I don’t know whether Michael Jackson is guilty.
But I do know that if I were a juror, I would vote to acquit him.
Like a record store clerk asked to lift up Jay-Z’s debut album, the prosecution’s flimsy case raises reasonable doubt.
Read carefully. Most people think that the alleged order of events is as follows: (1) Michael molested Gavin Arvizo, a 12-year-old cancer survivor, (2) the Bashir documentary aired, (3) local authorities began an investigation into his relationship with the boy, and then, finally, (4) he imprisoned the family until he could coerce them into denying, on camera, that anything ever happened.
They would be wrong.
According to the prosecution’s own version, here’s the correct order: (1) the Bashir documentary aired, (2) local authorities began an investigation, (3) Michael imprisoned the family, and then — after all this — (4) he began molesting the boy.
That’s right. The first alleged instance of molestation took place after Michael Jackson was being investigated for molestation.
I understand that “Captain E.O.” seems to lack judgment, if not common sense or grounding in reality. I know that sexual predators can’t help when they prey upon their victims.
But does anybody really believe that asexual Michael Jackson — with his handlers and staff of dozens — would be investigated for sexual molestation by authorities and appear in a documentary suggesting improper behavior … and then follow that up by actually molesting the child for the first time?
Rolling Stone magazine, one of the few mainstream publications that devoted a serious article to this case, brilliantly boiled down the prosecution’s case as follows:
“In a panic over negative publicity, Jackson conspires to kidnap a boy and force him to deny acts of molestation that in fact never happened, and then he gets over his panic just long enough to actually molest the child at the very moment when the whole world is watching.”
On top of the questions this raises, why didn’t Gavin and his family immediately call the police after Gavin received the alleged reach-arounds?
While the molestation claims have some evidential support, the false imprisonment charges are more ludicrous and specious than Tom Cruise’s claims to love Katie Holmes. After the prosecution rested, I’m surprised that the judge didn’t dismiss the imprisonment claims or, at least, fart in their general direction.
Hell, I would love to be “falsely imprisoned” if it means I get a complementary outlet shopping spree for new clothes worth over a thousand dollars, a free Will Ferrell movie, a $175 steak dinner for me and my co-captives at Black Angus, a manicure, a wax, and my capturer picking up the tab for the removal of my son’s braces. OK, maybe I won’t love the wax job.
I wonder if Gavin’s mother, Janet Jackson (nee Janet Arvizo, not to be confused with Michael’s sister Janet Jackson, whose name ain’t baby, regardless of whether you’re nasty), was treated just as well during the two other times she alleged false imprisonment — once against her ex-husband and once against a pair of security guards at a JC Penney, who stopped her after finding her son in the store parking lot with stolen merchandise.
Is it possible that one person has the bad luck of being falsely imprisoned not once, not twice, but three times? Would any higher power allow this to actually happen to a family with a cancer-stricken boy … other than the God of Sadism or, perhaps, Dick Cheney?
Most incredibly, during the period of alleged imprisonment, the Arvizo family repeatedly returned to Neverland, after having plenty of opportunities to call for help (but never doing so).
If it sounds like I’m saying that the Arvizo family is a conniving troupe of con-artist hell-bound miscreants, then your hearing needs to be checked, because I’m not talking out loud.
But you would be correct, in my opinion, to conclude that this family is predatory, scheming, and capable of exploiting Gavin’s illness to dig gold from countless celebrities like Chris Tucker (who got suckered into paying for plane tickets to Florida) and George Lopez.
Let’s face it. If you were desperate for millions of dollars, the first thing you would do is send your kids to play at Neverland, and the next day, accuse Michael Jackson of sexually molesting your children.
What better target could you find than a rich millionaire with a Peter Pan complex who publicly admits sleeping in bed with kids after being previously accused of sexual molestation?
It would be an astropotamus travesty, of course, if Gavin is telling the truth and Michael Jackson walks scot-free.
But it would be an even bigger miscarriage of justice if MJ is innocent but sentenced to decades in prison, while the Arvizo family successfully sues him for millions of dollars.
As for my prediction, I think the jury is going to take another week to milk the attention and set up book deals. Then, after crushing the skepticism of the lone objective juror with threats of more “Beat It” jokes, the jury will find Michael Jackson guilty of all the molestation charges (but acquit him of the false imprisonment claims).
Call me high on Jesus Juice, but I believe MJ’s eventual conviction is, sadly, a foregone conclusion. Most Americans believed the King of Pop was guilty before the trial even began. This is evidenced by the fact that the media, as well as we the people, decided not to treat his trial as an actual legal proceeding to determine his guilt, but rather, a celebrity freak-show carnival.
While OJ and Scott Peterson’s trials were also media spectacles, their cases frequently engendered real news analysis dissecting the evidence against them. But as for Jacko, most news coverage of his trial has largely been limited to whether Macaulay Culkin would testify or what porn magazines were found in Neverland Ranch or what pajamas he wore to court.
Where were the court analysts discussing the legal standard for false imprisonment? Why didn’t news magazines report on how the pattern of these alleged facts relate to other child abuse cases? What seasoned court observers actually discussed whether the prosecution met its burden of proof?
Meanwhile, the jurors clearly have no chance of remaining objective. This USA Today article reveals that jurors watched Jay Leno’s Tonight Show on the night that he openly made countless jokes about Jackson’s pedophilia — and the judge doesn’t care. Regardless of whether they’ve been following the rules of avoiding news coverage, any juror with a mental capacity above vegetative has heard enough to conclude that Michael Jackson is a pedophile.
Again, I don’t know if Michael Jackson is guilty.
I don’t know what goes through the mind of a sexual predator, nor do I know the pain of being one of his victims.
I don’t know all the evidence against Michael Jackson; E! Network’s reenactments of court testimony were as close as I got to the trial.
For all I know, MJ might be a really, um, smooth criminal. And if he is, he should be punished, treated, and forced to listen to all his awful duets with Paul McCartney, which, I say say say is the very dog-gone definition of hell.
But based on what I do know — the conflicting testimony, the questionable credibility of the prosecution witnesses, the lack of any DNA evidence, and the overwhelming evidence of the Arvizos’ ulterior motives — I submit that there is very reasonable doubt as to MJ’s guilt.
Which is to say, Michael Jackson deserves to walk free. Or, perhaps, moonwalk free.