If you were a juror

Would you be thinking that Michael Jackson was guilty, beyond reasonable doubt at this point in the trial? Why or why not?

What piece of evidence/testimony is most critical to your thinking?

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87 Responses to “If you were a juror”

  1. Denise Says:

    At this point, I’d say he’s guilty, there’s too many stories of Michael and young boys and inappropriate behaviour.. the shower scene testimony was pretty pivotal in my opinion.

  2. Ronnocosed Says:

    Guilty. ……..but probably won’t get convicted. I am astonished as to how many young boys seemed to have been “approached” by MJ. This for me has always been a big element in the case. I have said it many times before once or twice I could put it down to greed and extortion but 5,6,7 times?
    So the pure amount of people that have come forward has done it for me.

    Sad thing is that MJ needed help long ago and was never given it…

  3. Rafe Says:

    probably guilty but I still have nagging doubts. I wonder why the prosecutor has not used the “smoking gun” testimony? I want to see what the defense comes up with.

  4. neutral observer Says:

    If Michael Jackson truly is innocent and I sincerely hope that he is for his own sake and for the sake of the world, I think he has singlehandedly shot his career and public life in the foot by being what I and likely the rest of the commonsense world would consider to be the “way too close for comfort” zone regarding his undeniably suspicious behaviour with underage persons of his same sex, forcing us to conclude that if he really isn’t a pedophilic homosexual, he sure as hell looks, talks and acts like one, and for this he can blame no one other than himself.

    I am not an enemy of the great MJ.

    Ironically I am quite the opposite, having been an MJ supporter for most of my life at this point, which is why I even bother writing this.

    I am simply the average father of two children myself, and I would feel extremely upset, shocked and angry if I knew that my kids were sleeping in a bedroom alone with ANYONE his age who was not a direct relative and/ or very well trusted freind of mine.

    May God save you in whatever way you must be saved Michael Jackson, which is not for us to know.

  5. Rafe Says:

    I’m not an MJ fan, wouldn’t know one of his songs to save my soul, but I think I understand your conflicted feelings. I suspect you are speaking for thousands, if not millions, of troubled fans. If he did the deeds, it’s disgusting and unforgivable and he should be removed from society, if only to protect other youngsters. I don’t think the prosecution has proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt, but that’s just an opinion and means nothing. I think I agree with one commentator who predicts a hung jury. Anyway, I admire your balanced contribution.

  6. Deb Says:

    As difficult as it may be to come to terms with the reality of this trial, as a mother of 3 I see and feel he is guilty. No one especially fans want to accept this. Acceptance is a difficult thing to accomplish. However, I have to keep reminding myself about what this has done to these children. MJ may not have had a “normal” childhood, but that was a path he and his family chose. He became loved by many and these young boys trusted him. When a close friend or family member crushes that trust and violates your rights chances are you will have a lifetime of healing ahead. MJ was the adult in this, and I don’t care “who” he is in this world, he should know better and set an example. Yes, perhaps MJ needed help a long time ago because of his childhood probs (or lack there of), but anyone else on this planet that had childhood difficulties whether abusive or otherwise would not be getting the “royal treatment”…it is a cycle that obviously needs to be stopped. He should never have allowed children to stay in his home in the same room as him. At the age this boy and the others were, how confused and disallusioned they must have been. MJ puts on his “poor me” act and portrays himself in this childish manner, but any other grown man would have been jailed long ago…he’s not the victim and he had the power to change this outcome right after the first boy to accuse him, but he chose to continue this unacceptable behavior, all the while knowing the world is watching….you reap what you sow.

  7. debi Says:

    At this point in the trial, MJ’s quacking like a duck. Jail would be “bad” for Michael Jackson. He should be sentenced to deep, deep psychcological therapy (mandatory).

  8. Deb Says:

    I agree with the Psycho therapy(to also include family sessions) Debi, however I also believe jail time would be a very educational experience for MJ and perhaps give him a taste of reality to his alleged actions. Again, why should he be treated any differently than anyone else? Let’s face it, anyone else would be tossed into jail with hardly a blink of an eye.

  9. Victor Maxwell Says:

    Guilty beyond any doubt! Money won’t get him off this time!

  10. HERB Says:

    IT IS INTERESTING THAT PEOPLE CAN COME TO ANY CONCLUSION WITHOUT HEARING THE DEFENCE. IT SEEMS LIKE THE WITCH TRIALS WHERE PEOPLE WERE BURNED AT THE STAKE BECAUSE SOMEONE SAID THEY WERE A WITCH. WE HAVE ONLY HEARD ONE SIDE, LOOKING AT THE TRIAL SO FAR THERE HAVE BEEN SOME INCREDIBLE TESTIMONY ABOUT MICHAELS CONDUCT. PEOPLE WITH A AXE TO GRIND, PEOPLE WHO SOLD OUT FOR MONEY, AND PEOPLE WHO SAID NOTHING EVER HAPPENED AND NOW HAVE A VERY GRAFFIC STORY TO TELL. EVEN THE PAST ACCUSERS SEEM TO BE SHADY, THE 93 ACCUSER WONT TESTIFY, THE YOUTH PASTOR NEVER SAID A WORD AND HIS FAMILY TOOK MONEY. THE MOTHER OF THE 93 ACCUSER NEVER SAW ANYTHING. CULKIN ANDROBESON SAID NOTHING EVER HAPPENED. THE WHOLE 1108 TESTIMONY IS LIKE SAYING YOU STOLE SOME CANDY WHEN YOU WERE A KID SO YOU POSSIBLY MIGHT HAVE THE PROPENCITY TO STEAL AS AN ADULT. ANYONE CAN HAVE PEOPLE THAT DON’T LIKE THEN SAY NEGATIVE THINGS ABOUT THEM. NONE OF IT MATTERS, IF THERE WAS SOMETHING THERE WHERE ARE THE CONVICTIONS. WHY WOULD DEPT. OF FAMILY SERVICES SAY THERE WAS NO MOLESTATION. WHY WERE THE ORIGINAL CHARGES CHANGED. THERE IS NO WAY THAT YOU CAN BELIEVE THIS MOTHER. THERE IS NOT A MOTHER OUT THERE THAT WOULD SEE SOMEONE LICKING A CHILDS HEAD AND DO NOTHING, THAT IS TO FAR TO BE BELIEVED. HOW IF YOU WERE BEING HELD YOU WOULD NOT SCREAM, YELL, OR DO SOMETHING TO LET PEOPLE KNOW WHAT WAS GOING ON. ALSO I INSTALL TELEPHONE SYSTEMS FOR A LIVING, EVERY SYSTEM HAS A FEATURE CALLED EXECUTIVE OVERRIDE. WHERE YOU CAN BARGE IN ON A CALL, BUT THAT DOES NOT STOP YOU FROM CALLING 911. EVEN IF YOU WERE AFRAID YOU CAN STILL TELL SOMEONE YOU NEED HELP. ALSO IT IS STANDARD TO GO TO THE BEAUTY SALON WHEN YOU ARE FEARFUL FOR YOUR LIFE. EVEN THOSE WHO HATE MJ CAN NOT GET AROUND THESE FACTS. YOU CAN NOT COMMIT PERJURY AND EXPECT TO BE BELIEVED. IF MICHAEL IS A SEXUAL PREDETOR, THERE IS A LONG GAP BETWEEN 95 AND 2005, MOST PREDETORS CAN NOT WAIT THAT LONG. THERE WILL BE THOSE THAT DISAGREE AND JUST SAY LOCK HIM UP AND THAT I AM OFF BASE. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE A FAN TO WANT HIM TO GET A FAIR TRIAL, LETS SEE WHAT THE DEFENCE BRINGS TO THIS CASE. I WONDER WILL THE DEFENCE GET AS MUCH PRESS AND OPINIONS AS THE PROSECUTION HAS BEEN GETTING

    GOD BLESS

  11. former teen fan Says:

    Guilty. He tries to make out like he is the victom. Denial and putting the blame on others is one sign of many. I think that it is very sad for all of the victoms that money has paid MJ way out of punishment for these crimes. I hope that justice will finally be served and that MJ shouldn’t recieve any lesser punishment just because of who he is. Out of the one’s that have come forward just think of the one’s that haven’t. This man needs to be stopped and jail is the only way. Hopefully he will find Christ.

  12. Maria Says:

    It sad to see an individual get ridiculed like Michael Jackson. All of the evidence has not been presented and I have very serious doubts about the family and the little boy, they certainly want money don’t they, and the previous so called victim that received 20 million dollars doesn’t even speak to his mother. Money grubbing people on a witch hunt in my opinion. I have 3 kids and some of the things that these parents have allowed it absolutely absurd, but they did for what they could get at thier kids expense. They need the help, I am not disagreeing the Jackson couldn’t use some pyschotherapy to sort out issues but I don’t think he is guilty.

  13. Deb Says:

    Well, as the old saying goes “money talks” and holds power. Which is very sad. While I agree the mother’s testimony was somewhat damaging. I do believe that the defense will use it as a “smoke screen”. Sure there may be money hungry people out there, but do you honestly believe a child (or children) would subject himself to this type of humiliation just for kicks and money?! I don’t. They have been damaged far beyond anyone’s recognition. Yes, many people should have reported to athorities when they first thought something “wasn’t right” or saw things that were inappropriate. However, money is power, and MJ had lots of it and a world-wide reputation. which in all honesty could become quite intimidating to us simple folk. Perhaps staff didn’t say anything in fear of losing thier jobs or not being believed…fearful of “who would take the word of an employee over someone as popular as MJ.” Someone without the financial status of a world-wide icon doesn’t have that kind of pull. MJ’s behavior toward boys is far from normal and it is this in itself I believe that cause doubt with many people, he chose this lifestyle, and even when scrutinized in the past did nothing to stop it from continuing…once may be a hoax but after that…sorry I don’t buy it.

  14. Rachel Says:

    Calm down Herb, and stop shouting at us all. You’ll find that the responses to this post are well-reasoned and not extreme.

  15. HERB Says:

    NOT SHOUTING, JUST TIRED OF ALL THE CRAZINESS FROM THIS. WHEN THIS BLOG STARTED PEOPLE WERE RESPECTED FOR THIER OPINIONS NOT RIDICULED. IT HAS GROWN NASTY AND A SHAME THAT SOME PEOPLE THINK THAT THIER VIEWS ARE BETTER BECAUSE THEY USE FOUL LANGUAGE. ITS JUST SAD THAT MICHAEL AND THE ACCUSER ARE IN THIS POSITION. LIVES ARE BEING DESTROYED, MICHAELS AND THE ACCUSERS. I JUST ASK THAT PEOPLE RESPECT EACH OTHER FOR THE VIEWS THAT EVERYONE HAS, INCLUDING MY OWN.

  16. Deb Says:

    Ummm….Herb, by using capital letters in chats that is considered shouting. Perhaps you were unaware of this…now you know. Hope I helped.

  17. HERB Says:

    THANKS DEB, Sorry…. Thanks Deb

  18. Deb Says:

    :) you are very welcome Herb…see not all of us are rude, just voicing our opinions and concerns. While I agree with you that it is sad that lives are being ruined I truly believe MJ could have stopped it from going this far years ago, and practiced a different lifestyle when dealing with young boys. MJ knew his life after the first accuser would be watched under a microscope, I also feel his marriage to Lisa Marie was made to take the media off accusations and focus on something totally out of “left field”. Lots of games are being played, but I don’t feel MJ is blameless in participation.

  19. Rich Cooksey Says:

    Listen this is all so simple……A. 46 year old men do not sleep with little boys. B. You do not pay people off if you have nothing to hide. C. You don’t send people out of the country unless you are trying to get rid of them. D. The fact is Michael Jackson has a disease that cannot be cured..that is why he continues to do it, and if he gets off, he will do it again. E. The boys he hand selects all come from disfunctional families, that is what he wants, so he can emotionally manipulate them with money and presents. Need I go on!!!!! Any juror with half a brain will see this.

  20. Jan Says:

    I hope MJ will get an acquital!. I don’t believe that the cruelty of prison will save the life of one human being who is probably lost and need help. After hearing the accuser’s testimony, I can say that a mother or a parent like Mrs. Arviso needs help too. I am a mother myself and hearing how this person is raising her children is absolutely unacceptable. She is using every strategy to bring up her children even to the point of selling them. How dare her letting her children sleep with a guy in return of some support!. Your children are your responsibility and not the community’s responsibility!. The said situation was not something uncontrollable but she let it happened because she is benefiting from it…very unacceptable!. It’s always easy to put the blame on someone but wait parents, how many children’s been killed,molested,rape etc. because parents contributed in the incident to happen?. How many parents been using their children to make money for the family’s living, to the extent of endangering their kids?….look around!. I look at Mrs. Arviso as one of those parents and that is very sad. If we believe that MJ needs help, Mrs Arviso needs help too and she should get it.

  21. Rachel Says:

    Thanks Deb, for explaining that :) Herb, I respect your opinion and my mind isn’t yet made up - you are correct that the defense hasn’t yet presented their case.

    I don’t think people have been nasty at all on this post - people’s comments have been thoughtful and not attacking of one another.

    Go in peace :)

  22. Rich Cooksey Says:

    Anyone who thinks Jackson should get off is foolish. This guy is in such denial of what is going on….that is the sad thing. If he gets off he will do it to another child….so people stop feeling sorry for him..he knows what he is doing..he is a big boy. Yes I will agree any parent who will let their child sleep in his room is screwed up…but if these people were not around then guys like Jackson would not have anyone to PLAYwith.

  23. Anthony Says:

    Guilty

  24. Lou Ann Says:

    I am a Michael Jackson fan and have been from the beginning of his career. At the very beginning of his trial, I felt there is no way…..MJ is not guilty. But, the more the trial goes on, the more I have my doubts. All I know is that I want to see him get a fair trial. Just because MJ “walks to the beat of a different drummer” and we don’t agree with the way he chooses to look, doesn’t mean he is a bad person. If and I mean if he is guilty, I want to see him get the help he needs. What I want to know is… all these people who have, what they say, seen Michael do with these young boys…why aren’t they on trial?! I would assume that anyone with a right mind, any kind of scruples or caring in their heart would have reported (regardless of who the perpetrator was) such acts. These people should be on trial as accomplises if in fact what they say is true!

  25. Anthony Says:

    http://img215.echo.cx/img215/1277/michaeljacksoncopyimagerainbow.jpg

    check it out. really awesome.

  26. Angelica Roberts Says:

    What childish crap

  27. Anthony Says:

    Some of us are still young at heart, not bitter, old curmudgeons. It’s just a joke. Geez.

  28. Sparkles Says:

    That link for the picture is totally sweet.

  29. Anthony Says:

    See, somebody has taste.

  30. Sparkles Says:

    It is so awesome that I have it has my msn messenger background and I shared it lol That person thought it rocked too. Some people do have a sense of humor.

  31. Rafe Says:

    I think he may be guilty of molestation but I can’t say that I don’t have doubts about it. It’s tricky, there is a “reasonable doubt” about his guilt in my mind. But I have to decide whether I think he may be guilty BEYOND that reasonable doubt. Can somebody help me understand how a juror is supposed to believe guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt”? I mean, that doesn’t mean “no doubt at all,” does it? You can have “some” doubt but still find him guilty, is that right?

  32. Rafe Says:

    The most telling testimony in my mind is the psychologist’s. I think the mother is lying for gain, but that doesn’t matter. MJ may still be guilty of molestation, despite the fact that most of his accusors are so flaky. I have not made up my mind permanently, I want to hear what case the defense comes up with and I could easily change my mind about it.

  33. Brother To Brother Says:

    M.J. has obvious sexual issues. How can one of the richest brothers in history, not be truly “involved” with a super hotty ? Give me half his loot and I would ….I digress. ? Truly guilty ? Yes. Guilty in court ? Maybe not. Holla !

  34. Roseena Says:

    Jan – How illogical and foolish is your comment “…I don’t believe that the cruelty of prison will save the life of one human being who is probably lost and need help” -
    I find it hard to listen to ANY of your contribution to the mj debate after that statement.
    How then do you suggest society should handle criminals? Prison is a fair and humane solution to protect society and house the savages that commit hideous crimes.

  35. Anthony Says:

    Down with the savages.

  36. Anthony Says:

    I want to know what the defense is going to come up with. Also, I can’t wait to hear Rowe’s testimony. Dude, I’m on the edge of my seat. Sorry for being so mean to you Rafe.

  37. debi Says:

    The defense plans to bring in a bunch of very famous Hollywood stars to dazzle and sway the jury to believe that Michael is a misunderstood man/child. If I was Sneadon, I would have giant posters of the kids MJ is accused of molesting hanging behind the witness stand.

  38. Anthony Says:

    I think Hollywood is truly a different culture. I’m not sure I could trust what they say.

  39. Donna Says:

    When this first came out years ago, I was one who felt sorry for MJ thinking that people were out just for his money. Now after hearing some of the recent trail information, my head is spinning! I think that MJ needs ALOT of help and should have learned his lesson from the first time around. I feel that there are still those out to extort money from him, but everyone????? That’s just a little much for me to take in. I’m just glad that I’m not on the jury, because frankly, If he is guilty, so far the prosecution has NOT proven it beyond a shadow of a doubt to me….they’ve just introduced some doubt. And so far the defense has made everyone out to be liars and blackmailers! I wish the jury luck.

  40. Rafe Says:

    Anthony, all is well. Thank you for your generous apology. I say the same to you.

  41. MIMI Says:

    I USED TO BE A FAN OF MJ……..BUT AT THIS POINT, I’M NOT SURE WHO TO BELIEVE YET!! IT’S TOO EARLY FOR ME TO SAY ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.

  42. lena mcmillin Says:

    I have watched daily and read all the articles of this trial. If I were on the jury, beyond a reasonable doubt to me, at this point would be: Could I let my young son spend the night with him, after all of this evidence. No way! I have confronted a child molester, and the victim, which were a part of my own family. Neither party wants to admit, even when caught. The child molester certainly doesn’t want to be caught and the victim is very embarrassed and terrified. I have not heard the defense. In my opinion they had better be very strong.

  43. diane lilstenbee Says:

    There are far too many liars in the Mj trial and pleazzzzzz how many of us would witness an act of molestation and first try and stop it and then run to the authorities its not likey you’d hold it inside and wait for that rare oportunity to sell it to hard copy how low can you get i don’t think any of this went down the way people i think they want to take mike down ,i hope mike learns a lesson close down neverland

  44. Eric Says:

    The question doesn’t make the distinction between the charges involved, but I think it’s a relevant point.

    I’ll start with the charges which are supposed to have happened first, not to be confused with the charges which were *first* supposed to have happened first…

    In other words, is the defendant guilty or innocent, based solely on the prosecution’s case to date, and based on the assumption that the defense presents no case, of the conspiracy-related charges.

    I’d have to say innocent. There’s a presumption of innocence, so the prosecution has to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the conspiracy existed.

    Mostly they have, instead, proven that there are a lot of strange things in this world.

    Basically, this hinges on the story of the mother. While other evidence can agree or conflict with her story, her story *must* be believed for the conspiracy charges to stand. In the absence of her story, all of the details could be easily explained away. The passports and trip to Brazil? She was (based on her own story and those of other prosecution witnesses) acting paranoid, and had a history of doing so. She claimed to be needing protection from killers. One could easily assume therefore that she had *asked* for the trip to Brazil, except for her claims otherwise. The “don’t let the kids leave” orders? Similar explanations leap to mind — as paranoid as she was being (remember the hot-air balloon…), it is as logical to assume that she asked them to protect her kids, and they were doing so. Again, only her story conflicts with such an explanation. Pretty much everything collapses under one of two explanations. She, being paranoid, requested protection, or, later, the staff concluded that she was a dangerous wacko, and was attempting to document everything to establish the truth.

    So everything, on this charge, hinges on her credibility. Need I say more? Here’s a woman who has made similar charges before, who acknowledges lying under oath, several of whose comments have seemed paranoid/delusional at best.

    And now I come to what I consider to be the crux of the conspiracy part of this — the credibility of the actual claims themselves.

    According to the amended prosecution case, the conspiracy was designed to cover up… *nothing*. According to the prosecution, the first illegal act involving this family was a coverup… Think about that for a minute. Nothing at all has happened, other than a PR problem with a video. So the team goes into damage-control mode. They force her to make a scripted video. Of course, the videographer, a prosecution witness, claims that he saw no scripts, that the children were there for a few hours playing, and the mother was there for an hour or so, and did her makeup, etc. The videographer, who was there through the taping, saw no evidence of scripts, no coaching, etc. But for the sake of the argument, I’ll assume that he’s lying through his teeth, and that the video was fully scripted. Now the conspiracy concludes that, rather than keeping the family, which is apparently such a threat, away from the defendant, they should keep them close enough and unsupervised enough that the defendant can, for the first time, abuse the boy. Then they arrange for the family to go to Brazil, but by the way they let them go to Grandma’s house first. Add in the fact that this “hostage” family was apparently in and out of Neverland as often as the staff, including all of the family together, and kept going back… All of this is just a bit too implausible for me. I’d be amazed if all of the jurors were willing to agree that there is no reasonable doubt that there was an organized conspiracy, with the defendant’s specific knowledge, as alleged.

    At this point, I’d have to go for a verdict of Innocent on these charges.

    Now, for the more serious charges - sexual abuse. Again, the family, critical to these charges, are the worst problem for the prosecution. We have a family which has in the past parlayed allegations (unproven) of sexual abuse into a large cash settlement. The mother has acknowledged perjury in that case, and has taken the Fifth Amendment on some other issues - after the prosecution foolishly told the jury that she’d testify about those welfare fraud issues - again, lying to get money. The children also claim that their sworn testimony from that case was false. In other words, they have a proven track record of being willing to lie to back up their mother’s story. After the “hostage ordeal”, the mother went to the exact same attorney as the 1993 accuser, despite claiming that she did not yet know her son had been abused. This attorney sends the boy to the same psychologist that the 1993 accuser went to, who gets the boy to talk about abuse. And, just in case there is *any* question about whether the family was aware of specifics of previous allegations, the young victim mentions the previous accuser by name, in an offhand reference to the previous allegations, on the stand. While many things the young man said must have made the prosecution cringe, that one was really something of a bombshell, since it raises, in huge bold letters, the possibility that the accusers had, in this Internet age, researched the previous allegations so as to tailor their story to match the previous claims.

    The above provides some serious reasons for careful scrutiny of the details of the claims, since there is logical reason to suspect that the family may have a pattern of lying where monetary jackpots await.

    So what do we find? All sorts of bits that simply don’t add up in the testimony. The tricky thing about testimony is that nobody, even the attorneys, can completely predict where the testimony will lead. And witnesses are not allowed to see each other’s testimony. Various pundits and blogs have documented various major conflicts between the details of the testimony of the various family members, but the most serious, from my perspective, are the bits which are internally inconsistent and illogical, even just based on the one person’s testimony. For example, the brother’s corroborating testimony is a problem. The only direct witness to the abuse, other than the victim, is his brother. He claims to have witnessed some of the abuse, when he snuck up to the doorway. Jackson’s room had an alarm system to warn him of incoming people. The prosecution asserts that this allows him to abuse without risk of discovery. Under cross-examination about question of how he managed this despite the alarm, he agrees that the alarm would have gone off - in fact, he then says that it did. And yet, he claims that the defendant was not interrupted by the apparently loud alarm going off, and does not even discover that he is now being watched… Hello? Am I the only one who thinks this sounds more like a detail he wasn’t prepped for, and which makes his whole claim collapse?

    To be frank, in isolation this set of claims is not yet compelling to me. There are too many logical inconsistencies, and too many serious questions about the motives of the family members. But of course, this is *not* in isolation. Thanks to a curious detail of California law, adjusted specifically to allow past allegations against this specific defendant to be usable in any future trial, unproven and unprovable allegations can be used “to establish a tendency”, though officially not to actually prove the charges.

    So what pattern emerges? Curiously, most of the people who claim to have witnessed previous abuse are also people who tried, after they worked for the defendant, to sue him - in a case which was so deficient that they were ordered to pay for his defense. They never went to the authorities with their allegations at the time, but they did go to the tabloids - a forum which, as we all know, pays only for absolute truth, *never* for sensationalistic exaggeration. Some of them apparently were asserting new details of abuse as late as the week of their testimony.

    Several of the comments here have made the basic point that one or two claims could be fictitious, but the sheer number surely mean he is guilty. But that would seem to ignore the basic reality of who the defendant actually is. We’re talking about an extremely rich man who is openly eccentric, who welcomes disadvantaged children into his private amusement-park/home. One can either assume he does so for nefarious purposes, or that he is truly eccentric but not evil. In the first case, the list of allegations would be quite compelling - in the second case, it would simply reflect that if you have deep pockets and a big target stuck on your forehead, people will try to take advantage of it.

    If some anonymous guy is accused independently by several people, I’d agree that this could seem compelling. When a celebrity faces a list of heavily publicized similar complaints, it may or may not mean anything at all.

    Remember, if they could have made a case with the previous allegations, they would have - the D.A. has been openly trying to get a workable case here for a very long time. So what this all really means is simply that there are a lot of unproven, and unprovable, allegations.

    What the defendant has, or hasn’t done, in the past, or in this case, I don’t really know. But if I were on the jury, I don’t think I would be able to convict, based on the prosecution case.

    On one case where I was an alternate, the jury convicted, and is now facing 40 years, and I wholeheartedly agreed. On another case, I was the jury foreman. We convicted on one count, and acquitted on the other - because the prosecution’s case was compelling on one charge, and weak on the other. In yet another case, I was a witness, and a victim, of an armed robbery — for which the perpetrator is now doing a very, very long jail sentence. However, in this case, I get the impression that the prosecution was so eager to finally convict “the one that got away” that they went to trial despite not really having a case.

    But I guess we’ll see what the jury has to say - it all depends on those 12 opinions, not any of ours.

  45. Eric Says:

    The question doesn’t make the distinction between the charges involved, but I think it’s a relevant point.

    I’ll start with the charges which are supposed to have happened first, not to be confused with the charges which were *first* supposed to have happened first…

    In other words, is the defendant guilty or innocent, based solely on the prosecution’s case to date, and based on the assumption that the defense presents no case, of the conspiracy-related charges.

    I’d have to say innocent. There’s a presumption of innocence, so the prosecution has to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the conspiracy existed.

    Mostly they have, instead, proven that there are a lot of strange things in this world.

    Basically, this hinges on the story of the mother. While other evidence can agree or conflict with her story, her story *must* be believed for the conspiracy charges to stand. In the absence of her story, all of the details could be easily explained away. The passports and trip to Brazil? She was (based on her own story and those of other prosecution witnesses) acting paranoid, and had a history of doing so. She claimed to be needing protection from killers. One could easily assume therefore that she had *asked* for the trip to Brazil, except for her claims otherwise. The “don’t let the kids leave” orders? Similar explanations leap to mind — as paranoid as she was being (remember the hot-air balloon…), it is as logical to assume that she asked them to protect her kids, and they were doing so. Again, only her story conflicts with such an explanation. Pretty much everything collapses under one of two explanations. She, being paranoid, requested protection, or, later, the staff concluded that she was a dangerous wacko, and was attempting to document everything to establish the truth.

    So everything, on this charge, hinges on her credibility. Need I say more? Here’s a woman who has made similar charges before, who acknowledges lying under oath, several of whose comments have seemed paranoid/delusional at best.

    And now I come to what I consider to be the crux of the conspiracy part of this — the credibility of the actual claims themselves.

    According to the amended prosecution case, the conspiracy was designed to cover up… *nothing*. According to the prosecution, the first illegal act involving this family was a coverup… Think about that for a minute. Nothing at all has happened, other than a PR problem with a video. So the team goes into damage-control mode. They force her to make a scripted video. Of course, the videographer, a prosecution witness, claims that he saw no scripts, that the children were there for a few hours playing, and the mother was there for an hour or so, and did her makeup, etc. The videographer, who was there through the taping, saw no evidence of scripts, no coaching, etc. But for the sake of the argument, I’ll assume that he’s lying through his teeth, and that the video was fully scripted. Now the conspiracy concludes that, rather than keeping the family, which is apparently such a threat, away from the defendant, they should keep them close enough and unsupervised enough that the defendant can, for the first time, abuse the boy. Then they arrange for the family to go to Brazil, but by the way they let them go to Grandma’s house first. Add in the fact that this “hostage” family was apparently in and out of Neverland as often as the staff, including all of the family together, and kept going back… All of this is just a bit too implausible for me. I’d be amazed if all of the jurors were willing to agree that there is no reasonable doubt that there was an organized conspiracy, with the defendant’s specific knowledge, as alleged.

    At this point, I’d have to go for a verdict of Innocent on these charges.

    Now, for the more serious charges - sexual abuse. Again, the family, critical to these charges, are the worst problem for the prosecution. We have a family which has in the past parlayed allegations (unproven) of sexual abuse into a large cash settlement. The mother has acknowledged perjury in that case, and has taken the Fifth Amendment on some other issues - after the prosecution foolishly told the jury that she’d testify about those welfare fraud issues - again, lying to get money. The children also claim that their sworn testimony from that case was false. In other words, they have a proven track record of being willing to lie to back up their mother’s story. After the “hostage ordeal”, the mother went to the exact same attorney as the 1993 accuser, despite claiming that she did not yet know her son had been abused. This attorney sends the boy to the same psychologist that the 1993 accuser went to, who gets the boy to talk about abuse. And, just in case there is *any* question about whether the family was aware of specifics of previous allegations, the young victim mentions the previous accuser by name, in an offhand reference to the previous allegations, on the stand. While many things the young man said must have made the prosecution cringe, that one was really something of a bombshell, since it raises, in huge bold letters, the possibility that the accusers had, in this Internet age, researched the previous allegations so as to tailor their story to match the previous claims.

    The above provides some serious reasons for careful scrutiny of the details of the claims, since there is logical reason to suspect that the family may have a pattern of lying where monetary jackpots await.

    So what do we find? All sorts of bits that simply don’t add up in the testimony. The tricky thing about testimony is that nobody, even the attorneys, can completely predict where the testimony will lead. And witnesses are not allowed to see each other’s testimony. Various pundits and blogs have documented various major conflicts between the details of the testimony of the various family members, but the most serious, from my perspective, are the bits which are internally inconsistent and illogical, even just based on the one person’s testimony. For example, the brother’s corroborating testimony is a problem. The only direct witness to the abuse, other than the victim, is his brother. He claims to have witnessed some of the abuse, when he snuck up to the doorway. Jackson’s room had an alarm system to warn him of incoming people. The prosecution asserts that this allows him to abuse without risk of discovery. Under cross-examination about question of how he managed this despite the alarm, he agrees that the alarm would have gone off - in fact, he then says that it did. And yet, he claims that the defendant was not interrupted by the apparently loud alarm going off, and does not even discover that he is now being watched… Hello? Am I the only one who thinks this sounds more like a detail he wasn’t prepped for, and which makes his whole claim collapse?

    To be frank, in isolation this set of claims is not yet compelling to me. There are too many logical inconsistencies, and too many serious questions about the motives of the family members. But of course, this is *not* in isolation. Thanks to a curious detail of California law, adjusted specifically to allow past allegations against this specific defendant to be usable in any future trial, unproven and unprovable allegations can be used “to establish a tendency”, though officially not to actually prove the charges.

    So what pattern emerges? Curiously, most of the people who claim to have witnessed previous abuse are also people who tried, after they worked for the defendant, to sue him - in a case which was so deficient that they were ordered to pay for his defense. They never went to the authorities with their allegations at the time, but they did go to the tabloids - a forum which, as we all know, pays only for absolute truth, *never* for sensationalistic exaggeration. Some of them apparently were asserting new details of abuse as late as the week of their testimony.

    Several of the comments here have made the basic point that one or two claims could be fictitious, but the sheer number surely mean he is guilty. But that would seem to ignore the basic reality of who the defendant actually is. We’re talking about an extremely rich man who is openly eccentric, who welcomes disadvantaged children into his private amusement-park/home. One can either assume he does so for nefarious purposes, or that he is truly eccentric but not evil. In the first case, the list of allegations would be quite compelling - in the second case, it would simply reflect that if you have deep pockets and a big target stuck on your forehead, people will try to take advantage of it.

    If some anonymous guy is accused independently by several people, I’d agree that this could seem compelling. When a celebrity faces a list of heavily publicized similar complaints, it may or may not mean anything at all.

    Remember, if they could have made a case with the previous allegations, they would have - the D.A. has been openly trying to get a workable case here for a very long time. So what this all really means is simply that there are a lot of unproven, and unprovable, allegations.

    What the defendant has, or hasn’t done, in the past, or in this case, I don’t really know. But if I were on the jury, I don’t think I would be able to convict, based on the prosecution case.

    On one case where I was an alternate, the jury convicted, and is now facing 40 years, and I wholeheartedly agreed. On another case, I was the jury foreman. We convicted on one count, and acquitted on the other - because the prosecution’s case was compelling on one charge, and weak on the other. In yet another case, I was a witness, and a victim, of an armed robbery — for which the perpetrator is now doing a very, very long jail sentence. However, in this case, I get the impression that the prosecution was so eager to finally convict “the one that got away” that they went to trial despite not really having a case.

    But I guess we’ll see what the jury has to say - it all depends on those 12 opinions, not any of ours.

  46. Wendy Robinson Says:

    Very logical, very point by (your points of interest) point. Bottom line - birds of a feather flock together, now they are all taking each other down. I would like to see Emmanual Lewis’ mother get on the stand and say why she grabbed her child and got the heck out of there when things got strange! She has integrity and would be credible.

  47. Michael Says:

    I am not a fan of MJ never have been either. As far as I have heard the various testimonies I cannot think otherwise that there must be some truth in this all, enough for me to say guilty as hell.
    The defence has already spoken in cross examination and I was not impressed. The Holywood stars will probable impress me even less.
    I fear that money has spoken here in many ways, but it also appears that it - money - has little more to say or to add!

  48. Yvette Says:

    I totally agree with you Eric. There is a flat out resaonable doubt and also a vedetta by Sneddon. In fact, today, Debbie Rowe speaks fondly of her ex-husband and theiur children. Everyone, MONEY HUNRGY!!!

  49. Eric Says:

    The question doesn’t make the distinction between the charges involved, but I think it’s a relevant point.

    I’ll start with the charges which are supposed to have happened first, not to be confused with the charges which were *first* supposed to have happened first…

    In other words, is the defendant guilty or innocent, based solely on the prosecution’s case to date, and based on the assumption that the defense presents no case, of the conspiracy-related charges.

    I’d have to say innocent. There’s a presumption of innocence, so the prosecution has to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the conspiracy existed.

    Mostly they have, instead, proven that there are a lot of strange things in this world.

    Basically, this hinges on the story of the mother. While other evidence can agree or conflict with her story, her story *must* be believed for the conspiracy charges to stand. In the absence of her story, all of the details could be easily explained away. The passports and trip to Brazil? She was (based on her own story and those of other prosecution witnesses) acting paranoid, and had a history of doing so. She claimed to be needing protection from killers. One could easily assume therefore that she had *asked* for the trip to Brazil, except for her claims otherwise. The “don’t let the kids leave” orders? Similar explanations leap to mind — as paranoid as she was being (remember the hot-air balloon…), it is as logical to assume that she asked them to protect her kids, and they were doing so. Again, only her story conflicts with such an explanation. Pretty much everything collapses under one of two explanations. She, being paranoid, requested protection, or, later, the staff concluded that she was a dangerous wacko, and was attempting to document everything to establish the truth.

    So everything, on this charge, hinges on her credibility. Need I say more? Here’s a woman who has made similar charges before, who acknowledges lying under oath, several of whose comments have seemed paranoid/delusional at best.

    And now I come to what I consider to be the crux of the conspiracy part of this — the credibility of the actual claims themselves.

    According to the amended prosecution case, the conspiracy was designed to cover up… *nothing*. According to the prosecution, the first illegal act involving this family was a coverup… Think about that for a minute. Nothing at all has happened, other than a PR problem with a video. So the team goes into damage-control mode. They force her to make a scripted video. Of course, the videographer, a prosecution witness, claims that he saw no scripts, that the children were there for a few hours playing, and the mother was there for an hour or so, and did her makeup, etc. The videographer, who was there through the taping, saw no evidence of scripts, no coaching, etc. But for the sake of the argument, I’ll assume that he’s lying through his teeth, and that the video was fully scripted. Now the conspiracy concludes that, rather than keeping the family, which is apparently such a threat, away from the defendant, they should keep them close enough and unsupervised enough that the defendant can, for the first time, abuse the boy. Then they arrange for the family to go to Brazil, but by the way they let them go to Grandma’s house first. Add in the fact that this “hostage” family was apparently in and out of Neverland as often as the staff, including all of the family together, and kept going back… All of this is just a bit too implausible for me. I’d be amazed if all of the jurors were willing to agree that there is no reasonable doubt that there was an organized conspiracy, with the defendant’s specific knowledge, as alleged.

    At this point, I’d have to go for a verdict of Innocent on these charges.

    Now, for the more serious charges - sexual abuse. Again, the family, critical to these charges, are the worst problem for the prosecution. We have a family which has in the past parlayed allegations (unproven) of sexual abuse into a large cash settlement. The mother has acknowledged perjury in that case, and has taken the Fifth Amendment on some other issues - after the prosecution foolishly told the jury that she’d testify about those welfare fraud issues - again, lying to get money. The children also claim that their sworn testimony from that case was false. In other words, they have a proven track record of being willing to lie to back up their mother’s story. After the “hostage ordeal”, the mother went to the exact same attorney as the 1993 accuser, despite claiming that she did not yet know her son had been abused. This attorney sends the boy to the same psychologist that the 1993 accuser went to, who gets the boy to talk about abuse. And, just in case there is *any* question about whether the family was aware of specifics of previous allegations, the young victim mentions the previous accuser by name, in an offhand reference to the previous allegations, on the stand. While many things the young man said must have made the prosecution cringe, that one was really something of a bombshell, since it raises, in huge bold letters, the possibility that the accusers had, in this Internet age, researched the previous allegations so as to tailor their story to match the previous claims.

    The above provides some serious reasons for careful scrutiny of the details of the claims, since there is logical reason to suspect that the family may have a pattern of lying where monetary jackpots await.

    So what do we find? All sorts of bits that simply don’t add up in the testimony. The tricky thing about testimony is that nobody, even the attorneys, can completely predict where the testimony will lead. And witnesses are not allowed to see each other’s testimony. Various pundits and blogs have documented various major conflicts between the details of the testimony of the various family members, but the most serious, from my perspective, are the bits which are internally inconsistent and illogical, even just based on the one person’s testimony. For example, the brother’s corroborating testimony is a problem. The only direct witness to the abuse, other than the victim, is his brother. He claims to have witnessed some of the abuse, when he snuck up to the doorway. Jackson’s room had an alarm system to warn him of incoming people. The prosecution asserts that this allows him to abuse without risk of discovery. Under cross-examination about question of how he managed this despite the alarm, he agrees that the alarm would have gone off - in fact, he then says that it did. And yet, he claims that the defendant was not interrupted by the apparently loud alarm going off, and does not even discover that he is now being watched… Hello? Am I the only one who thinks this sounds more like a detail he wasn’t prepped for, and which makes his whole claim collapse?

    To be frank, in isolation this set of claims is not yet compelling to me. There are too many logical inconsistencies, and too many serious questions about the motives of the family members. But of course, this is *not* in isolation. Thanks to a curious detail of California law, adjusted specifically to allow past allegations against this specific defendant to be usable in any future trial, unproven and unprovable allegations can be used “to establish a tendency”, though officially not to actually prove the charges.

    So what pattern emerges? Curiously, most of the people who claim to have witnessed previous abuse are also people who tried, after they worked for the defendant, to sue him - in a case which was so deficient that they were ordered to pay for his defense. They never went to the authorities with their allegations at the time, but they did go to the tabloids - a forum which, as we all know, pays only for absolute truth, *never* for sensationalistic exaggeration. Some of them apparently were asserting new details of abuse as late as the week of their testimony.

    Several of the comments here have made the basic point that one or two claims could be fictitious, but the sheer number surely mean he is guilty. But that would seem to ignore the basic reality of who the defendant actually is. We’re talking about an extremely rich man who is openly eccentric, who welcomes disadvantaged children into his private amusement-park/home. One can either assume he does so for nefarious purposes, or that he is truly eccentric but not evil. In the first case, the list of allegations would be quite compelling - in the second case, it would simply reflect that if you have deep pockets and a big target stuck on your forehead, people will try to take advantage of it.

    If some anonymous guy is accused independently by several people, I’d agree that this could seem compelling. When a celebrity faces a list of heavily publicized similar complaints, it may or may not mean anything at all.

    Remember, if they could have made a case with the previous allegations, they would have - the D.A. has been openly trying to get a workable case here for a very long time. So what this all really means is simply that there are a lot of unproven, and unprovable, allegations.

    What the defendant has, or hasn’t done, in the past, or in this case, I don’t really know. But if I were on the jury, I don’t think I would be able to convict, based on the prosecution case.

    On one case where I was an alternate, the jury convicted, and is now facing 40 years, and I wholeheartedly agreed. On another case, I was the jury foreman. We convicted on one count, and acquitted on the other - because the prosecution’s case was compelling on one charge, and weak on the other. In yet another case, I was a witness, and a victim, of an armed robbery — for which the perpetrator is now doing a very, very long jail sentence. However, in this case, I get the impression that the prosecution was so eager to finally convict “the one that got away” that they went to trial despite not really having a case.

    But I guess we’ll see what the jury has to say - it all depends on those 12 opinions, not any of ours.

  50. Angelica Roberts Says:

    Eric, that is an excellent reprise of the major points of the testimony and the prosecution’s case. You omitted reference to the fingerprints in the magazines and I don’t blame you. That evidence is worthless. The boys could have handled the books without MJ giving them the material. The fact that all the magazines are heterosexually oriented suggest that MJ is neither a homosexual nor a pedophile, as he easily could have had this kind of material if he had wanted it. Another charge is that he illegally gave alcohol to his victims to groom them for a sexual encounter. There is no evidence of this and the testimony (the stewardess never saw MJ give them alcohol and testified that his drinking wine out of a soda can was her idea and that Michael accepted her suggestion because he did not want the kids to see him consuming alcohol. One of the household staff testified to bringing alcohol to the bedroom but then remembered on the stand that he also brought sodas for the boys. The boys testified that he gave them alcohol - Jesus Juice - but it is not well corroborated by other witnesses. I think the jurors will conclude that the fingerprint evidence is worthless and that the testimony that MJ fed alcohol to the boys, is very weak, certainly not strong enough to convict.

  51. Angelica Roberts Says:

    Michael, I respect your position too. But if Jay Leno says the mother of the accuser or the accuser himself called me and asked for money, and the mother testified that she never called him or any other celebrity for support - then I would tend to believe Leno, not the mother or the accuser. It doesn’t have to do with celebrity but with believability. If Cullen says nothing happened, likewise, I would tend to believe him, not the disgruntled guard who says he saw abuse.

  52. Michael Says:

    Sorry guys, I am not a USA citizen and the USA legal system is something I prefer not to understand. I know for sure that in the normal civilized world - Europe -this guy MJ would be convicted may be not fro al the points he is accused of, unless one could prove that it was just a mass conspiricy agianst him. That I think is a fairy tale only supported by people suffering from paranoia or guilt . . .

  53. Eric Says:

    Michael, I’m not sure about the precise details in Europe (the Napoleonic Code and English Common Law are quite different, for example), but it’s fairly normal in a trial in many places, including the United States, for the prosecution to not be able to raise inflammatory unproven past allegations to convict based on quantity of past allegations rather than quality of present proof. Allowing anyone who doesn’t like someone to testify to anything they want, whether or not it is well enough documented that the prosecution is willing to charge the defendant with a crime, is usually considered too prejudicial, and too open to abuse. This is only being allowed in this trial because California specifically adjusted their laws to allow this in just this kind of trial, because of concerns resulting from the inability to prosecute past accusations against Michael Jackson. If there’s a conviction, this will almost certainly be a major point in the appeal, and may well be ruled to have denied him a fair trial.

    As to the question of whether the defendant in this case is the victim of a mass conspiracy, ironically that has already been determined in a court of law. Most of the ex-employees making allegations about the defendant were involved in a major lawsuit against Michael Jackson. The court not only concluded that their allegations were without merit, but it also concluded that they knew their allegations to be baseless, and that they were in fact at fault themselves. As a result they were penalized by being required to pay Michael Jackson’s legal bills from that case. They have apparently never actually paid this debt. These same people, who claim to have seen shockingly disgusting abuse, did not go to the authorities with their claims at the time, even after leaving his employ — instead, they sold their stories to the tabloids, which generally will pay more for more shocking claims.

    So at least some of the prosecution witnesses are not concerned citizens coming forward with horrific stories. If their stories are true, some of them are, at least morally, accessories after the fact to child abuse, since they kept working for him and kept their mouths shut. If their stories are false, they are perjurers, and, yes, probably co-conspirators yet again.

    Note that I’m not saying that he’s innocent, or that he’s guilty. But the current case has been overstuffed by the prosecution with problem witnesses, and too many prosecution witnesses have directly contradicted critical parts of the prosecution case.

  54. kofi Says:

    Eric i wholly agree with your summation. if i may add my doubtful bit, it is this, what i can’t understand is how the prosecution can confidently and unashmedly parade adult witnesses to ‘horrific sexual abuse’ of children and never report it to any one until now. i for one find it hard to comprehend what kind of a brother will see a sibling being abuse and would not stand up for the sibling or report it to a the parents. and if it was reported what can a parent is it that carelessly allow their child (and a sick one too) to continue visiting an abusive environment. As for the ex employees i think they should arrested for aiding and abetting the abuse of children for their silence if Michael is convicted. which ever way you look at it the prosecutions evidence does not stand up to scrutiny and have therefore resorted to the principle of ‘if you throw enough mud it will stick’

  55. Angelica Roberts Says:

    The prosecution as now stumbled very badly with the testimony of the ex wife (no I was not scripted) and the videographer (I did not see the accuser’s family rehersing etc). A trial lawyer is expected to know what a witness for his case will say. This looks incompetent. Also one would expect some powerful testimony to come forward at the end of the presentation. Now perhaps Sneddon will have an opportunity to present new testimony on redirect after the defense has its say and if so, I would have to eat my words. But right now, the prosecution seems to be ending with a whimper, not a bang.

  56. Michael Says:

    Well let me say it this way. I have problems to believe in the fairness opf the jury system - in my opinion this sytem is per defiition unfair - and also with the show that both prosecution and defense create around this.
    Reading the facts then I would say as a lawyer that there must be a more than small part of truth in all this, hence he is in some way guilty.
    The financial aspects are probably more typical USA and especially when well known people are involved and have nothing to do with justice or truth, one has to look at these matters ignoring all that! That former workers see this as a change to get back at him is normal. Probably the result of ill treatment. That does not mean they are lying, it only means that they see no reason any longer to shut op and keep things for themselves. That they did not do what a decent citizen should have done when witnessing these things is another matter, in those days probably the money kept them silent. That does not seem the to be the case anynore . . .

  57. Peeved Says:

    Michael Jackson is absolutely guilty of this and many, many other offences. Being born and becoming the biggest pop jerkoff in history is the greatest indignity to humanity this pedophilic homosexual ever perpetrated.
    To the rest of you, if your going to post comments at least spell all the words correctly.

  58. Yvette Says:

    Sounds like jeolousy to me…

  59. Deborah Starling-Pollard Says:

    I grew up with the Jackson Five and feel a special connection to the music during that era of which the Jackson Five contributed much. We would all like to think that Michael is a waif like character with an imagination that only wanders in the area of playgrounds, animals and video games, like the mind of a child.

    Michael is a 46-year-old man that drinks alcohol like every other man, reads porn like most men and very perversely hangs out with young boys. The latter spells “at least” potential pedophilia to me. He is not Peter Pan. Unfortunately, he is under very poor management because if he had surrounded himself with people that had his best interest at heart, they would have made it clear to Michael the first time he was charged many years ago of child molestation, that to continue in the life style chosen would be career suicide.

    Jail time for any other person involved in deviant behavior like this would definitely be the only option. If Michael is guilty, he should be treated like any other child molester. There should be no exceptions to the rule. I’m not really sure that he is guilty but there is a lot of circumstantial evidence against him. He is however, guilty of being very vulnerable and stupid. In our society there are norms and mores that we must adhere to. The concept of men sleeping with little boys is unacceptable, period. Anyone that witnessed any type of molestation against young boys at the Never land ranch without reporting it should be sitting right beside Michael in court. I pray that Michael did not commit any sexual crimes against children. Primarily because of all the wonderful generosity and love that he spread around the world during his career. But with all of the good that the Never land ranch represented in providing happiness for terminally ill and disenfranchised youth, it has never looked more tawdry and creepy as it does right now.

  60. Allen James Says:

    As soon as the prosecution brings someone who has no axe to grind with Mr Jackson and testify to any improper event. For me , he is innocent. All it takes for him to be guilty for me is 1, yes 1 person with no axe to grind. So far, I haven’t seen that and in America, you are innocent until proven guilty. It will be a sad day in American Justice if someone is convicted by the testimonies of only their enemies.

  61. Eric Says:

    Since my earlier comments here, we now have the full testimony from Debbie Rowe, who was supposed to corroborate the accuser’s mother’s story of a tightly scripted interview. Instead, we have yet another prosecution witness saying things which clearly surprised the prosecution. They also corroborated the testimony of another prosecution witness, the videographer from the accuser interview, who says that there was a list of questions, but no evidence of a script of answers or coaching.

    And remember — the prosecutor specifically told the jury in his opening remarks what Debbie Rowe would say. In retrospect, that was obviously a bad idea. Odds of an outright acquittal on all charges just went up, odds of a conviction on all charges just went way down. I still think a hung jury on at least some of the 10 counts is the most probable outcome, but we haven’t even heard the defense case yet.

    Also, we were led to believe that Rowe’s attorney (who was present for her interview) would have tales of extensive coaching between shots. After she testified to no scripting or coaching, the accounts I’ve read so far indicate that the lawyer just said that the Jackson team made comments about how pleased Michael would be. So the “coaching” may collapse to allegations that the Jackson team was happy with what Debbie Rowe said. They certainly couldn’t have been much happier than they were with her glowing trial testimony! I think the prosecution has a real problem here.

    If the jury concludes that the prosecution’s own witnesses indicate that the interview was not scripted, and yet the accuser’s mother asserts that it was scripted down to the minutest detail, her credibility on the rest of her accusations may be irretrievable. And without her, the conspiracy charges collapse. If she lied about the interview, why assume she’s telling the truth about the rest? One could simply assert that the rest of the “conspiracy” part (travel plans, instructions to prevent the children from getting off the premises, surveillance, etc.) was done at her request because she demanded protection (she herself asserts that she thought she needed protection *by*, rather than *from* Jackson’s team at various points). At this point, I’d be completely astonished if the jury convicted on the conspiracy charges. Their case on those charges just went from weak to absurd, done in by their own witnesses before the defense case has even begun.

    The prosecution *really* needs a compelling witness about now, to undo the damage they’ve done yesterday and today!

  62. Yvette Says:

    The prosecution does not have any witnesses as such… oh well…duh…

  63. Angelica Roberts Says:

    Eric

    I think there must be much consternation in the prosecutor’s camp tonight. With the ex wife’s testimony, the prosecution’s case is ending on a very weak note. Something is wrong. The prosecutor thought he was going to get something from the ex-wife. Did Jackson’s people get to her? Is there witness tampering? Or is this just what it appears to be?

    Sneddon is not so dumb as to put on the stand a person who is going to testify exactly the opposite to what he expected. I do not think that the Rowe testimony is over yet. I think the prosecutor will have something substantial to offer — if not, his case is extremely weak

    R

  64. Yvette Says:

    It’s been weak from the start!

  65. Ellen Rex Says:

    I am not particularly a fan of MJ and could not without a great deal of thought recall one of his songs - I have been watching the trial with interest - I am a lawyer myself and to my mind the prosecution has not by any means proved its case - it is a witch hunt - MJ is not on trial for being a little odd or not looking like the rest of us - yes he is different - yes he is perhaps a Peter Pan - but a child molester - I don’t think so - good luck MJ

  66. Simon Says:

    If Jackson is found to be guilty (which i hope he isn’t but think it is) he should be sent to prison for the time that the judge would send anyone else who commited the same crime. He is one of the biggest celebrities in the world - what type of message is it sending if he gets a way with a short scentance or physic treatment?

  67. Anita Says:

    Ellen, how can you be so sure? There is no smoke without fire, as the saying goes! Yes, I do think it has turned into a bit of a witch-hunt and the main point seems to have been deviated off a little but the question remains, did he and does he molest children? Fair enough, he likes to look different and be unique, don’t we all, but is it not possible that he may have been mentally disturbed during his abusive childhood and his “not guilty” plea is, in his mind, just that, as he cannot comprehend the extent of his actions, if indeed, he is to be found guilty?

  68. susan Says:

    I really don’t think that michael jackson has done what he is being accused of. I feel like he really was out to help children with cancer. Not out to play with little boys. Just about every actress or every pop star is accused of doing something one thing are another. Now here is MJ helping out children and low and behold he iss being accused of this. This is what happends when you go out of your way to help someone you are most likely to get stabbed in the back. And a lot of you know what i am talking about. One piece of advice when you get charged with a crime like this the story just gets better and better until you got just about everyone beliveing that this crime happend.

  69. Anita Says:

    Okay, but hand on heart, did you not find Mr. Bashir’s documentary just a bit disturbing?

  70. Anita Says:

    Just a point to make to the neutral observer ( comment 4 ): - are you saying that you would find it acceptable for your children to sleep in a room alone provided it was with a trusted friend or relative? Because I must warn you, most cases of incest are commited by trusted friends, relatives or close family members, and this would be a great error of judgement on your part. Children also find it hard if not impossible to tell their parents because of the close family relationship. Just a valid point you should take serious note of!

  71. Yvette Says:

    Bashir’s documentary was scripted and plotted from the start by Schoffel get it?
    All this has been fabricated to try and discredit Mr. Jaskson, veryone from the ‘93 accuser down to the present accuser and their family. They saw and opportunity and they tried to capitolize on it…also, those former employee’s who now owe Mr. Jaskson $1.4 million. They have committed perjury and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. They should not be allowed to come into court and get on the stand and lie through their teeth-the court shoukd follow through with this-he’s done so with the defense’s objections. He too, the Judge should get on Tom Sneddon as well for sitting behind the prsecutions table his witness what to saywhile they were up on the witness stand! that’s down right unacceptable.

  72. Eric Lincoln Says:

    Anita: Your comment about “no smoke without fire” worries me a bit. It’s an old saying, but doesn’t really mean much.

    It’s kind of like when people say “bad luck comes in threes” or “third time’s the charm” — they’ve got a handy saying to “explain” either outcome — but neither saying has any inherent truth.

    In fact, in human relations there is quite often “smoke” with, and also without, “fire”.

    The prosecution’s abuse expert testified that most such allegations are real, only a small percentage are false. Note that this means that a certain percentage of the time, the allegations are, in fact, false. “Smoke”, without “fire”, according to the prosecution’s own expert.

    I don’t know whether the defense dug into that any — they could, for example, have asked whether the expert had any statistics on the percentages of false allegations against millionaires who are rumored to have settled past allegations for millions. Probably the prosecution would have objected to such a question, but it is, frankly, a valid question.

    Independent of whether this defendant is actually innocent or guilty of the earlier allegations, and independent of whether he is guilty of the allegations in this case, you can guarantee that there are, unfortunately, a *lot* of crazy people out there who would love to get close enough to make more such allegations. Once the rumor gets out that you’ve got a multimillionaire who is willing to settle allegations for multiple millions of dollars, lots of people will try to come line up for the handouts. In other words, because of his unusual financial realities, even if it turns out that he’s really a pedophile he could *still* be facing false accusations!

    If someone with no money faces a stream of independent allegations, it’s most likely going to turn out to be true. But if someone with a *ton* of money faces a long stream of well-publicized accusations, it may indicate a real problem, or may just indicate a long stream of people hoping to cash in. You have to remember that the accusers also have a motive. Are they coming forward because they were abused, and want to stop him, or are they coming forward because they were close enough to make allegations that will be difficult to disprove, and they figure they can turn that into money? The allegations (the smoke) will happen either way.

  73. Eric Says:

    I may be all wet on this one, but I get the impression that the D. A. is *so* convinced of the defendant’s fundamental guilt that he didn’t really give this *specific* case the critical eye that he should have.

    He must surely have known that the accusers, because of the family’s history, were in some ways the weakest part of the case. If he didn’t know that up front, he must surely have known it when he had to change the original charges. He originally charged the defendant with a specific number of instances, on a specific range of dates. He then took the case before the grand jury, and out of that came a different number, and a different range of dates. The accuser’s family is now quite specific about those specific incidents/dates, but they apparently originally told a different tale.

    In the original version, the abuse started much earlier. Based on their original timeline, the whole rush to cover things up, implied in the conspiracy charges, made much more sense. The Bashir video would direct attention to someone whom Jackson had abused, and it was now necessary to cover this up.

    However, the story changed after the investigation. Rumor has it that the original story simply didn’t add up. They accused Jackson of abuse on specific days when he was verifiably not there…

    At that point, alarm bells should have been going off all over the place, and perhaps they were. The family’s story now changed. Only a few of the later incidents (the ones when he *was* in town) were now remembered. The other claims were presumably blamed on confusion or poor memory.

    Now, of course, the explanation of the coverup has to change also. He’s no longer protecting himself against being accused of something he’s guilty of doing. Instead, he’s involved only in handling a PR problem. And after all that, they claim that only then does he start abusing someone the press is already suspicious about.

    The original story made more sense, even if it *was* demonstrably false.

    Knowing that background, if they still found the accusations credible, they should have known that they would have to present an absolutely rock-solid case.

    So what do we find?

    They sent the magazines to be checked for fingerprints only after passing them around at the grand jury, without even being prepared by the time of the trial for the question of whether they were *handled* at that time. They were trying to treat the fingerprints on the magazine as a smoking gun, but they didn’t examine it very carefully.

    They even allowed the accuser to identify, on the stand, specific magazines taken from Jackson’s house without apparently even looking at the front cover date to see whether the magazine would have even been printed yet when the family was at Neverland. They chose which magazines to show him and have him identify — were they too busy looking at the pictures to read the cover date??? Yet another credibility problem when their witness has to start saying “when I said it was that magazine, I didn’t really mean that it was *that* magazine”… The prosecutors, as they have several times in this trial, created their own on-stand disaster.

    They apparently also didn’t give much analytical, skeptical thought to the brother’s account, since they weren’t prepared for logical issues with him “sneaking up” to a door which they themselves so carefully established was well protected by alarm systems… Think about it. Other than the accuser’s personal story, this is their confirmation — someone else saw it! And yet they apparently never asked about the alarm. If the child had said that it didn’t go off, and he didn’t know why, his testimony wouldn’t worry me. Maybe it wasn’t armed, maybe he was small enough to not set it off. If his overall story claimed that it did go off, the defendant stopped the abuse, but he’d already seen it and quickly hid, his testimony wouldn’t have worried me. Neither of those happened. The boy agreed that there was an alarm. He agreed that it went off if you approached the room. By this time, maybe the prosecution was starting to see it coming, but it was too late. The defense then asked him if, in fact, it went off… And he said yeah, it went off. But by that time he’d already described his actions in full, and had already testified that Jackson wasn’t aware of his presence and didn’t stop…

    If he really saw what he did, and the alarm really went off when he approached the room, it would seem inconcievable to me that this detail wouldn’t have been a central part of his story. When a child is sneaking up on someone, and an alarm goes off, this isn’t a central part of his story???

    If they’d asked him about that detail when doing their interviews, and gotten such a silly reply, I can only think they might have had the wisdom to let the accuser’s story stand on its own, without such “support”, or at the very least brought it out themselves during the original recitation of the story, (”I approached the room.” “Did the alarm go off?” “Yes.” “What did you see?”) rather than leaving it for the defense to bring up. But they were not prepared for a question which the focus on the details of the security systems made somewhat obvious. As a result, there is a danger that the jury will conclude that they’ve witnessed one of the children lying to back up the other’s story, which surely would raise questions about the other brother’s story…

    They also told the jury not just what they intended to establish in the course of the trial, but specific statements that specific prosecution witnesses would say — without being able to follow through.

    In short, they appear to have acted as if they assumed the case was a slam-dunk, as if they assumed their theory was automatically fact in all particulars, and therefore all their evidence would automatically support it, and they appear to have been sloppy with their preparation. Knowing that they were going up against a defendant with Jackson’s resources, and rembering to O.J. Simpson and Robert Blake trials, this seems really stupid.

    This reminds me of something I went through once. I was a jury foreman on a case dealing with domestic abuse and malicious mischief (damage to a car). During the trial, the defendant chose to testify. In his testimony, the defendant claimed that the car had been like that when they bought it. The prosecutor appeared to have daydreamed through that. They did not cross-examine him on that point, they did not call any rebuttal witnesses to attest to the condition of the car before the incident in question. Instead, the prosecutor simply told the jury in his closing arguments that we had heard no other explanation for the damage to the car and thus had to convict. We did, in fact, convict on the abuse charges. But we *could not* convict on the malicious mischief charge, despite the general consensus that from what we saw those claims were quite plausible, because the prosecution simply never proved it. It was the defendant’s word against the accuser’s, and the prosecution was unprepared to prove that the car hadn’t already been like that, and apparently wasn’t even paying enough attention to notice that the issue was even in play.

    Now, when dealing with a minor case like the one I was on, with the limited time and resources which were probably available to the prosecution, this kind of error is probably understandable. Frankly, the prosecutor probably didn’t really care about the kicked-out taillight, and may well not have been personally involved in deciding what to charge. Getting a conviction on the abuse was more important to him, and he was well-prepared on that part, with the sort of independent witnesses which could have probably removed all doubt on the second charge.

    You simply *shouldn’t* prosecute a case against someone like Michael Jackson, however, without doing your homework, looking at every single piece of evidence from an adversarial perspective for any obvious weaknesses, and being prepared to do the research that the defense will certainly be doing.

    And if the research reveals that the accusations are impossible, and need to be rewritten to not contradict the police investigation, you should be really careful about deciding to prosecute at all. The question of whether the abuse started before or after the video seems like a critical one…

    I’m also not sure that the prosecution’s few clear “victories” have been helpful to them. They won a major battle to call Debbie Rowe to the stand, and have regretted it ever since.

    And what one could consider their single largest win, the ability to bring old allegations in, may backfire as well. As it has become clear that every single accuser — whether it is someone who claims to have been a victim, or a family member of someone who claims to have been a victim, or an employee who claims to have witnessed abuse, has made some effort to profit financially from their story, it begins to paint a pattern — but not only the pattern they were trying to focus on. When looking at the people who claim to have been victims, one can understand the lawsuits, etc. It doesn’t mean they weren’t motivated by greed, but it doesn’t mean they were, either. But much of the testimony about past incidents was not from past accusers. Some of it is about people who insist to this day they were *not* abused. Instead, many of the stories are coming from other people, not victims, who have tried to profit from their stories, but didn’t try to do anything about what they claim to have seen.

    Think about it. These people claim that Jackson was so careless about abuse that you could just walk in on him anywhere, anytime, all over the property, and find him with his hands in some child’s pants, or look in through the window and see him. And yet none of the people who claim to have seen such things had the human decency to call the cops. Instead, they contacted the tabloids to try to sell their stories.

    And the prosecution was eager, fought very hard, to put such people on the witness stand to tell salacious unconfirmed stories, when their own testimony implies that they have more greed than conscience, and reminds the jury (over and over) that making explosive accusations about Jackson can be used as a way to try to make easy money…

    If so many people saw so many intensely incriminating things, couldn’t they find even one who has treated it as something other than a way to get money?!?!?!?!?!

  74. Eric Says:

    I may be all wet on this one, but I get the impression that the D. A. is *so* convinced of the defendant’s fundamental guilt of this *type* of crime that he didn’t really give this *specific* case the critical eye that he should have.

    He must surely have known that the accusers, because of the family’s history, were in some ways the weakest part of the case. If he didn’t know that up front, he must surely have known it when he had to change the original charges. He originally charged the defendant with a specific number of instances, on a specific range of dates. He then took the case before the grand jury, and out of that came a different number, and a different range of dates. The accuser’s family is now quite specific about those specific incidents/dates, but they apparently originally told a rather different tale.

    In the original version, the abuse started much earlier. Based on their original timeline, the whole rush to cover things up, implied in the conspiracy charges, made much more sense. The Bashir video, as edited, would direct attention to someone whom Jackson had abused, and it was now necessary to cover this up.

    However, the story changed after the investigation. Rumor has it that the original story simply didn’t add up. They accused Jackson of abuse on specific days when he was verifiably not there…

    At that point, alarm bells should have been going off all over the place, and perhaps they were. The family’s story now changed. Only a few of the later incidents (the ones when he *was* in town) were now remembered. The other claims were presumably blamed on confusion or poor memory.

    Now, of course, the explanation of the coverup has to change also. He’s no longer protecting himself against being accused of something he’s guilty of doing. Instead, he’s involved only in handling a PR problem. And after all that, they claim that only then, *after* people are already suspicious about this relationship, does he start abusing someone the press is already suspicious about.

    The original story made more sense, even if it *was* demonstrably false.

    Knowing that background, if they still found the accusations credible, they should have known that they would have to present an absolutely rock-solid case.

    So what do we find?

    They sent the magazines to be checked for fingerprints only after passing them around at the grand jury, without even being prepared by the time of the trial for the question of whether they were *handled* at that time. They were trying to treat the fingerprints on the magazine as a smoking gun, but they didn’t examine it very carefully.

    They even allowed the accuser to identify, on the stand, specific magazines taken from Jackson’s house without apparently even looking at the front cover date to see whether the magazine would have even been printed yet when the family was at Neverland. They chose which magazines to show him and have him identify — were they too busy looking at the pictures to read the cover date??? Yet another credibility problem is created when their witness has to start saying “when I said it was that magazine, I didn’t really mean that it was *that* magazine”… The prosecutors, as they have several times in this trial, created their own on-stand disaster.

    They apparently also didn’t give much analytical, skeptical thought to the brother’s account, since they weren’t prepared for logical issues with him “sneaking up” to a door which they themselves so carefully established was well protected by alarm systems… Think about it. Other than the accuser’s personal story, this is their confirmation — someone else saw it! And yet they apparently never asked about the alarm. If the child had said that it didn’t go off, and he didn’t know why, his testimony wouldn’t worry me. Maybe it wasn’t armed, maybe he was small enough to not set it off. If his overall story claimed that it did go off, the defendant stopped the abuse, but he’d already seen it and quickly hid, his testimony wouldn’t have worried me. Neither of those happened. The boy agreed that there was an alarm. He agreed that it went off if you approached the room. By this time in his testimony, maybe the prosecution was starting to see it coming, but it was too late. The defense then asked him if, in fact, it went off… And he said yeah, it went off. But by that time he’d already described his actions in full, and had already testified that Jackson wasn’t aware of his presence and didn’t stop…

    If he really saw what he did, and the alarm really went off when he approached the room, it would seem inconceivable to me that this detail wouldn’t have been a central part of his story, told from the very first retelling. When a child is sneaking up on someone, and an alarm goes off, he doesn’t notice?

    If they’d asked him about that detail when doing their interviews, and gotten such a silly reply, I can only think they might have had the wisdom to let the accuser’s story stand on its own, without such “support”, or at the very least brought it out themselves during the original recitation of the story, (”I approached the room.” “Did the alarm go off?” “Yes.” “What did you see?”) rather than leaving it for the defense to bring up. But they were not prepared for a question which the focus on the details of the security systems made somewhat obvious. As a result, there is a danger that the jury will conclude that they’ve witnessed one of the children lying to back up the other’s story, which surely would raise questions about the other brother’s story…

    They also told the jury not just what they intended to establish in the course of the trial, but specific statements that specific prosecution witnesses would say — without being able to follow through.

    In short, they appear to have acted as if they assumed the case was a slam-dunk, as if they assumed their theory was automatically fact in all particulars, and therefore all their evidence would automatically support it, and they appear to have been sloppy with their preparation. Knowing that they were going up against a defendant with Jackson’s resources, and remembering the O.J. Simpson and Robert Blake trials, this seems really stupid.

    This reminds me of something I went through once. I was a jury foreman on a case dealing with domestic abuse and malicious mischief (damage to a car). During the trial, the defendant chose to testify. In his testimony, the defendant claimed that the car had been like that when they bought it. The prosecutor appeared to have daydreamed through that statement. They did not cross-examine him on that point, they did not call any rebuttal witnesses to attest to the condition of the car before the incident in question. Instead, the prosecutor simply told the jury in his closing arguments that we had heard no other explanation for the damage to the car (oops) and thus had to convict. We did, in fact, convict on the abuse charges. But we *could not* convict on the malicious mischief charge, despite the general consensus that from what we saw those claims were quite plausible, because the prosecution simply never proved it. It was the defendant’s word against the accuser’s, and the prosecution was unprepared to prove that the car hadn’t already been like that, and apparently wasn’t even paying enough attention to notice that the issue was even in play.

    Now, when dealing with a minor case like the one I was on, with the limited time and resources which were probably available to the prosecution, this kind of error is probably understandable. Frankly, the prosecutor probably didn’t really care about the kicked-out taillight, and may well not have been personally involved in deciding what to charge. Getting a conviction on the abuse was more important to him, and he was well-prepared on that part, with the sort of independent witnesses which could have probably removed all doubt on the second charge.

    You simply *shouldn’t* prosecute a case against someone like Michael Jackson, however, without doing your homework, looking at every single piece of evidence from an adversarial perspective for any obvious weaknesses, and being prepared to do the research that the defense will certainly be doing.

    And if the research reveals that the accusations are impossible, and need to be rewritten to not contradict the police investigation, you should be really careful about deciding to prosecute at all. The question of whether the abuse started before or after the video seems like a critical one…

    I’m also not sure that the prosecution’s few clear “victories” have been helpful to them. They won a major battle to call Debbie Rowe to the stand, and have regretted it ever since.

    And what one could consider their single largest win, the ability to bring old allegations in, may backfire as well. As it has become clear that every single accuser — whether it is someone who claims to have been a victim, or a family member of someone who claims to have been a victim, or an employee who claims to have witnessed abuse, has made some effort to profit financially from their story, it begins to paint a pattern — but not only the pattern they were trying to focus on. When looking at the people who claim to have been victims, one can understand the lawsuits, etc. It doesn’t mean they weren’t motivated by greed, but it doesn’t mean they were, either. But much of the testimony about past incidents was not from past accusers. Some of it is about people who insist to this day they were *not* abused. Instead, many of the stories are coming from other people, not victims, who have tried to profit from their stories, but didn’t try to do anything about what they claim to have seen.

    Think about it. These people claim that Jackson was so careless about abuse that you could just walk in on him anywhere, anytime, all over the property, and find him with his hands in some child’s pants, or look in through the window and see him. And yet none of the people who claim to have seen such things had the human decency to call the cops. Instead, they contacted the tabloids to try to sell their stories.

    And the prosecution was eager, fought very hard, to put such people on the witness stand to tell salacious unconfirmed stories, when their own testimony implies that they have more greed than conscience, and reminds the jury (over and over) that making explosive accusations about Jackson can be used as a way to try to make easy money…

    If so many people saw so many intensely incriminating things, couldn’t they find even one who has treated it as something other than a way to get money?!?!?!?!?!

  75. Eric Says:

    I may be all wet on this one, but from here I get the impression that the D. A. is *so* convinced of the defendant’s fundamental guilt that he didn’t really give this *specific* case the critical eye that he should have.

    He must surely have known that the accusers, because of the family’s history, were in some ways the weakest part of the case. If he didn’t know that up front, he must surely have known it when he had to change the original charges. He originally charged the defendant with a specific number of instances, on a specific range of dates. He then took the case before the grand jury, and out of that came a different number, and a different range of dates. The accuser’s family is now quite specific about those specific incidents/dates, but they apparently originally told a different tale.

    In the original version, the abuse started much earlier. Based on their original timeline, the whole rush to cover things up, implied in the conspiracy charges, made much more sense. The Bashir video would direct attention to someone whom Jackson had abused, and it was now necessary to cover this up.

    However, the story changed after the investigation. Rumor has it that the original story simply didn’t add up. They accused Jackson of abuse on specific days when he was verifiably not there…

    At that point, alarm bells should have been going off all over the place, and perhaps they were. The family’s story now changed. Only a few of the later incidents (the ones when he *was* in town) were now remembered. The other claims were presumably blamed on confusion or poor memory.

    Now, of course, the explanation of the coverup has to change also. He’s no longer protecting himself against being accused of something he’s guilty of doing. Instead, he’s involved only in handling a PR problem. And after all that, they claim that only then does he start abusing someone the press is already suspicious about.

    The original story made more sense, even if it *was* demonstrably false.

    Knowing that background, if they still found the accusations credible, they should have known that they would have to present an absolutely rock-solid case.

    So what do we find?

    They sent the magazines to be checked for fingerprints only after passing them around at the grand jury, without even being prepared by the time of the trial for the question of whether they were *handled* at that time. They were trying to treat the fingerprints on the magazine as a smoking gun, but they didn’t examine it very carefully.

    They even allowed the accuser to identify, on the stand, specific magazines taken from Jackson’s house without apparently even looking at the front cover date to see whether the magazine would have even been printed yet when the family was at Neverland. They chose which magazines to show him and have him identify — were they too busy looking at the pictures to read the cover date??? Yet another credibility problem when their witness has to start saying “when I said it was that magazine, I didn’t really mean that it was *that* magazine”… The prosecutors, as they have several times in this trial, created their own on-stand disaster.

    They apparently also didn’t give much analytical, skeptical thought to the brother’s account, since they weren’t prepared for logical issues with him “sneaking up” to a door which they themselves so carefully established was well protected by alarm systems… Think about it. Other than the accuser’s personal story, this is their confirmation — someone else saw it! And yet they apparently never asked about the alarm. If the child had said that it didn’t go off, and he didn’t know why, his testimony wouldn’t worry me. Maybe it wasn’t armed, maybe he was small enough to not set it off. If his overall story claimed that it did go off, the defendant stopped the abuse, but he’d already seen it and quickly hid, his testimony wouldn’t have worried me. Neither of those happened. The boy agreed that there was an alarm. He agreed that it went off if you approached the room. By this time, maybe the prosecution was starting to see it coming, but it was too late. The defense then asked him if, in fact, it went off… And he said yeah, it went off. But by that time he’d already described his actions in full, and had already testified that Jackson wasn’t aware of his presence and didn’t stop…

    If he really saw what he did, and the alarm really went off when he approached the room, it would seem inconceivable to me that this detail wouldn’t have been a central part of his story. When a child is sneaking up on someone, and an alarm goes off, this isn’t a central part of his story???

    If they’d asked him about that detail when doing their interviews, and gotten such a silly reply, I can only think they might have had the wisdom to let the accuser’s story stand on its own, without such “support”, or at the very least brought it out themselves during the original recitation of the story, (”I approached the room.” “Did the alarm go off?” “Yes.” “What did you see?”) rather than leaving it for the defense to bring up. But they were not prepared for a question which the focus on the details of the security systems made somewhat obvious. As a result, there is a danger that the jury will conclude that they’ve witnessed one of the children lying to back up the other’s story, which surely would raise questions about the other brother’s story…

    They also told the jury not just what they intended to establish in the course of the trial, but specific statements that specific prosecution witnesses would say — without being able to follow through.

    In short, they appear to have acted as if they assumed the case was a slam-dunk, as if they assumed their theory was automatically fact in all particulars, and therefore all their evidence would automatically support it, and they appear to have been sloppy with their preparation. Knowing that they were going up against a defendant with Jackson’s resources, and rembering to O.J. Simpson and Robert Blake trials, this seems really stupid.

    This reminds me of something I went through once. I was a jury foreman on a case dealing with domestic abuse and malicious mischief (damage to a car). During the trial, the defendant chose to testify. In his testimony, the defendant claimed that the car had been like that when they bought it. The prosecutor appeared to have daydreamed through that. They did not cross-examine him on that point, they did not call any rebuttal witnesses to attest to the condition of the car before the incident in question. Instead, the prosecutor simply told the jury in his closing arguments that we had heard no other explanation for the damage to the car and thus had to convict. We did, in fact, convict on the abuse charges. But we *could not* convict on the malicious mischief charge, despite the general consensus that from what we saw those claims were quite plausible, because the prosecution simply never proved it. It was the defendant’s word against the accuser’s, and the prosecution was unprepared to prove that the car hadn’t already been like that, and apparently wasn’t even paying enough attention to notice that the issue was even in play.

    Now, when dealing with a minor case like the one I was on, with the limited time and resources which were probably available to the prosecution, this kind of error is probably understandable. Frankly, the prosecutor probably didn’t really care about the kicked-out taillight, and may well not have been personally involved in deciding what to charge. Getting a conviction on the abuse was more important to him, and he was well-prepared on that part, with the sort of independent witnesses which could have probably removed all doubt on the second charge.

    You simply *shouldn’t* prosecute a case against someone like Michael Jackson, however, without doing your homework, looking at every single piece of evidence from an adversarial perspective for any obvious weaknesses, and being prepared to do the research that the defense will certainly be doing.

    And if the research reveals that the accusations are impossible, and need to be rewritten to not contradict the police investigation, you should be really careful about deciding to prosecute at all. The question of whether the abuse started before or after the video seems like a critical one…

    I’m also not sure that the prosecution’s few clear “victories” have been helpful to them. They won a major battle to call Debbie Rowe to the stand, and have regretted it ever since.

    And what one could consider their single largest win, the ability to bring old allegations in, may backfire as well. As it has become clear that every single accuser — whether it is someone who claims to have been a victim, or a family member of someone who claims to have been a victim, or an employee who claims to have witnessed abuse, has made some effort to profit financially from their story, it begins to paint a pattern — but not only the pattern they were trying to focus on. When looking at the people who claim to have been victims, one can understand the lawsuits, etc. It doesn’t mean they weren’t motivated by greed, but it doesn’t mean they were, either. But much of the testimony about past incidents was not from past accusers. Some of it is about people who insist to this day they were *not* abused. Instead, many of the stories are coming from other people, not victims, who have tried to profit from their stories, but didn’t try to do anything about what they claim to have seen.

    Think about it. These people claim that Jackson was so careless about abuse that you could just walk in on him anywhere, anytime, all over the property, and find him with his hands in some child’s pants, or look in through the window and see him. And yet none of the people who claim to have seen such things had the human decency to call the cops. Instead, they contacted the tabloids to try to sell their stories.

    And the prosecution was eager, fought very hard, to put such people on the witness stand to tell salacious unconfirmed stories, when their own testimony implies that they have more greed than conscience, and reminds the jury (over and over) that making explosive accusations about Jackson can be used as a way to try to make easy money…

    If so many people saw so many intensely incriminating things, couldn’t they find even one who has treated it as something other than a way to get money?!?!?!?!?!

  76. Eric Says:

    I may be all wet on this one, but from here I get the impression that the D. A. is *so* convinced of the defendant’s fundamental guilt that he didn’t really give this *specific* case the critical eye that he should have.

    He must surely have known that the accusers, because of the family’s history, were in some ways the weakest part of the case. If he didn’t know that up front, he must surely have known it when he had to change the original charges. He originally charged the defendant with a specific number of instances, on a specific range of dates. He then took the case before the grand jury, and out of that came a different number, and a different range of dates. The accuser’s family is now quite specific about those specific incidents/dates, but they apparently originally told a different tale.

    In the original version, the abuse started much earlier. Based on their original timeline, the whole rush to cover things up, implied in the conspiracy charges, made much more sense. The Bashir video would direct attention to someone whom Jackson had abused, and it was now necessary to cover this up.

    However, the story apparently changed after the investigation. Rumor has it that the original story simply didn’t add up. They accused Jackson of abuse on specific days when he was verifiably not there…

    At that point, alarm bells should have been going off all over the place, and perhaps they were. The family’s story now changed. Only a few of the later incidents (the ones when he *was* in town) were now remembered. The other claims were presumably blamed on confusion or poor memory about the sequence of events.

    Now, of course, the explanation of the coverup has to change also. He’s no longer protecting himself against being accused of something he’s guilty of doing. Instead, he’s involved only in handling a PR problem. And after all that, they claim that only then does he start abusing someone the press is already suspicious about.

    The original story made more sense, even if it *was* demonstrably false.

    Knowing that background, if they still found the accusations credible, they should have known that they would have to present an absolutely rock-solid case to bolster the credibility of the accuser’s story.

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    They sent the magazines to be checked for fingerprints only after passing them around at the grand jury, without even being prepared by the time of the trial for the question of whether they were *handled* at that time. They were trying to treat the fingerprints on the magazine as a smoking gun, but they didn’t examine it very carefully.

    They even allowed the accuser to identify, on the stand, specific magazines taken from Jackson’s house without apparently even looking at the front cover date to see whether the magazine would have even been printed yet when the family was at Neverland. They chose which magazines to show him and have him identify — were they too busy looking at the pictures to read the cover date??? Yet another credibility problem is created when their witness has to start saying “when I said it was that magazine, I didn’t really mean that it was *that* magazine”… The prosecutors, as they have several times in this trial, created their own on-stand disaster.

    They apparently also didn’t give much analytical, skeptical thought to the brother’s account, since they weren’t prepared for logical issues with him “sneaking up” to a door which they themselves so carefully established was well protected by alarm systems… Think about it. Other than the accuser’s personal story, this is their confirmation — someone else saw it! And yet they apparently never asked about the alarm. If the child had said that it didn’t go off, and he didn’t know why, his testimony wouldn’t worry me. Maybe it wasn’t armed, maybe he was small enough to not set it off. If his overall story claimed that it did go off, the defendant stopped the abuse, but he’d already seen it and quickly hid, his testimony wouldn’t have worried me. Neither of those happened. The boy agreed, when asked by the defense, that there was an alarm. He agreed, again when asked, that it went off if you approached the room. By this time, maybe the prosecution was starting to see it coming, but it was too late. The defense then asked him if, in fact, it went off… And he said yeah, it went off. But by that time he’d already described his actions in full, a story which included no reference to an alarm, and had already testified that Jackson wasn’t aware of his presence and didn’t stop…

    If he really saw what he did, and the alarm really went off when he approached the room, it would seem inconceivable to me that this detail wouldn’t have been a central part of his story. When a child is sneaking up on someone, and an alarm goes off, this isn’t a central part of his story??? He should have been saying under direct examination that the alarm went off, and that he was surprised that Jackson didn’t seem to notice. Absent such comments on direct examination, his story suddenly becomes intensely suspicious.

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    They also told the jury not just what they intended to establish in the course of the trial, but specific statements that specific prosecution witnesses would say — without being able to follow through.

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    This reminds me of something I went through once. I was a jury foreman on a case dealing with domestic abuse and malicious mischief (damage to a car). During the trial, the defendant chose to testify. In his testimony, the defendant claimed that the car had been like that when they bought it. The prosecutor appeared to have daydreamed through that. They did not cross-examine him on that point, they did not call any rebuttal witnesses to attest to the condition of the car before the incident in question. Instead, the prosecutor simply told the jury in his closing arguments that we had heard no other explanation for the damage to the car and thus had to convict. We did, in fact, convict on the abuse charges. But we *could not* convict on the malicious mischief charge, despite the general consensus that from what we saw those claims were quite plausible, because the prosecution simply never proved it. It was the defendant’s word against the accuser’s, and the prosecution was unprepared to prove that the car hadn’t already been like that, and apparently wasn’t even paying enough attention to notice that the issue was even in play.

    Now, when dealing with a minor case like the one I was on, with the limited time and resources which were probably available to the prosecution, this kind of error is probably understandable. Frankly, the prosecutor probably didn’t really care about the kicked-out taillight, and may well not have been personally involved in deciding what to charge. Getting a conviction on the abuse was more important to him, and he was well-prepared for that part, with the sort of independent witnesses which could have probably removed all doubt on the second charge.

    You simply *shouldn’t* prosecute a case against someone like Michael Jackson, however, without doing your homework, looking at every single piece of evidence from an adversarial perspective for any obvious weaknesses, and being prepared to do the research that the defense will certainly be doing.

    And if the research reveals that the accusations are impossible, and need to be rewritten to not contradict the police investigation, you should be really careful about deciding to prosecute at all. The question of whether the abuse started before or after the video seems like a critical one…

    I’m also not sure that the prosecution’s few clear “victories” have been helpful to them. They won a major battle to call Debbie Rowe to the stand, and have regretted it ever since.

    And what one might consider their single largest win, the ability to bring old allegations in, may backfire as well. As it has become clear that every single accuser — whether it is someone who claims to have been a victim, or a family member of someone who claims to have been a victim, or an employee who claims to have witnessed abuse, has made some effort to profit financially from their story, it begins to paint a pattern — but not only the pattern they were trying to focus on. When looking at the people who claim to have been victims, one can understand the lawsuits, etc. It doesn’t mean they weren’t motivated by greed, but it doesn’t mean they were, either. But much of the testimony about past incidents was not from past accusers. Some of it is about people who insist to this day they were *not* abused. Instead, many of the stories are coming from other people, not victims, who have tried to profit from their stories, but didn’t try to do anything about what they claim to have seen.

    Think about it. These people claim that Jackson was so careless about abuse that you could just walk in on him anywhere, anytime, all over the property, and find him with his hands in some child’s pants, or look in through the window and see him. Simultaneously, of course, they claim he was so careful as to have complex alarm systems to protect the privacy of his abuse. And yet none of the people who claim to have seen such things had the human decency to call the cops. Instead, they contacted the tabloids to try to sell their stories.

    And the prosecution was eager, fought very hard, to put such people on the witness stand to tell salacious stories, when their own testimony implies that they have more greed than conscience, and reminds the jury (over and over) that making explosive accusations about Jackson can be used as a way to try to make easy money… The case would in some senses have been stronger *without* some of their witnesses and past allegations.

    If so many people saw so many intensely incriminating things, couldn’t they find even one who has treated it as something other than a way to get money?!?!?!?!?!

  77. Eric Says:

    I may be all wet on this one, but from here I get the impression that the D. A. is *so* convinced of the defendant’s fundamental guilt that he didn’t really give this *specific* case the critical eye that he should have.

    He must surely have known that the accusers, because of the family’s history, were in some ways the weakest part of the case. If he didn’t know that up front, he must surely have known it when he had to change the original charges. He originally charged the defendant with a specific number of instances, on a specific range of dates. He then took the case before the grand jury, and out of that came a different number, and a different range of dates. The accuser’s family is now quite specific about those specific incidents/dates, but they apparently originally told a different tale.

    In the original version, the abuse started much earlier. Based on their original timeline, the whole rush to cover things up, implied in the conspiracy charges, made much more sense. The Bashir video would direct attention to someone whom Jackson had abused, and it was now necessary to cover this up.

    However, the story apparently changed after the investigation. Rumor has it that the original story simply didn’t add up. They accused Jackson of abuse on specific days when he was verifiably not there…

    At that point, alarm bells should have been going off all over the place, and perhaps they were. The family’s story now changed. Only a few of the later incidents (the ones when he *was* in town) were now remembered. The other claims were presumably blamed on confusion or poor memory about the sequence of events.

    Now, of course, the explanation of the coverup has to change also. He’s no longer protecting himself against being accused of something he’s guilty of doing. Instead, he’s involved only in handling a PR problem. And after all that, they claim that only then does he start abusing someone the press is already suspicious about.

    The original story made more sense, even if it *was* demonstrably false.

    Knowing that background, if they still found the accusations credible, they should have known that they would have to present an absolutely rock-solid case to bolster the credibility of the accuser’s story.

    So what do we find?

    They sent the magazines to be checked for fingerprints only after passing them around at the grand jury, without even being prepared by the time of the trial for the question of whether they were *handled* at that time. They were trying to treat the fingerprints on the magazine as a smoking gun, but they didn’t examine it very carefully.

    They even allowed the accuser to identify, on the stand, specific magazines taken from Jackson’s house without apparently even looking at the front cover date to see whether the magazine would have even been printed yet when the family was at Neverland. They chose which magazines to show him and have him identify — were they too busy looking at the pictures to read the cover date??? Yet another credibility problem is created when their witness has to start saying “when I said it was that magazine, I didn’t really mean that it was *that* magazine”… The prosecutors, as they have several times in this trial, created their own on-stand disaster.

    They apparently also didn’t give much analytical, skeptical thought to the brother’s account, since they weren’t prepared for logical issues with him “sneaking up” to a door which they themselves so carefully established was well protected by alarm systems… Think about it. Other than the accuser’s personal story, this is their confirmation — someone else saw it! And yet they apparently never asked about the alarm. If the child had said that it didn’t go off, and he didn’t know why, his testimony wouldn’t worry me. Maybe it wasn’t armed, maybe he was small enough to not set it off. If his overall story claimed that it did go off, the defendant stopped the abuse, but he’d already seen it and quickly hid, his testimony wouldn’t have worried me. Neither of those happened. The boy agreed, when asked by the defense, that there was an alarm. He agreed, again when asked, that it went off if you approached the room. By this time, maybe the prosecution was starting to see it coming, but it was too late. The defense then asked him if, in fact, it went off… And he said yeah, it went off. But by that time he’d already described his actions in full, a story which included no reference to an alarm, and had already testified that Jackson wasn’t aware of his presence and didn’t stop…

    If he really saw what he did, and the alarm really went off when he approached the room, it would seem inconceivable to me that this detail wouldn’t have been a central part of his story. When a child is sneaking up on someone, and an alarm goes off, this isn’t a central part of his story??? He should have been saying under direct examination that the alarm went off, and that he was surprised that Jackson didn’t seem to notice. Absent such comments on direct examination, his story suddenly becomes intensely suspicious.

    If they’d asked him about that detail when doing their interviews, and gotten such a silly reply, I can only think they might have had the wisdom to let the accuser’s story stand on its own, without such “support”, or at the very least brought it out themselves during the original recitation of the story, (”I approached the room.” “Did the alarm go off?” “Yes.” “What did you see? Did Jackson seem to notice the alarm?”) rather than leaving it for the defense to bring up. But they were not prepared for a question which the focus on the details of the security systems made somewhat obvious. As a result, there is a danger that the jury will conclude (under the circumstances, I personally think correctly) that they’ve witnessed one of the children lying to back up the other’s story, which surely would raise questions about the other brother’s story…

    They also told the jury not just what they intended to establish in the course of the trial, but specific statements that specific prosecution witnesses would say — without being able to follow through.

    In short, they appear to have acted as if they assumed the case was a slam-dunk, as if they assumed their theory was automatically fact in all particulars, and therefore all their evidence would automatically support it, and they appear to have been sloppy with their preparation. Knowing that they were going up against a defendant with Jackson’s resources, and remembering the O.J. Simpson and Robert Blake trials, this seems really stupid.

    This reminds me of something I went through once. I was a jury foreman on a case dealing with domestic abuse and malicious mischief (damage to a car). During the trial, the defendant chose to testify. In his testimony, the defendant claimed that the car had been like that when they bought it. The prosecutor appeared to have daydreamed through that. They did not cross-examine him on that point, they did not call any rebuttal witnesses to attest to the condition of the car before the incident in question. Instead, the prosecutor simply told the jury in his closing arguments that we had heard no other explanation for the damage to the car and thus had to convict. We did, in fact, convict on the abuse charges. But we *could not* convict on the malicious mischief charge, despite the general consensus that from what we saw those claims were quite plausible, because the prosecution simply never proved it. It was the defendant’s word against the accuser’s, and the prosecution was unprepared to prove that the car hadn’t already been like that, and apparently wasn’t even paying enough attention to notice that the issue was even in play.

    Now, when dealing with a minor case like the one I was on, with the limited time and resources which were probably available to the prosecution, this kind of error is probably understandable. Frankly, the prosecutor probably didn’t really care about the kicked-out taillight, and may well not have been personally involved in deciding what to charge. Getting a conviction on the abuse was more important to him, and he was well-prepared for that part, with the sort of independent witnesses which could have probably removed all doubt on the second charge.

    You simply *shouldn’t* prosecute a case against someone like Michael Jackson, however, without doing your homework, looking at every single piece of evidence from an adversarial perspective for any obvious weaknesses, and being prepared to do the research that the defense will certainly be doing.

    And if the research reveals that the accusations are impossible, and need to be rewritten to not contradict the police investigation, you should be really careful about deciding to prosecute at all. The question of whether the abuse started before or after the video seems like a critical one…

    I’m also not sure that the prosecution’s few clear “victories” have been helpful to them. They won a major battle to call Debbie Rowe to the stand, and have regretted it ever since.

    And what one might consider their single largest win, the ability to bring old allegations in, may backfire as well. As it has become clear that every single accuser — whether it is someone who claims to have been a victim, or a family member of someone who claims to have been a victim, or an employee who claims to have witnessed abuse, has made some effort to profit financially from their story, it begins to paint a pattern — but not only the pattern they were trying to focus on. When looking at the people who claim to have been victims, one can understand the lawsuits, etc. It doesn’t mean they weren’t motivated by greed, but it doesn’t mean they were, either. But much of the testimony about past incidents was not from past accusers. Some of it is about people who insist to this day they were *not* abused. Instead, many of the stories are coming from other people, not victims, who have tried to profit from their stories, but didn’t try to do anything about what they claim to have seen.

    Think about it. These people claim that Jackson was so careless about abuse that you could just walk in on him anywhere, anytime, all over the property, and find him with his hands in some child’s pants, or look in through the window and see him. Simultaneously, of course, they claim he was so careful as to have complex alarm systems to protect the privacy of his abuse. And yet none of the people who claim to have seen such things had the human decency to call the cops. Instead, they contacted the tabloids to try to sell their stories.

    And the prosecution was eager, fought very hard, to put such people on the witness stand to tell salacious stories, when their own testimony implies that they have more greed than conscience, and reminds the jury (over and over) that making explosive accusations about Jackson can be used as a way to try to make easy money… The case would in some senses have been stronger *without* some of their witnesses and past allegations.

    If so many people saw so many intensely incriminating things, couldn’t they find even one who has treated it as something other than a way to get money?!?!?!?!?!

  78. Ed Jackson Says:

    Not Guilty….I believe that the accuser’s family, specifically his mother targeted Michael Jackson for financial gain. The accusers have admitted to lying under oath in previous trials and have even contradicted their own prior testimony in this case! It can also be noted that the prosecutors have brought forth witnesses that may have vendettas against Mr. Jackson. The prosecutor himself is still smoldering about the non conviction in 93.

  79. Angelica Roberts Says:

    Sneddon has three more witnesses to bring forward next week. I’ll wait until I hear them. If he’s any kind of a lawyer at all, he has saved the best for the last, in the hopes of leaving a lasting impression on the jurors, before they begin hearing the defendant’s witnesses.

  80. DEBZ Says:

    “NOT GUILTY”

  81. Yvette Says:

    Not Guilty…I cocur with BEBZ…

  82. M Strug Says:

    Not Guilty and that is for sure. No paedophile would show him self live with a boys in front of media I do believe that. And then why to chose a boy with a cancer. Come on that is sick. If he was really paedophile with all his money and the power I think he could have done this without anybody knowing this. Definitely not guilty. He may be different in his life then other people but I believe that nothing in his behaviour looks like someone who would do this. Remember his song save the world. He dose behave like a little childe so what. Ask yourself if you were little boy wouldn’t you like to sleep with MJ in his room. I am sure you would.

  83. Jan Nichols Says:

    I think MJ is innocent of the charges. Yes he is very different than most of us but the testimony of his ex wife (star witness for the prosecution) told the entire story to me.
    Innocent of all charges,
    Jan

  84. Rafe Says:

    I have no idea whether he did or didn’t, but I think the prosecutor had better bring in something strong if he wants a conviction. I thought at first the “boy” books would slam the door on this case but it appears they are not as suggestive as I at first was led to believe. They are legal to have in your possession and one was a gift from a fan. Besides that they were siezed more than 10 years ago and the latest raid on Neverland, a massive day-long search, netted zero “little boy” pornography, but plenty of heterosexually oriented soft porn - also totally legal to possess. There are people who are certain Jackson is a pedophile, and there are others who are certain he is not. Nothing is going to change these views. People have made up their minds and that’s it. If there are both of these kinds of people on the jury, it will be a hung jury verdict and perhaps we will have Michael Jackson II. But from a legal point of view, there’s simply not enough weight of physical evidence or believable testimony to convict at this point - my opinion - so I think Mr Sneddon had better have something compelling to end with.

  85. Peeved Says:

    Hey Yvette, You spelled jealousy incorrectly………..I guess you don’t read very well either. I might be Jealous of someone like Iggy POP or Joe Strummer, but Michael (I had no childhood and my daddy made me be a singer with a falsetto voice…falsetto

    adj : artificially high; above the normal voice range; “a falsetto voice” n : a male singing voice with artificially high tones in an upper register)
    Jackson………C’mon, You make me laugh.

  86. Nobody special Says:

    Peeved. You evidently profess to maintaining a firm grasp on grammar and spelling. You manage to criticise someone’s intelligence and in the same sentence mix upper and lower case letters (that’s big ones and little ones to you). If there’s one thing that’s more amusing than pompous arrogance, it’s pompous stupidity. Don’t tell me, your mother didn’t love you.

  87. India Says:

    I don’t think Michael is guilty, I think he was set-up. I think Michael has some serious mental issues but that dosen’t make him a child-pervert. I think the one who should be on trial is that bitch Janet A. she is the one scamming the government and lying on the stand.She tried it with Jay Leno and Chris Tucker but they figured her out. So she went after Michael because he is(or at least was) known for being a giving person. Michael is nice………too nice. I think Michael will be aquitted and if he dosen’t Michael’s fans are gonna be pissed and start burning down shit and threatning the jurors.Everybody knows how crazy Michael’s fans are. Anyways, Michael is innocent. Me liking him has noyhin to do with my thoughts. Even Stevie Wonder can see that he is innocent if he looked at the evidence.


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