Beat It (The Rap), Just Beat It (The Rap)
June 13, 2005 2:20 PM   Subscribe

Michael Jackson verdict. Not guilty on all ten counts. Obligatory MeFi thread.
posted by ed (229 comments total)
 
You won the sweepstakes!
posted by goatdog at 2:21 PM on June 13, 2005


When do we get to riot? I need a new tv.
posted by ColdChef at 2:22 PM on June 13, 2005


White smoke? They elected a new pope?!?
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 2:22 PM on June 13, 2005


first post
posted by a thousand writers drunk at the keyboard at 2:22 PM on June 13, 2005


isn't that a pretty conservative part of California? the jurors must have the thought the testimony was really lame (read: a scam to extort money). either that, or they were closet Jacko fans
posted by matteo at 2:22 PM on June 13, 2005


If only Johnny Cochrane were alive to see this...
posted by felix betachat at 2:23 PM on June 13, 2005


If it doesn't fit, you must acquit.
posted by ed at 2:23 PM on June 13, 2005


Jailarity does not ensue.
posted by pmurray63 at 2:23 PM on June 13, 2005


slack-a-go-go: hee!
posted by scody at 2:23 PM on June 13, 2005


Yahoo!'s full coverage, in case anyone wants more.

To make this interesting, how about a contest for the most bizarre/interesting/hilarious MJ verdict link? Go.
posted by mediareport at 2:24 PM on June 13, 2005


i was more into the OJ trial. OJ is cool, but MJ is kinda gay.
posted by b_thinky at 2:24 PM on June 13, 2005


Finally, a happy ending about a white woman in the news.
posted by Stan Chin at 2:24 PM on June 13, 2005


This would never happen if he was black.
posted by ColdChef at 2:24 PM on June 13, 2005


So, is this thread going to be deleted as well? Or is it okay because the verdict is actually in? I'm not being snarky, truly curious.
posted by deborah at 2:24 PM on June 13, 2005


he IS weird though.
posted by fire&wings at 2:25 PM on June 13, 2005


To someone who has been following the case more closely than myself:

I can understand where doubt can be formed on the Conspiracy count. Where could the jurors have found reasonable doubt on the other charges?
posted by shawnj at 2:25 PM on June 13, 2005


Chewbacca lives on Endor.
posted by Mwongozi at 2:25 PM on June 13, 2005


"MJ is kinda gay" ya think?

glad it's over, hope he goes away....
posted by HuronBob at 2:26 PM on June 13, 2005


I expected Jacko to get the lower charge, so this is amazing. Not guilty on all counts - clearly the jury got the same impression that I did, in other words that the accuser and his family didn't necessarily have the purest of motives and the cleanest of testimony. Still, it's surprising that the jury appears to think Michael Jackon is whiter than white.

Can he rebuild his career after this? Come back like Martha Stewart? Or will people forever see Michael Jackson as a child abuser, despite the court ruling to the contrary? He certainly looks frail - not exactly a good look for a post-courtroom victory march.

What does this do to Tom Sneddon, who has spent years pursuing such charges?
posted by skylar at 2:26 PM on June 13, 2005


I was going to say, "Let the OJ comparison jokes begin," but I see I'm too late.
posted by kindle at 2:26 PM on June 13, 2005


Someone on FoxNews just called him the "Teflon Molester."
posted by ColdChef at 2:26 PM on June 13, 2005




"it's surprising that the jury appears to think Michael Jackon is whiter than white."

was that intentional??? :)
posted by HuronBob at 2:27 PM on June 13, 2005


mathowies hand in your pants
posted by quonsar at 2:27 PM on June 13, 2005


"I'm Going To Disneyland!"
posted by tsarfan at 2:28 PM on June 13, 2005


first post!

err....
posted by odinsdream at 2:28 PM on June 13, 2005


"Teflon Nonce" has a better ring to it.
posted by anagrama at 2:28 PM on June 13, 2005


I think Wolf is gonna pee himself.
posted by deborah at 2:28 PM on June 13, 2005


cue promos for the new album..
posted by mrplab at 2:28 PM on June 13, 2005


Usually do a good job of remaining ambivalent, but I will admit leading up to the reading I was engaged in some serious freudenschade.
posted by herting at 2:29 PM on June 13, 2005


The crazy lady kissing and releasing doves on ABC really put this all into perspective for me.
posted by gunthersghost at 2:29 PM on June 13, 2005


/////
posted by brownpau at 2:29 PM on June 13, 2005


Now begins the search for the real molesters.
posted by ColdChef at 2:31 PM on June 13, 2005


he's been whitewashed.
posted by Rumple at 2:31 PM on June 13, 2005


All right, let's see a show of hands: how many of you were preparing a MeFi post on this?
posted by goatdog at 2:31 PM on June 13, 2005


Obligatory MeFi thread.

didn't have to be.
posted by a3matrix at 2:31 PM on June 13, 2005


I just want to say I was here, when it happened. HISTORY IN THE MAKING *cries*
posted by joelf at 2:31 PM on June 13, 2005


Stan Chin made me spit water...
posted by mrs.pants at 2:31 PM on June 13, 2005


I for one am happy I will no longer have to hear about this on a daily basis.
posted by SirOmega at 2:31 PM on June 13, 2005


Statement of modest bemusement.

ooo'er! sorry, wrong thread...
posted by Fezboy! at 2:32 PM on June 13, 2005


Yes! Best slumber party ever at Neverland Tonight! All children 12-year-old boys invited!
posted by pardonyou? at 2:32 PM on June 13, 2005


All joking aside, not in the same league as OJ. They had freaking DNA on that guy and he still walked. This case was a mess of conflicting testimony and witnesses blowing up in the faces of the side that called them.

Now back to the jokes.
posted by pmurray63 at 2:32 PM on June 13, 2005


Now Michael can team up with O.J. to hunt down the REAL molester. THEY FIGHT CRIME!
posted by mrbill at 2:32 PM on June 13, 2005


CNN: "The family showed how they felt by touching each other."

So there was a precendent
posted by herting at 2:33 PM on June 13, 2005


Seriously, can we have some proper debate on this - it's not as if this isn't an interesting case.
posted by skylar at 2:33 PM on June 13, 2005


I always get bummed with these verdicts. Clearly he was guilty as sin but gets a walk because he's rich.
posted by darkmatter at 2:33 PM on June 13, 2005


Pass the Jesus Juice.
posted by nj_subgenius at 2:35 PM on June 13, 2005


Best of the web!
posted by AlexReynolds at 2:35 PM on June 13, 2005


You're swimming upstream, Alex. I'm not saying you're wrong, but you're swimming upstream.
posted by pmurray63 at 2:36 PM on June 13, 2005


Yet I still do not care.
Here me, Media? I don't care!

I DONUTCARE!!
posted by TwelveTwo at 2:36 PM on June 13, 2005


Obligatory MeFi thread.

Is the obligitory MeTa thread up yet?
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 2:36 PM on June 13, 2005


ALL 19 OF THE MOLESTERS WERE SAUDIS.
posted by quonsar at 2:37 PM on June 13, 2005


michael jackson parody. no comment from me, i'll leave that to everyone else.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 2:37 PM on June 13, 2005


I'm really surprised. I haven't really been following it, but I thought he was going away for sure, what with his general wierdness, hysteria over pedophilia, the part where he seems guilty as hell... I'm really surprised.
posted by OmieWise at 2:38 PM on June 13, 2005


And in other news - there is still a war raging somewhere else ...
posted by homodigitalis at 2:39 PM on June 13, 2005


Where could the jurors have found reasonable doubt on the other charges?

Was there any evidence other than the family's say-so? If you doubt them, more than a smidge anyway, wouldn't that leave you with a reasonable doubt?

It can't have helped that the DA started with the charge that MJ was somehow extorting money from the family, of all things, making it more obvious that it was a witch-hunt.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:39 PM on June 13, 2005


"He came in his pajamas?"
posted by felix betachat at 2:39 PM on June 13, 2005


Michael's a bigger star internationally than in the US where his career is seriously fading anyway, I bet he moves to France. Euro Neverland?
posted by scheptech at 2:40 PM on June 13, 2005


I, for one, welcome our cancer victim-fondling musical celebrity overlords.
posted by ed at 2:41 PM on June 13, 2005


When is the trial for the alleged parents who let their kids sleep with him?
posted by tommasz at 2:41 PM on June 13, 2005


Who the hell is Michael Jackson?
posted by brain_drain at 2:43 PM on June 13, 2005


When the prosecution's main witnesses are shown to be less than savory you got your reasonable doubt. The prosecutor ought to be fired.
posted by Carbolic at 2:45 PM on June 13, 2005


Where is Nancy Grace and has her head exploded yet? I think that would be the best outcome of all...
posted by Dr. Zira at 2:46 PM on June 13, 2005


Who the hell is Michael Jackson?

He's the beer hunter!
posted by Staggering Jack at 2:47 PM on June 13, 2005


What tommasz said.
posted by BrandonAbell at 2:47 PM on June 13, 2005


No responsible parent would allow Micheal Jackson unsupervised access to his or her children. Any parent who does is more or less guaranteed to have some sort of agenda, and therefore won't be a credible witness.
posted by orange swan at 2:51 PM on June 13, 2005


in all seriousness, i'm happy this trial happened. the DA had an 11 year vendetta on this freak and all they could get was the only family weirder and shadier than the Jacksons to accuse him of a crime.

if michael was truly a pedophile a gaggle of credible witnesses would have paraded through that courtroom.

instead all there were was a family of grifters who admitted to lying under oath

and jay leno

no evidence, no witnesses, no credible accusers.

the case shouldnt have even made it to court.
posted by tsarfan at 2:54 PM on June 13, 2005


Great, now he's free to molest any child he sees.

Orange Swan, there's the defense's main argument right there. Nobody but someone with an agenda would allow their child to be in a room alone with him. It doesn't change the fact that he's got a completely warped sense of reality.

But damn, I was expecting some prison time. Jeez.
posted by fenriq at 2:54 PM on June 13, 2005


After reading the depositions, I'm surprised they didn't find him guilty of providing alcohol to minors. There were several flight attendants who witnessed this, who filled the Diet Coke cans with booze and watched Jacko give it to the kids. Go figure.
posted by Oriole Adams at 2:55 PM on June 13, 2005


I'm really surprised. I haven't really been following it, but I thought he was going away for sure, what with his general wierdness, hysteria over pedophilia, the part where he seems guilty as hell... I'm really surprised.

Meh. After watching the ABC news coverage starting about 20 minutes prior to the verdict it was pretty obvious this was going to happen. The prosecution horribly botched things and the mother broke down on the stand after being caught lying - taking the 5th on questions of perjury afterwards, etc. Also, as one of the commentators said - it would be spectacularly stupid of Michael Jackson to do anything while he was being investigated (when, apparently, the alleged crimes took place).

I have no particular expertise here, but it sounds to me like Michael Jackson probably did at a few points several years ago molest children, but that in this latest trial he was probably largely innocent of the molestation charges at least - there's just too many indications that the parents were trying to bilk money out of him.

In any case, given his financial situation, he's going to 'suffer' quite a bit either way.

When is the trial for the alleged parents who let their kids sleep with him?

Yeah no shit. But bear in mind that in modern American you're not allowed to seriously suggest that parents are staggeringly incompetent and at fault. It's always television, video games, devil music or whatever else today's excuse may be.
posted by Ryvar at 2:56 PM on June 13, 2005


Does this mean Nancy Grace is out of a job?

I hope so.
posted by btwillig at 2:56 PM on June 13, 2005


Oh well. He walked in the Law & Order version too.

(And in that version, the kid didn't even have cancer! It was mercury poisoning! All by her evil grandmother!)

Ummm. I live in a country that gives the American media little to no credence, so I haven't paid any attention at all to the trial. But I do have Law & Order!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 2:58 PM on June 13, 2005


Did I just hear right from the family attorney: "They brought the wrong accuser."?
posted by deborah at 2:58 PM on June 13, 2005


THE JUICE IS LOOSE! THE JUICE IS LOOSE!

Oh... wait... wrong decade.
posted by socratic at 2:59 PM on June 13, 2005


Obligatory Metafilter response deploring the thread.
posted by jasper411 at 2:59 PM on June 13, 2005


Anyone else willing the car to overturn or have it turn into a clown car before it reaches Neverland? I for one am waiting for a white bronco to join the caravan...

While I think the case was weak, I do believe that Jackson at some point, did attempt to molest a child. That child... was Gary Coleman.
posted by Derek at 3:00 PM on June 13, 2005


So what's next, we get to see OJ, Robert Blake and Michael Jackson auctioning off the fourth spot in their fearsome foursome of murder and fondulation?
posted by fenriq at 3:02 PM on June 13, 2005


Oh, man, I went to a great fondulation restaurant before my senior prom!

What?

That was years ago.
posted by socratic at 3:04 PM on June 13, 2005


Maybe now we can finally get back to figuring out who left Donna Sommers' cake out in the rain.
posted by moift at 3:05 PM on June 13, 2005


I for one am happy I will no longer have to hear about this on a daily basis.

Er...
posted by mediareport at 3:05 PM on June 13, 2005


This just in: More people care about Jackson than Jesus.
posted by neckro23 at 3:10 PM on June 13, 2005


Did I just hear right from the family attorney: "They brought the wrong accuser."?

"As you know, you have to go to trial with the accuser you have, not the accuser you want."
posted by gigawhat? at 3:11 PM on June 13, 2005


After reading the depositions, I'm surprised they didn't find him guilty of providing alcohol to minors. There were several flight attendants who witnessed this, who filled the Diet Coke cans with booze and watched Jacko give it to the kids. Go figure.


fine, i will figure. and i figure this had something to do with the ten not guilties
"Cynthia Ann Bell, an utterly charming flight attendant for Xtra Jet, did a lot to save Michael Jackson's hide yesterday.

In front of the child-molestation trial jury, Bell recalled a flight she made with Jackson and 10 other people from Miami to Santa Barbara, Calif., on Feb. 7, 2003, by private plane.

At issue was the allegation that Jackson served liquor to a minor in a Diet Coke can.

Not only did Bell deny this allegation, she added some unknown details. She said that she "carded" the then-16-year-old sister of the accusing teenage boy in the Jackson case. Nevertheless, she served the girl liquor.

...

She insisted that Jackson never shared his liquor with the accusing boy.

But Bell had harsh words for the boy, recalling that he started a food fight on the plane, complained that his chicken dinner was cold and was "unusually rude and discourteous."

"It was embarrassing to have him on board, actually," she added." - 3/30/05
posted by tsarfan at 3:11 PM on June 13, 2005


i've never sought out enough information to make a judgment in this case, so i don't agree or disagree with the verdict

a side issue that i'm curious about, with this case and also those involving the catholic church: while i know it is illegal for people in certain positions not to report child molestation when they have direct knowledge of it (for instance, certain health care workers), what are the justifications for not making this law apply all around? in these cases (and those ongoing) there are witnesses testifying to witnessing acts of molestation, and i wonder why they should escape prosecution for not reporting it.

i'm not saying there aren't reasonable justifications for this; i'm just curious as to what they are.
posted by troybob at 3:12 PM on June 13, 2005


Me earlier, anticipating the MeFi reaction:
Someone posts.
Someone screams about the post.
Someone says we welcome our new pedophile overlords.
(Someone takes it to MeTa?)

You live Virtually with someone long enough, you know their every thought.

Meh, from the little I followed this, the accusing family didn't sound too credible. But I also think he's probably done *something* at some point.
I try not to let the fact I liked his music be a factor.
OTOH I think his general weirdness causes some people to prejudge him negatively. Case in point:

OJ is cool, but MJ is kinda gay.
The people who really think this. (My sarcasm meter is in the shop, but I assume 'tis a joke.)

I will no longer have to hear about this on a daily basis.
Well, after about three days of post-trial analysis, we'll return to the latest "pretty blonde disappears" story. Doubt that'll make you any happier.

Maybe now we can finally get back to figuring out who left Donna Sommers' cake out in the rain.
What they threw off the Tallahatchee Bridge is the only true question in pop music.
posted by NorthernLite at 3:14 PM on June 13, 2005


a body.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:18 PM on June 13, 2005


Thanks, gigawhat?.
posted by deborah at 3:20 PM on June 13, 2005


And they say a rich black man can't get justice in America.
posted by orthogonality at 3:20 PM on June 13, 2005


While this was being covered *live*, it was interrupted by an honest to god newsflash -- telling us that Katie Holmes intends to convert to Scientology like her boyfriend Tom Cruise.

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Babylon.
posted by dreamsign at 3:22 PM on June 13, 2005


I for one welcome our obligatory welcoming the overlord post making member.
posted by fire&wings at 3:23 PM on June 13, 2005


OK, fess up. We all knew this thread was coming. How many of you had these jokes written up ahead of time?

(And I'm at least a little curious what the cracks would have been in Bizarro "Guilty on all counts!" World.)
posted by Cyrano at 3:24 PM on June 13, 2005


Frankly, for those who are inevitably going to feign their outrage over MJ's found innocence, please remember that you weren't at the trial (not that I believe Jackson is particularly scot-free himself).

That is all.
posted by Hot Like Your 12V Wire at 3:24 PM on June 13, 2005


dreamsign writes "While this was being covered *live*, it was interrupted by an honest to god newsflash -- telling us that Katie Holmes intends to convert to Scientology like her boyfriend Tom Cruise."

That's so beautiful. I'm tearing up here. I swear to god, gimme a handkerchief; I'm gonna start bawling like a baby....
posted by mr_roboto at 3:25 PM on June 13, 2005


Free Katie!
posted by mr.marx at 3:26 PM on June 13, 2005


cue the big gay neverland train wreck macro in eight...
posted by boo_radley at 3:26 PM on June 13, 2005


and what Hot Like Your 12V Wire said.
posted by dreamsign at 3:28 PM on June 13, 2005


This should be good news for the floundering yen.
posted by eatitlive at 3:28 PM on June 13, 2005


Frankly, for those who are inevitably going to feign their outrage over MJ's found innocence.

I'll never forgive him for playing for the Wizards.
posted by Cyrano at 3:29 PM on June 13, 2005


And they say a rich black man can't get justice in America.
He's not black (no longer, at any rate), he's hardly a "man" other than in name, and, judging by the financial details revealed in the trial, he ain't exactly rich either ...
posted by Goedel at 3:30 PM on June 13, 2005


Metafilter: The world's authority in blackness.
posted by eatitlive at 3:31 PM on June 13, 2005


Sneddon is a jackass. He wasted millions of dollars of tax payer money to put on a terrible case that was close to unwinnable. I'm sure he's sure that Jackson is guilty of something, but that's no excuse for putting on a terrible case.
posted by chaz at 3:32 PM on June 13, 2005


kill this fucking post.
posted by docpops at 3:34 PM on June 13, 2005


...and in a small darkened office in Burbank California, there's a half dozen Jay Leno writers huddled around the computer terminal, taking notes on this thread.

"That one's kinda funny! Let's use that one!"
"I like the bit about comparing this trial with OJ Simpson."
"Maybe, but it needs a punchline."
"Heh. 'This would never happen if he was black.' That's good!"
"Didn't we already use that one a few months ago?"
"I don't remember that."
"Back before Jay's lawyers said we couldn't joke about Jackson anymore."
"Oh yeah I think you're right."
"How can we work moonwalking into this?"
"Heh. 'When do we get to riot? I need a new tv.' That's funny."
"Jay doesn't need a new tv. It won't work in the monologue."
"Aw crap."
"We could sell it to Conan!"
"Right! Go with that!"

posted by ZachsMind at 3:41 PM on June 13, 2005


aww man! I don't really know if he is actually guilty or not, but i just wanted to see that weird man go to jail. oh well.
posted by Mach5 at 3:43 PM on June 13, 2005


Now he's really ready to molest those kids! After all, unless there are photos of him with a his hands around a kids nads....he just bought his way out.
posted by filmgeek at 3:46 PM on June 13, 2005


winrar!
posted by Floach at 3:47 PM on June 13, 2005


Bread and circuses, boys and girls. Bread. And. Circuses.
posted by leftcoastbob at 3:47 PM on June 13, 2005


Guilty until proven boring on Court TV.
posted by ZachsMind at 3:49 PM on June 13, 2005


Maybe now we can finally get back to figuring out who left Donna Sommers' cake out in the rain.

What they threw off the Tallahatchee Bridge is the only true question in pop music.


but timothy in that mine ... was he a man or a mule?

and it was richard harris' cake first

all of which are of much more importance to me than michael jackson and his problems ...

but go ahead, i know it's going to be talked about ...

on preview ... what leftcoastbob said
posted by pyramid termite at 3:50 PM on June 13, 2005


ay es dee eff

jay kay ell semi-colon
posted by mcsweetie at 3:50 PM on June 13, 2005


So does he get his court costs paid for by someone or is he SOL for the money he spent defending himself?
posted by jeffmik at 3:51 PM on June 13, 2005


I would think Katie Holmes is about fifty times cooler if she got Cruise to convert from Scientology. But it appears the hooks are set too deep.

Scientologists are creepy. Not quite skeletal Jack creep like Floach's pic up there but they are still a damned creepy cult of freaks.
posted by fenriq at 3:53 PM on June 13, 2005


Now begins the search for the real molesters.

Ha, You swung three times and then POP! out of the park, Coldchef! Fucking truly funny comment.

(other nods to Stan and Quonsar but I figure they'd been working that material in preparation for a few months heh ;)
posted by Peter H at 3:57 PM on June 13, 2005


I would think Katie Holmes is about fifty times cooler if she got Cruise to convert from Scientology.

Won't happen. She's got it hot for Cruise's e-meter.
posted by dreamsign at 4:02 PM on June 13, 2005


I think the best way to register an opinion on this fascinating case would be to follow this link.
Had i had a camera at the time and location of these incidents , this need never have come to court.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:06 PM on June 13, 2005


My main concern is over how this will affect the value of my copy of Michael Jackson was My Lover.
posted by theperfectcrime at 4:08 PM on June 13, 2005


But we all knew that the 15-year-old accuser was not his lover; he was just a boy who thought he was the one.

(My favorite coverage is Jackson's Songs of Little Interest to Canadians. Fuck, hate to be that wire reporter who had to file on that.
posted by klangklangston at 4:08 PM on June 13, 2005


And the whole world has to answer right now
Just to tell you once again:
Who’s bad?

posted by nandop at 4:10 PM on June 13, 2005


Now that Darth Vader website guy has to rig one up with the Black One and the Formerly Black One and "Nooooooooo!" somehow.
posted by digaman at 4:21 PM on June 13, 2005


I'm not surprised -- the accusers never seemed very credible. And all of you who are so sure he's guilty: have you ever sat on a jury? The experience gives you a very different notion of "reasonable doubt" and a respect for what "evidence" is.

When is the trial for the alleged parents who let their kids sleep with him?

The sad thing is, I'm sure parents are going to go right on letting their kids spend the night at Neverland. "That nice Mr. Jackson, I feel so sorry for him having to go through all that..."

(Like Ryvar, I think he was probably guilty of what he was charged with -- but not necessarily in the cases brought to trial.)
posted by languagehat at 4:23 PM on June 13, 2005


I can't believe it. 100+ comments, and nobody has said:

He beat it.
posted by yhbc at 4:27 PM on June 13, 2005


Oh. It's the post title.

never mind
posted by yhbc at 4:28 PM on June 13, 2005


Burn the Witch ! ! ! Buurrrrrrnnnnnn Ttthhhheeee Wwwwwiiitttcccchhhh ! ! ! (sorry, just had to toss that in there)
posted by mk1gti at 4:28 PM on June 13, 2005


The recriminations will be flowing like Jesus juice.
posted by Slagman at 4:29 PM on June 13, 2005


yhbc is my favorite pyt.
posted by ColdChef at 4:32 PM on June 13, 2005


(Drumming my fingers waiting for some freeper blogger to come up with a way to blame all this on the "culture of sexual licentiousness" during the Clinton era.)
posted by digaman at 4:34 PM on June 13, 2005


It seems to me that Jackson poses a very complex psychological case. But there may be a precedent. Lewis Carroll, author of Alice in Wonderland, was famously enamoured by children, especially his muse for the book. He was considered child-like and eccentric himself, and he spent many hours in the company of children. But he is thought to have never had any inappropriate relationships with the children he befriended. Isn't it possible that Michael Jackson is similarly stuck in a child-like mental state, brought on by his loss of childhood, years of abuse, strange sexual history (or lack thereof), and his current odd lifestyle?
posted by sacrilicious at 4:48 PM on June 13, 2005



(Drumming my fingers waiting for some freeper blogger to come up with a way to blame all this on the "culture of sexual licentiousness" during the Clinton era.)


Or someone attempts to use it as justification to end trial by jury in America.
posted by drezdn at 4:53 PM on June 13, 2005


"...newsflash -- telling us that Katie Holmes intends to convert to Scientology like her boyfriend Tom Cruise."

Convert?! What, has Scientology become the new Catholicism? I thought it was more like a psychotherapy thing-- you pay for the lectures and the brain-cleaning stuff. What sort of religion makes you pay for enlightenment?

So does he get his court costs paid for by someone or is he SOL for the money he spent defending himself?
posted by jeffmik at 6:51 PM EST

Welcome to the wonderful world of American Justice. You can be white as the dribblin' snow, but in a criminal trial the defendent pays for his defense. In a civil suit where two citizens are battling it out, the loser pays the court costs.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:53 PM on June 13, 2005


the loser pays the court costs

Generally, no; each party in an American civil suit pays his or her own costs. Only where one side is found by the judge to have brought a frivolous claim or defense is the other party awarded costs (or where there is a specific statute allowing for costs to the prevailing party, as is often the case in consumer protection statutes).
posted by yhbc at 5:09 PM on June 13, 2005


Hang on a sec...Katie Holmes & Tom Cruise?!?
I really should watch more celebrity-based TV cuz I knew nothing about that. Then again...
posted by i_cola at 5:10 PM on June 13, 2005


> I for one welcome our obligatory welcoming the overlord post making member.

Yes, this "I for one" business is getting tired.
posted by NewBornHippy at 5:14 PM on June 13, 2005


I for one and one for I.

Ok. Bedtime...
posted by i_cola at 5:16 PM on June 13, 2005


Secret Life of Gravy : "What sort of religion makes you pay for enlightenment?"

A religion like Scientology.
posted by Bugbread at 5:18 PM on June 13, 2005


no evidence, no witnesses, no credible accusers.

the case shouldnt have even made it to court.
posted by tsarfan


That's a pretty ignorant thing to say. In many molestation cases there is no 'evidence', just the child's word.

Thank God you're not in charge of the legal systems or far more criminals than michael jackson would walk.
posted by justgary at 5:18 PM on June 13, 2005


> Katie Holmes

Who that Katie Holmes everyone seem to be talking about. Jackson's wife? I though Elvis daughther was his wife. I'm lost.
posted by NewBornHippy at 5:20 PM on June 13, 2005


far more criminals than michael jackson would walk.

he did more than walk justgary, he made it look like he was on the moon.
posted by Peter H at 5:24 PM on June 13, 2005


Katie Holmes is America's sweetheart's kid sister -- whom America would totally go after if America broke up with America's sweetheart.
posted by fleacircus at 5:30 PM on June 13, 2005


This Michael Jackson, he vibrates?
posted by c13 at 5:31 PM on June 13, 2005


any dr. who fans out there?
posted by mcsweetie at 5:35 PM on June 13, 2005


So, this means I can keep inviting young boys to my sleepovers, right?

Right?



Y'know, because it's all good now, right?



Guys?
posted by Jon-o at 5:35 PM on June 13, 2005


Let the party begin!!!

How about uncles and nephews?

Ok, maybe choo choo trains?

Hmm..ok maybe Spartacus and his big sword?

(Lose 5 karma points for poor humor)
posted by Mr Bluesky at 5:35 PM on June 13, 2005


Askmefi: I just spent the last few minutes considering some play on the words Jacko, jerking, and "got off" and can't find anything better than JACKO GETS OFF. Can anyone save my mediocre headline joke? [MI]
posted by Peter H at 5:47 PM on June 13, 2005


What sort of religion makes you pay for enlightenment?

All of them?
posted by joe lisboa at 5:58 PM on June 13, 2005


Is this Jackson trial something I'd have to be molested to know about?
posted by elwoodwiles at 5:58 PM on June 13, 2005


Can anyone save my mediocre headline joke?

Jacko Beats It!

King Of Pop Gets Off On All Ten Charges

Damn you, Peter H, I had no intention of joining this, uh, circle jerk . . .
posted by gompa at 6:00 PM on June 13, 2005


justgary:

" far more criminals than michael jackson would walk"


I guess that means MJ is a criminal?
posted by notreally at 6:02 PM on June 13, 2005


King Of Pop Gets Off On All Ten Charges

gompa, you rock. This is even more classic than "Iraqi Horror Picture Show".
posted by Lush at 6:12 PM on June 13, 2005


I just got off the phone with my Mom, and she gave me permission to have unsupervised access to orange swan.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 6:13 PM on June 13, 2005


So what does Micheal Jackson have in common with caviar?
posted by snsranch at 6:14 PM on June 13, 2005


Yes, notreally. A smooth criminal.
posted by schoolgirl report at 6:15 PM on June 13, 2005


They both come on little crackers!

Bhbhahahahaha,

Yea, credit that one to Howard Stern
posted by snsranch at 6:17 PM on June 13, 2005


notreally, he's a "smooth criminal"!

sorry, you just set that one up!
posted by ramix at 6:18 PM on June 13, 2005


I was astounded by the verdict.


It is within my wishes that E! make available on DVD the courtroom drama re-enactment for those of us who wished we had the availability to watch as it unfolded on a nightly basis.

I think the verdict requires it.


[Keep in mind I am a GEN X-er and one of his biggest fans. I love his music, still I anticipted mayhem]
posted by TangerineGurl at 6:21 PM on June 13, 2005


I think he did it. I think its a shame he was acquitted. I think because of this, there will be other kids -- especially his own -- endangered and that they may not come forward.

But I think what upsets me the most is we won't see a booking photo of him without his wig on. Because -- have you guys noticed you never see Michael Jackson's ears anymore? Someone on another site mentioned that they've been harvesting his ears for cartilage to rebuild his nose. And so ever since then, I can't help but try to see if his ears stick out from under his wig. And now I'll never know if his ears have been completely removed ...
posted by macadamiaranch at 6:27 PM on June 13, 2005


Has anyone heard of the property that M.J. owns down in Rio that is in an area notorious for being a hang-out for runaway and homeless kids?

I'm serious about this. It is a slum and aside from M.J. only slum lords own property there.
posted by snsranch at 6:32 PM on June 13, 2005


TangerineGurl,

I actually worked at E! during most of the trial and they did a pretty good job. It wasnt a "nightly" recap for us here either as it was reinacted the next day after the courtroom transcripts were poured over. Some of the reinactments were for 30 minute shows, and some were hour-long.

The only disappointment was that Michael never took the stand which meant the dude playing Michael (who is about 6'4") was never allowed to give his full-on MJ impersonation.

I doubt a DVD will be made of this trial since E! rarely makes DVDs, even of their more popular shows like Wild On or Howard Stern.
posted by tsarfan at 6:45 PM on June 13, 2005


Michael Jackson found not guilty?

Reading the comments here and elsewhere, it seems like he has been found very guilty.

He is a freak, but, twice now, he has had charges brought against him and the legal system of our country has found him not guilty.

Maybe, and I'm just saying, it is possible that he is, in fact, not guilty and all of us who think he is guilty have convicted him based on biased news reports and the fact that he is weird.

I mean, many people here at Mefi think that the rest of the country was majorly swayed into supporting a war by biased news reports and the fact that Hussein was evil.

Seeing as it is possible that the jurors of the trial know far more about the case than we do and they they found him not guilty on all counts, that MJ may very well be guilty of nothing more than, well, being a freak.

I'm just saying.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:51 PM on June 13, 2005


That's a pretty ignorant thing to say. In many molestation cases there is no 'evidence', just the child's word.

Ignorant to ask for evidence in a trial? Hardly.

Evidence and reliable witnesses are what seperates the court system from mob rule. Sorry if this case didn't end up the way you wanted it to, but thank God (and the founding fathers) that admitted liars and grifters do need more than a simple accusation to put a man behind bars here in the US.

If you have a better solution please offer it up. But in 10 years of trying to get Michael Jackson behind bars, Snedden should have had something better to offer the jury, and yes, Evidence would have helped. And yes, for most cases, even in sexual cases, there is often evidence.
posted by tsarfan at 6:53 PM on June 13, 2005


when is someone going to find his plastic surgeon guilty?
posted by tarantula at 6:57 PM on June 13, 2005


dreamsign writes "Katie Holmes intends to convert to Scientology like her boyfriend Tom Cruise."

On the upside when Nicole recovered from the influence of The Tom she got out so there is still hope.
posted by Mitheral at 6:59 PM on June 13, 2005


> E!
Heheh.
posted by Count Ziggurat at 7:06 PM on June 13, 2005


joey michaels ... opinions in hyped up cases like this come very cheaply and easily ... i just try to tune it out, because it has little real significance ...
posted by pyramid termite at 7:17 PM on June 13, 2005


I predict that the Post will go with:
JACKO OFF!
posted by klangklangston at 7:29 PM on June 13, 2005


What a very interesting thread. I am amazed at the viciousness and by the presumption of guilt.

There's no doubt whatsoever that MJ is freaky.

And there is no actual evidence or even trustworthy witnesses to any criminal behaviour.

The viciousness I can account by MJ's freakiness. I can understand how his bizarre behaviours would make someone so weirded-out as to react with hostility.

The presumption of guilt is something I don't understand.

Perhaps the media has played a large role. My only knowledge of the case has been through a few boring CNN items.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:06 PM on June 13, 2005


you've been struck by a smooth pedophile
posted by cpchester at 8:25 PM on June 13, 2005


OK, bring me up to speed here: the verdict is Jesus juice causes deep vein thrombosis?
posted by Mcable at 8:28 PM on June 13, 2005


Me loves me some Katie Holmes, Tom Cruise, & MJ! Can I have a nice chaser with that, say some mad dog & some sweet sweet cherry pie?
posted by filchyboy at 8:30 PM on June 13, 2005


Snedden should have had something better to offer the jury, and yes, Evidence would have helped. And yes, for most cases, even in sexual cases, there is often evidence.

You are wrongly equating "evidence" and "physical evidence." Testimony is evidence. Cases are properly won on testimonial evidence all the time. Whether testimonial evidence (or any kind of evidence) is reliable is for a jury to decide. Here, the jury apparently found that it was not reliable. That's how the system is supposed to work. It doesn't mean the charges should never have been brought.
posted by brain_drain at 8:51 PM on June 13, 2005


To expand on what brain_drain is saying, an integral part of a trial is the ability to evaluate witnesses. This is one reason why the accused must be present for the whole trial -- so they can challenge what they (or more likely, their lawyer) see as non-credible testimony.

By way I remind each of you that none of us were there.

On the upside when Nicole recovered from the influence of The Tom she got out so there is still hope.


True story? Not keen on the Kidster, but this is at least one point in her favour.
posted by dreamsign at 8:56 PM on June 13, 2005


five fresh fish: The presumption of guilt is something I don't understand.

I think it's primarily due to the fact that his admitted behavior in regards to unrelated children in his household is perceived to be inappropriate if not illegal, so it's seen as only a short step from openly creepy to criminal. Jackson is assumed to be guilty because he matches many of the stereotypes of predators that go back to Fritz Lang's M. Our culture wants to see molesters as the socially awkward freak who gets along better with kids than with adults.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:21 PM on June 13, 2005


Well put, KJS.
posted by dreamsign at 9:29 PM on June 13, 2005


Our culture wants to see molesters as the socially awkward freak who gets along better with kids than with adults.

Interesting thesis. Do we make boogeymen so that we don't have to acknowledge reality? Most child abuse is perpetrated by close relatives or friends. It's easier and certainly more convenient to pretend that weirdo freaks are the danger. Avoids having to address the issue.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:31 PM on June 13, 2005


Leno (and every other late night entertainer/writer in the business) hangs out on Total Fark... not MeFi.

But we're gettin' there.

posted by spock at 9:35 PM on June 13, 2005


five fresh fish: Interesting thesis. Do we make boogeymen so that we don't have to acknowledge reality? Most child abuse is perpetrated by close relatives or friends. It's easier and certainly more convenient to pretend that weirdo freaks are the danger. Avoids having to address the issue.

Once I learned that humans are rationalizing creatures rather than rational creatures, a lot of things made a lot more sense. Someone who looks and acts "wrong" is not of the tribe, something other, potentially evil. Meanwhile, it is rather hard to drop the rationalization that your own kin, the person you trust and grew up with, broke bread with is good.

So it is hard to believe (unless you are the victim or confronted with evidence that is impossible to ignore) that it happens in your family. It only happens in their family because they are in denial of obvious signs.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:57 PM on June 13, 2005


I agree with Fenriq and Btwillig.

This is most unfortunate.
Any parent/guardian that would allow Jackson the intimate access to kids he has had, would naturally make a bad witness, due to poor judgement and/or corruption of one sort or another.
That doesn't mean it didn't happen. And it sure as heck doesn't mean the child didn't/doesn't suffer.
What a mess. What a shame.
posted by Radio7 at 10:01 PM on June 13, 2005


But.. but.. he made Thriller!
Thriller.
posted by creeptick at 10:18 PM on June 13, 2005


WE LOVE YOU MICHAEL!
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 10:29 PM on June 13, 2005


Someone who looks and acts "wrong" is not of the tribe, something other, potentially evil.

NOT A COMPARISON

but this jibes (strangely) with another topic that's floated to the blue now and again, how some macho male types who apparently "hate gays" find that they're actually ok with "macho male gay types" (watch sports, drink beer, act "manly") and not ok with either effeminate gay men or effeminate straight men (because they "act gay"). Utterly bizarre, if the behaviour is hated because of the underlying acts it supposedly indicates. Suddenly sensible if it's actually the "otherness" that is disliked more than who is getting it on with who.

Obviously not the case here, as people don't care if a child molester looks different or not -- they hate the behaviour not the "creepiness" of any given person. But the beauty (or familiarity) myth does play a role in how quick we are to judge.
posted by dreamsign at 10:30 PM on June 13, 2005


Dag. Now America has to find something else to fixate on. Oh wait, there's still the gay marriage thing.
posted by deusdiabolus at 11:57 PM on June 13, 2005


I agree with the overall consensus, not only on this thread but generally, that Jackson most likely is guilty of something, but got off (got off) because of flawed evidence and incompetent prosecution.

Considering all the flippancy here, I was surprised that there weren't more funny comments. I did like the JACKO OFF one, however.

And yes, let's not forget that this is the same person who performed Billy Jean, one of the all time coolest moments in rock history, no matter what a one man freak show the perfomer has since become. Kinda reminds me of Bobby Fischer, brilliance degenerating into eccentricity.
posted by blue shadows at 12:27 AM on June 14, 2005


Obligatory video of Triumph at the Jackson Trial
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 1:23 AM on June 14, 2005


Yeah, well if they'd found him guilty he'd have just morphed into that kickass robot and lasered all their punk asses.
posted by RokkitNite at 2:48 AM on June 14, 2005


OMG... 183 comments!
posted by joaovc at 3:50 AM on June 14, 2005


FWIW: Leno used the line "this never would have happened if he was black" last night.

Heh.
posted by ColdChef at 5:39 AM on June 14, 2005


Hey! He's a crossdresser!" "So? Some people like their cucumbers pickled!" "Huh?" "What?"
posted by LouieLoco at 5:55 AM on June 14, 2005


Aww. The Post went with "BOY, OH, BOY."
posted by klangklangston at 6:05 AM on June 14, 2005


What sort of religion makes you pay for enlightenment?

All of them?

posted by joe lisboa at 8:58 PM EST

Well, no. I actually thought about this (What sort of religion makes you pay for enlightenment?) before posting it. While many or even most religions require tithing by their members, you don't have to pony up money before hearing about the religion. There is no mandatory fee to learn about Jesus or Buddha or God, no cover-charge to hear a sermon. I guess (some ?) Synagogues charge for membership, but as far as I know the Jewish religion can still be practiced by those who have no money. This just isn't the case for Scientology.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:36 AM on June 14, 2005


While many or even most religions require tithing by their members

Actually, this isn't really the case. Tithing is requested, but bear in mind that if you're in, say, a church, they're not going to throw you out if you don't put money in the collection plate. In fact, given that a lot of donations are given in cash anonymously, the clergy wouldn't really have any way of knowing just how much you gave. I assume that it works the same way in other religions.
posted by unreason at 6:41 AM on June 14, 2005


And yes, let's not forget that this is the same person who performed Billy Jean, one of the all time coolest moments in rock history,

Actually, it's "I Want You Back," and "ABC," that are among the coolest moments in rock and roll history. And it's not the same person, since that Michael Jackson was kidnapped by aliens to entertain their planet and replaced with the cosmetically altered space alien loonball we see before us.
posted by jonmc at 7:06 AM on June 14, 2005


Aww. The Post went with "BOY, OH, BOY."

When the jury was deliberating the post had "Sweat, Freak", but when I saw it I thought it said, "Sweet Freak" and I thought "Wow, the post has really taken an almost perfectly nuanced view of the whole thing, how uncharacteristic." Then I realized it said sweat, which was still pretty good.
posted by Divine_Wino at 7:09 AM on June 14, 2005


Joey Michaels wrote "Seeing as it is possible that the jurors of the trial know far more about the case than we do"

Aren't they supposed to pick jurors who know jack shit about the case? The problem with these celebrity cases (aside from the fact that we all know Hollywood trials = innocent until proven bankrupt) is that the media does such a good job covering the story, the jurors have to be pulled out of caves in Afghanistan if anyone really wants a jury of people who don't have a preconcieved notion of what is going on. Any juror who looks and sounds as if they feel strongly one way or the other about Jackson, child molestation, etc. will be dumped by either the defense or the prosecution. Both sides want the most malleable, impressionable minds available on that jury. Nobody wants a smart well-informed person, because that makes the lawyer's job hard. They want people like the guy on the OJ jury, the one who said "DNA? What's the big deal, so they found DNA? I mean, we all have DNA!"

So yes, while it is possible that these people know more small details about the case than the rest of us do, it is also entirely possible that the jury was loaded with completely clueless fools willing to bite any line dropped in the water, as long as the bait looked pretty. It's possible that a lot of the incriminating evidence was left out of the trial for some nitpicky legal reason or another (there are lots of ways to get evidence banned from the courtroom, of course). It is entirely possible that some people somewhere were pressured or bribed into changing their story, or that the carefully rehearsed versions of stories people usually give at trials were derailed by the opposing side, and the witness was not able to get back on track (you think anyone goes into the stand without a well-rehearsed set of lines to use as answers to questions, especially in a case like this?)

Prosecutor vendetta, shady witnesses, whatever. None of it matters. What matters is that a regular guy like me, being prosecuted with the same evidence that Jackson faced in that courtroom, would be getting fitted for an orange jumpsuit right about now. That is what we need to keep in mind. There is a chance he is innocent. There is a much larger chance that the justice system is not working for me the same way that it works for celebrities. Until that is fixed, we all have every right to be outraged.
posted by caution live frogs at 7:13 AM on June 14, 2005


There is a much larger chance that the justice system is not working for me the same way that it works for celebrities.

True indeed, however think about the fact that even thirty or fourty years ago a black man -- and he is black, no amount of bleaching or nose shaving will change that, in America blood is blood, look at all the jokes about him NOT being black for instance-- would have most likely been found guilty no matter what the evidence was, rich or not. We have finally achieved racial parity in the justice system for the incredibly rich (pace OJ, he only brutally murdered two people, Mike's alleged crimes strike deep in the heart of what people fear most of all). In perhaps another two or three hundred years who knows what middle class black people might be able to expect?


Jonmc,
That Billie Jean performance was seriously iconic, the Jackson Five stuff was amazing as music, but when he went up there and killed it like that, culturally it was on some whole other level, c'mon you can do the open leg moves with me, feel the beat, tip the hat, tap the leg, turn the toes in and out. Everywhere America, release the doves, moonwalk, SALUTE THE GLOVE!
posted by Divine_Wino at 7:32 AM on June 14, 2005


SALUTE THE GLOVE!

*salutes Thurman Munson's catchers mitt*
posted by jonmc at 7:44 AM on June 14, 2005


Joey Michaels wrote "Seeing as it is possible that the jurors of the trial know far more about the case than we do"

Aren't they supposed to pick jurors who know jack shit about the case?


There's a reason why the accused must be present for the entirety of a trial: the accused (and counsel) must be able to evaluate witness credibility. Can you do that?

Law and the legal system is still the #1 subject that *everyone* thinks they know all about on the basis of "Law & Order".
posted by dreamsign at 7:47 AM on June 14, 2005


Meanwhile, the Supreme Court hands down two decisions, in regards to racial bias in jury selection.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:49 AM on June 14, 2005


*releases dove, weeps*
posted by UKnowForKids at 8:55 AM on June 14, 2005



posted by jonmc at 8:57 AM on June 14, 2005


If you do not believe, you must reprieve.
posted by timyang at 9:05 AM on June 14, 2005


Joey Michaels wrote "Seeing as it is possible that the jurors of the trial know far more about the case than we do"
Aren't they supposed to pick jurors who know jack shit about the case?
The idea is that they should have a minimal level of preconceived notions, but by the end of the trial they should know all of the information that they are supposed to used to make their decision.

We can be pretty sure that MJ didn't molest all of the kids that he hung out with, as Micauly Calkin and Chris Tucker testified to. So how do we know that he molested this one? All we have is their testimony, and they seem (to a lot of people, I personally haven't really been following the case) to be less then credible. The trial was about whether or not he molested this particular kid, and it's hard to be sure about that.
posted by delmoi at 9:12 AM on June 14, 2005


What matters is that a regular guy like me, being prosecuted with the same evidence that Jackson faced in that courtroom, would be getting fitted for an orange jumpsuit right about now.

What makes you think you'd be headed to jail? There was no hard evidence and the accusors weren't the least bit credible. Yet you'd have gone to jail while the freak walks? That makes no sense whatsoever.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:46 AM on June 14, 2005


"have you guys noticed you never see Michael Jackson's ears anymore? "

He's actually a Grey alien. Notice the judge was wearing a tinfoil hat?
posted by Smedleyman at 10:03 AM on June 14, 2005


What makes you think you'd be headed to jail? There was no hard evidence and the accusors weren't the least bit credible. Yet you'd have gone to jail while the freak walks? That makes no sense whatsoever.

Well, if you can't afford a good lawyer who can show that in court...
posted by delmoi at 10:03 AM on June 14, 2005


Yet you'd have gone to jail while the freak walks?

The rich celebrity freak. That makes all the difference.
posted by jonmc at 10:06 AM on June 14, 2005


I can't believe I actually bothered to google this, but Jackson settled an early 1993 case brought against him to the tune of $20 million.

I have difficulty believing that molestation didn't occur in that instance.

The alleged crimes in the case resolved yesterday all would have happened while Jackson was under investigation. Do I think Jackson may have served alcohol? Sure. Do I think he might have shown the kid pornography? Probably, yeah.

Do I think he actually molested the kid (which, let's face it, is the crime that actually matters)? Probably not in this instance, because at the end of the day there's a limit to how stupid one person - even a celebrity - can be. Molesting a kid while under investigation for child molestation is spectacularly stupid, and I have trouble believing the whole thing wasn't an attempt by the family to basically entrap Michael Jackson and make serious bank off of it. I realize it's horrible to blame the victim - and I not only don't have all the facts but don't really care to - but that's my gut feeling as to what most likely happened.
posted by Ryvar at 10:09 AM on June 14, 2005


You've got to love the blurb on the BBC front page:

"Jackson 'to change his lifestyle'
Michael Jackson's lawyer says the singer will no longer share his bed with young boys, following the star's acquittal"

It's on that thin line between news reporting and satire.
posted by funambulist at 10:24 AM on June 14, 2005


dreamsign wrote "Law and the legal system is still the #1 subject that *everyone* thinks they know all about on the basis of 'Law & Order'."

Not everyone watches that show. I don't. I base my opinion of the legal system on what I see it doing.

five fresh fish wrote "Yet you'd have gone to jail while the freak walks? That makes no sense whatsoever."

Can I afford Jackson's legal counsel? Do you think anyone out there would look at me as anything other than an accused molester? I don't have a star-studded feel-good past for anyone to remember fondly before they deliberate. With the evidence there - past payoffs for other accusers, current accusations, evidence of alcohol given to minors, etc. - I'd be in jail. Since I'm not loaded, the defense wouldn't have an easy time painting the victim's mother as a golddigger. What's there for her to go after? Hence, me in Jackson's situation would very likely end up with me in jail. Does that make sense?

Anyone who thinks money doesn't affect the outcome of a crime, please chime in and tell me why no arrests have been made in the Ramsey murder case yet. Explain to me why the majority of the Enron executives are walking around free. I'm not saying the legal system doesn't work, all I'm saying is that I would not get treated the same way that a wealthy person would.

Divine_Wino wrote "True indeed, however think about the fact that even thirty or fourty years ago a black man [...] would have most likely been found guilty no matter what the evidence was, rich or not."

Can't argue with that. At least some things change.
posted by caution live frogs at 10:44 AM on June 14, 2005


Aren't they supposed to pick jurors who know jack shit about the case?

Jesus. The meaning was obviously that the jurors know more than we do once they've heard all the evidence. Which they do. And all you jury-haters, unless you've been on a jury you don't know what the hell you're talking about. I've rarely seen people take anything so seriously as the jurors I've served with took the obligation to weigh the evidence and render a verdict. It's scary being in charge of someone's fate. But carry on making snap judgments with little basis; it's the MeFi Way
posted by languagehat at 10:44 AM on June 14, 2005


.
posted by languagehat at 10:44 AM on June 14, 2005


I'd just like to say that I tried to teach myself to moonwalk recently. It's not as easy as it looks. When I do it it looks like the moon in question is probably one of Jupiter's larger ones. The thing that really depresses me is I just know I'm going to get drunk and try it in front of people one day. I won't be able to help myself. It's going to be so humiliating yet I don't think I can stop it. I'll be all "Check it out! Bil-lie Jean! Is not mah lur-vah! OW!" and everyone will have that frozen, disbelieving look and I'll be the only one who doesn't detect that the embarrassment-o-meter has busted its spring and then I'll fall on my arse and drop beer over somebody and... Oh god. Why? Why?
posted by Decani at 10:52 AM on June 14, 2005


What matters is that a regular guy like me, being prosecuted with the same evidence that Jackson faced in that courtroom, would be getting fitted for an orange jumpsuit right about now.

A regular guy like you probably wouldn't be prosecuted if all the prosecution had was the evidence from this case. Jackson was prosecuted because the DA had been after him for a long time, because he's a famous freak and, presumably, because nailing Jackson would be good for his career, and this was the best thing to come along in about 10 years.

Hell, if the mom and kid had gone to the station to accuse you, I doubt there would have been a multi-year, multi-million-dollar investigation that uncovered the corroborating evidence anyway. Any investigation probably would have stopped when the cops found that the mom and kid were unreliable.

Hopefully the waste of resources will come up in the next local elections in Santa Barbara County, assuming CA elects its DA's.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:58 AM on June 14, 2005


I don't have a star-studded feel-good past for anyone to remember fondly before they deliberate.

at this stage, even MJ's biggest fans feel a little creeped out by him. OJ won because he was rich and beloved. But I think this case is different - as someone above suggested, lotsa people think "oj is cool but mj is gay".

I also wasn't following this, and it seems to have been much less of a national obsession than OJ was in general, but there was clearly nowhere near the evidence against him that there was against OJ. I mean, the essence of the defense for simpson was, the evidence is too good - no one would be stupid enough to let that much evidence thru, so it must have been planted!

Here, we're dealing with a much more difficult case to win, to start with - testimony is a kind of evidence, but it's always a tougher one to win on, because people can lie, whereas "the facts don't lie". OJ beat a claim that no one else would have. Jackson beat a claim that others could have (though there would have to have been a motive for the claim to be made to begin with, so a false claim would more likely be made against someone rich & suspect to start with).
posted by mdn at 11:06 AM on June 14, 2005


lotsa people think "oj is cool but mj is gay".

Actually, I thought of OJ as simply a retired athlete. When the facts started coming out, I began to believe he was guilty. He beat the rap because he had the money and star power to hire lawyers like Cochran, Shapiro, and Bailey. If he was Joe Blow (black or white) he'd be in a cell now. Jackson just strikes most people as incalculably weird, and over the years we've developed a pretty high weird threshold through media exposure if nothing else. And there was a lot of smoke in this case, and when you see smoke, you go looking for a fire. We didn't find the fire this time, but that dosen't mean it isn't there.

But if we learned anything from Simpson, Blake and now Jackson is that people don't like convicting celebrities of heinous crimes. It's like doing so means we'd have to admit that these people didn't deserve their status and that we as a society are chumps for granting it.
posted by jonmc at 11:18 AM on June 14, 2005


The rich celebrity freak. That makes all the difference.


Show me the cause and effect. Was there bribery at play? Did fancy experts lead the jury astray with complicated science? Was motion after motion filed by the defence until the prosecution had to fold for lack of resources?

No, in fact, as some have pointed out, far more resources were put into this than Average-Joe-Accused.

We should be glad that we don't have a legal system that makes snap judgments like you do.
posted by dreamsign at 12:52 PM on June 14, 2005


In the OJ case there was hard physical evidence. Not so in the Blake case, nor in the MJ case.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:19 PM on June 14, 2005


Perhaps, but were it not for the high powered lawyers all three men could afford, would that have even mattered. They'd have been pled out.
posted by jonmc at 5:41 PM on June 14, 2005


I am troubled about the reaction by so many commentators to the comment by the juror to the effect that he was convinced that Jackson had molested boys, but it had not been proved that he had done so in this case. Several radio talk show types have castigated this as evidence that the system doesn't work.

To the contrary. This comment shows that the jurors did exactly what we ask of them, but which we fear they cannot: see past the shadows thrown by other cases and focus on the proof for the case at hand. We do not want jurors feeling free to convict on a charge because they feel that he probably did something similar on other occasions.

I think the system worked well this time around.
posted by yclipse at 7:12 PM on June 14, 2005


Wait. Who?
posted by joelf at 7:59 PM on June 14, 2005


But carry on making snap judgments with little basis; it's the MeFi Way

Making comments, is like a swordfight
You must think first, before you move
MeFi style is immensely strong, and immune to nearly any weapon
When it's properly used, it's almost invincible.

My peoples are you with me where you at?

*cough*
I, uh, prefer a different style of music than, y'know, Michael Jackson...



*crickets*

...and uh, that's what I was trying to illustrate there. Imagine if Ghostface Killah, ODB or Method Man were up for something like this. Bad attitude type of guys (as opposed to, say R. Kelly).


*tumbleweed*

Seriously. Perhaps it's not money, but charisma (which has the side effect of producing money) which makes the difference to juries in the whole "reasonable doubt" thing.
Consider Albert "Elvis" Speer at Nuremburg

I think a jury is more likely to hang a jerk than hang a guy who perhaps merits more of a reasonable doubt. Jackson is weird, but charisma comes in a lot of different forms.


...yeah.
posted by Smedleyman at 8:45 PM on June 14, 2005


Last one to post on this thread? Yes!
posted by x_3mta3 at 10:17 PM on June 14, 2005


Sorry to bust your bubble, x_3mta3.

I gotta back up yclipse's statement and second it. In fact I think it's the most poignant and truthful statement in this entire thread. The media wanted to lynch him. The public may want to lynch him. However, the twelve jurors looked at the evidence that was presented to them in the courtroom, and the prosecution's case was not air tight. There was a reasonable doubt. If the jury had convicted him anyway, that would have meant our system failed.

The recent senate passing a bill making the act of lynching a federal offense (about a century too late) reinforces this. It's bad enough that MJ will forever be guilty in the eyes of many, regardless of what the courts say. He is guilty until long after proven not guilty. As was OJ and Blake and many others. That's just not the way our judicial system is supposed to work. After all, that's what mass media is for.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:35 PM on June 14, 2005


SALUTE THE GLOVE!

Smell the glove?
posted by cytherea at 1:33 AM on June 15, 2005


Eh. I'm probably coming off as more outraged about this than I should be. I'm one of the people who didn't pay much attention to this other than to see the freak was going on trial. To be perfectly honest, I didn't look at the facts in this case too strongly, just skimmed through TSG when the thing first came out. I guess I figured if it was going to trial they had something substantial. I try not to pay much attention to this celebrity crap, anyway. I find most of the incessant reporting on their daily doings to be nauseating navel gazing.

As far as Jackson himself goes, there's enough evidence out there (in terms of past accusations and payoffs, anyway) to convince me that this guy is not above-board when it comes to his dealings with kids. OK, so this time maybe it wasn't molestation. Fine. It's wrong to convict someone on bad evidence. OK. I can deal with that. What I can't deal with is the fact that this guy is very likely fucking around with kids and has so far gotten away with it. I would imagine that many of the other people who are angry Jackson wasn't convicted are angry for the same reason - maybe this was the wrong case, but damn. I don't think anyone is making snap judgements about Jackson on the evidence in this case. I've been convinced the man is a pedophile for years now.

For the sake of the next little boy to go visit Neverland, here's hoping that I'm wrong. If not...
posted by caution live frogs at 5:32 AM on June 15, 2005


salute gary payton?
posted by tsarfan at 7:46 AM on June 15, 2005


the fact that this guy is very likely fucking around with kids

If it is a fact that this guy is fucking kids, then please take that fact to the cops! Sweet jesus, you don't just sit on factual evidence like that, not where child abuse is concerned.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:48 AM on June 15, 2005


the fact that this guy is very likely fucking around with kids
I'd agree with five fresh fish.
But for MJ's own safety as well. Someone touches my kid - as a fact - and the cops will be the least of their worries. The law did what the law does and is supposed to do. Appearances do not make a conviction.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:40 PM on June 15, 2005


A 'fact' is not 'very likely.' It either is or it isn't. Otherwise, it's opinion. The fact is we don't know.

Although this may be changing in the near future, and people in Guantanamo or Abu Grabewould 'very likely' disagree, the law is designed to prohibit people from being thrown in jail on a hunch or even a strong belief that someone did wrong. We can claim the judicial system failed here until the cows come home. Had there been any evidence to support an opinion of Jackson partaking in pedophilia in this case, said opinion would become fact. That didn't happen here. We can make fun of him and point fingers and call him creepy all we want. He was aquitted of child molestation by twelve fellow American citizens. Some of them even admitted to having hunches and beliefs about Jackson, but they found no hard evidence to support their opinion, and so all twelve found him not guilty.

Case closed.
posted by ZachsMind at 3:56 PM on June 15, 2005


ZachsMind : "A 'fact' is not 'very likely.' It either is or it isn't. Otherwise, it's opinion. The fact is we don't know. "

I dunno about that. It's a fact, for example, that on any given day it's unlikely to rain in the desert.
But, in the end, the conclusions are the same. Even if it is a "fact" that he is "very likely fucking with kids", it isn't against the law to be "very likely fucking with kids", it's against the law to be "fucking with kids". Important and large difference, or all my long-haired friends would be arrested for "very likely having commited some crime or other".
posted by Bugbread at 7:24 PM on June 15, 2005


Why does this thread have the most comments? I watched my coworkers the other day obsess over the verdict and watch it being anounced live on the internet. But they never showed any sign of giving a rat's ass about the anouncements everyday recently of people being blown up in Iraq.

Makes me want to vomit.
posted by nathanos at 8:11 PM on June 17, 2005


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