by Joe Shea
American Reporter Correspondent
June 13, 2005
JURY ACQUITS MICHAEL JACKSON OF MOLESTATION CHARGES, BUT HE STANDS CONVICTED BY THE PRESS
SANTA MARIA, Calif., June 13, 2005 -- The all-white Santa Barbara Co. jury that spent seven days poring over the vast minutiae of his trial on 10 child molestation charges today acquitted pop superstar Michael Jackson on all counts, prompting an immediate chorus of scathing criticism from the likes of conservative talk show host Michael Savage, who mocked each juror on the air as they spoke to the press after the verdict.
If anything, the acquittal proved that conservatives value the jury system far less than liberals do. Todd Schnitt of "The Schnitt Show" and Savage of radio's "Savage Nation," two right-wingers who criticized the Los Angeles Co. panel that acquitted O.J. Simpson on murder charges after months of trial and 3 hours and 45 minutes of deliberation in 1994 because many of the jurors were black, today heaped scorn on a white jury of eight men and four women who deliberated more than 24 hours because they were "stupid," or worse.
Jackson, meanwhile, left the courthouse in a caravan of pricey GM Yukon Denali XLs with a quiet, almost timid wave at thousands of wildly cheering fans, some of whom who had waited weeks for the verdict. He arrived at the courthouse late, as he has frequently, but his return to "Neverland," his ranch, was triumphant. At the courthouse, one middle-aged female fan with an Ariana Huffington accent released a pure white mopurning fove each timeNear the entrance to the ranch
The singer, universally known as the "King of Pop" until his career began a substantial decline after he paid a reported $20 million to bring a close to charges of molestation brought by the son of a Beverly Hills dentist, was acquitted on charges including a lewd act on a minor, attempted molestation, plying minors with liquor, and several conspiracy charges stemming allegations that he held his accuser and his family "hostages" at his Santa Ynez ranch after a documentary by a British journalist revealed that he regularly shared his bedroom with young boys. The jury, clearly concerned by the possibility of criticism, gave a note to Superior Court Judge Rodney S. Melville that he then read to the courtroom. "We the jury feeling the weight of the world's eyes upon us all, thoroughly and meticulously studied the rules of evidence," the note began. "...We competently came to our result. It is our hope that this case is the testament to integrity and fairness of the judicial system.
"We request that the world allow us to return to our private lives as anonymously as we came," the jury said. Jackson's attorney, Thomas Meserau, said only, "Justice wasdone."
The verdict enraged the two spokesmen of the Republican far right who years ago might have been expected to respect a jury verdict after a long and complicated trial. Scnitt declared "I believe Michael Jackson is guilty." Savage, meanwhile, mocked each juror as they spoke to the press after the verdict, and was especially harsh on a Latina juror, saying she had no right to serve because she spoke Spanish with an interviewer from the Spanish-language television network Telemundo. He accused one of having an "I.Q. of 90," and said jurors ought to be required to take an intelligence test.
They would have found themselves at odds with the Santa Barbara Co. prosecutor, Thomas Sneddon, Jr., who in a CNN interview re-emphasized his belief in the jury system, and said, "In 37 years, I have never quarreled with the verdict of a jury, and I'm not going to quarrel with this one today."
The verdict also may have embarassed a bevy of courtroom prognosticators like CNN's Nancy Grace, who left little doubt they also believed in Jackson's guilt while steadfastly criticizing the presentation of the prosecution's case. For them, the case will likely not establish Jackson's innocence, but merely serve as an indictment of the prosecution team's incompetence. For them, only God can clear Michael Jackson.