Michael Jackson Acquitted

Michael Jackson has been acquitted of all charges, CNN television reports.

Jurors reach verdict in Jackson trial (CNN)

Jurors in the Michael Jackson child-molestation trial told the trial judge Monday that they have reached a verdict.
The announcement came after about 32 hours of deliberations.

The verdict is expected to be read soon. The scheduled delay in delivering the verdict allows Jackson time to arrive at the Santa Maria courthouse. He has been awaiting the verdict at his Neverland Ranch.

I’m about to leave the office for an event in D.C., so you’ll likely know the details before I can blog on them.

Updated title and above-the-fold blurb based on television account seen walking out the door.

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, Popular Culture, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. samantha says:

    These not guilty verdicts are of no surprise to me or any of my peers. It seems par for the course that wealthy celebrities are tried with a seperate set of rules than the rest of us. It is a septic reality that the American courts are such puppets to fame and money. From O.J., to Limbaugh to Robert Blake to Jackson all innocent? How can that be? The sheer odds are stagering when you compare it to how many folks are accused and found guilty. I am sickend and disheartened ,in a system that touts itself to be so fair. Michael will be most likely be in court again one day as pedophiles never stop. It is such a shame that more children will be harmed and humilated. Why do we bother triaing celebrities anyway? Why don’t we save the tax payers some money and let these over indulged, over glamorized false royalty icons do whatever they want and forget the whole trial circus. Absolutley predictable and absolutley disgusting! Yea for Micheal! I’m so happy he will have more chances to sleep with more children. I hope to send my children to Never Land Ranch one day on a field trip!

  2. McGehee says:

    Samantha, Limbaugh hasn’t been brought to trial. He hasn’t even been charged with a crime. The reason is that even though the state’s attorney has defied the las as enacted by the Florida legislature to find something to charge Limbaugh with, the evidence just isn’t there.

    I don’t blame the system for guilty celebrities getting off. All of the legitimate cases you cite were tried in southern California, and that’s where the jurors came from. It’s another planet in every meaningful way except literally.

  3. Kent says:

    Jackson is about as weird as any human being since Caligula, but the case against him had enough holes that I’m not surprised at the verdict. The witnesses against him weren’t very credible and the physical evidence seems to have been nonexistent.

    I have serious doubts about his innocence…but that’s not how our system works. There are reasons to doubt his guilt, and that’s what matters.

  4. slickdpdx says:

    Kent, are you aware how “weird” Caligula was?

  5. Kent says:

    I have a pretty good idea.

    I was speaking in hyperbole.

  6. Mickey says:

    As I watched the jurors answers to mostly very mild or non threating questions, I became aware of their unified response …. that being …how carefully they believed they should abide to rules set up to allow them to believe or disbelieve the evidence presented.Like if it was not completely black or white …it must not be true.I felt as tho I was watching a group of mothers or fathers defend their own children against an allegation by a neighbor.Their child is never guilty. Jackson could not be guilty because people had credibility problems. Right…. guess who are the most vunerable in our society. The weak people get sucked into everything.These jurors would not have believed videos if they had been presented.

  7. Reggie Jackson says:

    Kent, I know Caligula, and MJ is NO Caligula,

    I’m sittin in my pooh, again, I think I like it.

  8. Angst says:

    There is a saying …. “Better to let a guilty man go free than let an innocent man go to jail for a crime he did not commit.”

  9. B Miller says:

    I’ve been watching CNN, and Aaron Brown keeps saying he doesn’t know what to call the alleged victim. Well, how about calling him the ACCUSER. Its been proven that he is not a VICTIM. Sadly Michael Jackson is the victim in all of this, and one can only imagine the tremendous stress both he and his family have gone through these past months. Those jurors who say they think Michael Jackson has molested boys should be sued for slander!

    The family are opportunists who saw a chance to make easy money instead of earning their own. Its time they went out and got a job and earned their money the way the rest of us do. Michael might be guilty of being different or eccentric, or of making bad decisions, but that does not make him a child molester. I know in my heart that he would never hurt a child, and I look forward to his getting back to what he was meant to do, making music and entertaining us.

  10. Maniakes says:

    “I think Michael Jackson has molested boys,” phrased thus, is a statement of opinion, and thus protected as free speech. There is a difference between personal judgement and the legal burden of proof for the purpose of administering punishment.

    “Michael Jackson has molested boys,” without the qualifing “I think” is a statement of fact which may be actionable for slander. However, if the speaker had strong reason to believe it was true (even if said reason didn’t rise to the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard used in criminal trials), that is a defense against a slander charge.

  11. jesse newman says:

    Michael Jackson is a private person, who prefers not to be touched. With his past of not having a childhood much to speak of, he likes to bring hope and happiness to others that he did not have himself. This person, Michael jackson, lives in his own ways, with monies that he made himself. He knows the difference between right and wrong, there was always an aloofness about him, a way of holding himself seprate. It is his differentness that makes the public wish to condem him, for they are jealous of his monies and of his opportunities, and are self seeking individuals who look for money and questionable fame through their children. Children, borne up by Michael Jackson to enjoy with childlike simplicity the ranch and the rides and all of the things that bring joy to children. He holds them in great esteem, and enjoys their continuing pleasures and innocent laughters and lives vicariously the childhood he never had. Not wishing to be touched himself, is it even the slightest bit concievable that he would touch ones so innocent… is it even more than highly unlikely that he would want to ruin the childhood of someone like himself? No, of course not, was the owner of Charlie and the Chocolate facory after little children, or did he want them to have joy and happiness? Having been to the Never Land ranch, and seeing him hand out milk to children who clammored for rides, no he would not sully his own vicarious childhood in such a way. Let us not treat him as someone alien… a spider on the sidewalk, that all seek to destroy, let us instead make an effort to see who he is, and where he has come from, and not belittle what we do not understand.