBOROUGH:  And it‘s great, huh?

KENNEDY:  I really - I thought - have you seen it?

SCARBOROUGH:  No, I haven‘t.

KENNEDY:  Oh, I thought you‘d seen it.  Yes, it‘s really, really good.

It‘s the first - the first two movies before this, I would argue, George Lucas hadn‘t gone to the dark side.  He went to the boring side.

This movie returns to the soul, I think, of the original, if you could call it franchise, of the first three movies, especially the first one, in which you care about the characters.  It‘s not all about the digital - the new digital technology.  It‘s a really great story.

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, and that‘s exactly what my problem was.  They got away from the basic story and went to digital high-tech stuff.

Michael Medved, let me bring you in here.

I remember at the beginning of the first Star Wars, which actually, for Star War geeks like me know that that‘s actually Star Wars 4.

There was a part where Darth Vader turned to a general who said, I can‘t believe you believe in this good and evil stuff, this religion stuff.  Darth Vader set him straight very quickly.  He said, yes, there is a battle between the dark side and the light side.

And, I mean, isn‘t that one of the secrets of Star Wars?  Good versus evil?

MICHAEL MEDVED, FILM CRITIC:  There‘s no question about it.

And I think one of the reasons that it‘s so popular today is because so many people grew up on it.

I mean, it‘s unbelievable to think that it‘s more than a quarter century that the original Star Wars came out.  And when it came out, it was successful precisely because George Lucas helped Hollywood rediscover the family audience.

People should remember that Hollywood had changed very directly in the late ‘60s, the era of “Midnight Cowboy” and “Easy Rider” and “The Wild Bunch” and “Bonnie and Clyde” and all of those films from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s.

And all of a sudden, here was a movie that you could take your kids to see.

And I think that that‘s one of the controversies that‘s surrounding this new film, is that, because it is the first one in the series that‘s rated PG-13.  It is a darker film.

But again, it‘s emphasizing the story and the struggle of good and evil, and reconnecting with a mass audience that treats this almost as if it‘s a completion of the stories you grew up with, because for many Americans, we did.

SCARBOROUGH:  And you know, in the “me generation” in 1977, as Tom Wolfe called it, it was a fairly radical concept to have a stripped-down story that really did say, hey.  You know what?  There is good, there is evil, and there‘s a constant battle between the two.

MEDVED:  Well, and also that there‘s a force beyond us.  I mean, lots of people have talked about the Force being something sort of New Agey and woo - out there.

But truly, I think most people who like Star Wars appreciate the recognition that sometimes, really, there are choices in life, and you can choose which direction you‘re going to go.  And then there will be a power that will help you head in that direction, whether it‘s good or - as Darth Vader finds - “ee-vil.”

SCARBOROUGH:  Dana Kennedy, give us a prediction.  Is this one going to be the biggest Star Wars since at least the sixth one?

KENNEDY:  Yes.

SCARBOROUGH:  Which, of course, was the third one.

KENNEDY:  Yes.  I don‘t even think, you know, you‘d really need to be an amazing (INAUDIBLE) to make that prediction.

I think even if this movie wasn‘t as good - I think it was - it will do really, really well.

And, again, what‘s great, without giving anything away, is that you know in a way this can‘t have exactly a happy ending.  But at the same time, you‘re not going to go away feeling bad, which is also important to me.

You‘re not going to be bored.  That‘s another really big, important thing to me, the way I think you were the first two times.

MEDVED:  Joe, if I can jump in with another prediction.  I actually believe that the other two, the “Phantom Menace” and the “Attack of the Clowns” - or, pardon me, “Clones” - that those two will look better when they are packaged together with this one, because it all fits together vastly better when it‘s part of a unit and part of a full story.

And now with all six units together, I think you can have a little bit more sympathy, particularly for “Phantom Menace,” which is the first - well, actually, the fourth, but it‘s the first.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thanks a lot, Michael Medved.  Thank you, Dana Kennedy.

I can‘t wait to see it.  Going to see it with my entire family.  I‘ll tell you what.  It is always a big event when we sit down at the movie theater, and it has been for the last five Star Wars.

And you see those yellow words start to scroll down the screen, and you‘re eating popcorn.  And you say, you know what?  This is a big, big cultural event.

Coming up next, this week‘s SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY champion.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Now it‘s time for our SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY champion.  And this week a great champion.

We found a Boy Scout who started sending care packages to a Marine in Iraq, who used to be a Boy Scout himself, and his troop.

That Marine came home, but 12-year-old Dylan De Silva kept sending packages, and he‘s here with us tonight on SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

Dylan, thanks for being with us tonight.  We really appreciate it.

Now, I understand you sent as many as 25 packages each week.  Let me ask you, who do you send them to?

DYLAN DE SILVA, WWW.CAPECOD4THETROOPS.COM:  Well, we send them all to the servicemen and women over to Iraq and Afghanistan.

SCARBOROUGH:  What do you usually put inside of them?

DE SILVA:  Well, we usually put all kinds of toiletries and some food.  Like a toothbrush, toothpaste and shaving cream and shavers.  And some popcorn, Slim Jims and brownies.

SCARBOROUGH:  Wow.  You know, that‘s great.  That‘s great stuff.

I would guess that the troops certainly appreciate what you‘re doing.  Do you get notes back from them thanking you for your good service to them and to this country?

DE SILVA:  Yes, we actually have like a whole scrapbook of them.

SCARBOROUGH:  That‘s great.

Hey, tell me, where did you get the idea?  Who - did you talk to your parents or Boy Scout leaders?

How did you get this idea to start getting involved in trying to help our soldiers out, who are serving our country in Iraq?

DE SILVA:  Well, I kind of started with when we were starting with Boy Scouts sending them over to a guy that used to be in Boy Scouts, and now he‘s in the Marines.

So, we kind of just kept on going from there.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Well, I tell you what, Dylan, we greatly appreciate you being with us, and appreciate everything that you do.  And we‘ve got your Web site up, and we want everybody to go to that Web site and try to help out and help lighten your load.

That‘s all the time we have for tonight.  Thanks a lot to Dylan.  Thanks a lot to everybody else in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  We‘ll see you Monday in SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

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