Jackson Juror: Mother to Blame

From the front page of the Washington Times today (via AFP) is a peculiar quote from one of the jurors who aquitted Michael Jackson of child molestering:

A third juror, a woman who has children, wondered how a mother could let a child sleep with an adult.

“Every moment of your day, you’re protective over what happens to your children,” the woman said.

“What mother in her right mind would allow that to happen? Or just freely volunteer your child, you know, to sleep with someone? And not just so much Michael Jackson, but any person, for that matter,” she said.

If I’m not misreading this, the juror basically says “sure, Michael Jackson is guilty, but it is the accuser’s mother who is really to blame for putting her son in that situation.” Nice work.

FILED UNDER: Entertainment, General, Popular Culture
Leopold Stotch
About Leopold Stotch
“Dr. Leopold Stotch” was the pseudonym of political science professor then at a major research university inside the beltway. He has a PhD in International Relations. He contributed 165 pieces to OTB between November 2004 and February 2006.

Comments

  1. Yeah, that quote was . . . interesting.

    From what I read, the Mom just bothered them. She didn’t come across as credible for much of anything.

  2. Anon says:

    Another interpretation is that the standard for guilt is quite high. I might believe that the preponderance of evidence points to someone’s guilt, and think and speak accordingly, but yet not believe that they are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

  3. Bryan C says:

    I could be wrong, but I think the juror is saying that she just didn’t believe the mother’s testimony. She wasn’t credible.

  4. DaveD says:

    I am sure the average person who says he’s been sleeping with an underage boy but nothing happened could never get by a jury the way Michael Jackson did. It’s almost as if the jury felt that since Michael Jackson is strange maybe he is strange enough to sleep with this kid and go not further than that physically. But the jury did seem to adhere quite specifically to the “beyond reasonable doubt” instruction. I think the outcome would have been different if they had tried this case as a civil suit.

  5. Meezer says:

    I think that “beyond a reasonable doubt” has morphed into “beyond any doubt whatsoever.” I just served on a jury for a felony (with handgun; no homicide) case and it seemed that was the standard the other jurors were using. They kept making comments like, “is there any possible way” and I wanted to say, “yes, if Superman reversed the spin of the earth to turn back time while a brass band marched by to distract the store owner….”

  6. Kent says:

    My impression is that the standard jury instructions carefully distinguish “beyond any reasonable doubt” from “beyond any possible doubt.” What kind of instructions did you hear, Meezer?

  7. RattlerGator says:

    I’ve noticed many people taking your position on that mother’s comment and I think that’s unfortunate. She was clearly talking about that family’s involvement with Jackson for a couple of years AND CONTINUED SENDING OF THE BOY to Jackson’s place after the Bashir documentary aired in Britain and the United States.

    Remember, the timeline offered by the prosecution said the molestation occurred AFTER that documentary aired.

    It’s shameful the way some people are attacking this jury. They clearly did their job

  8. Jim Rhoads says:

    Being an old trial lawyer I am inclined to believe the jury handled this trial as well as could be expected, and “called it like they saw it”.

    I posted on another site my impression that the prosecution overcharged and overtried its case and underprepared its witnesses (or put too many on the stand), whereas the defense did the better job on cross examination and on the PR battle outside the courtroom.

    That said, this case could have gone either way. Mr. Jackson was one lucky dude in not being convicted. But the trial clearly had a negative effect on his career and his constitution.