Are there really still people in this country (world?) who think the verdicts of our justice system have any relationship to reality once the defendant's income drifts into the seven-figure range?

No, Michael Jackson was not convicted of anything. I'll take this opportunity to remind you that R. Kelly is on videotape peeing on and getting a blowjob from a 14 year-old girl and was acquitted of peeing on and getting a blowjob from a 14 year-old girl.

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16 thoughts on “JACKPOT JUSTICE”

  • MildlyDisturbed says:

    I wonder if the dullards busy worshiping this freak would want to live next door to a noncelebrity MJ? Would they let the bastard babysit their kids?

  • Michael Jackson was acquitted of the *second* charge of child molestation–charges were never brought on the first accusation because he paid the child's parent an estimated $20 million to shut up. He publicly kept company with children and *admitted* to sharing his bed with them on numerous occasions. Even if, for the sake of argument, we buy into the story that there was nothing going on there except sleeping, and that he honestly believed his sleeping with children was "a very sweet and non-sexual" thing to do, at the very *minimum* it's creepy, and I would question the judgment of any parent who would knowingly subject their child to that.

  • Acquitted = Innocent in the same way that Cop Wasn't There To See Me Run The Red = I Didn't Run The Red. The two *can* coincide, but we really need to change our verdict to "Not Proven" as opposed to "Not Guilty," as it makes it too easy for idiots to confuse them.

  • No! no! no, J. Dryden! That's not what's needed. Not at all. What's needed is to also allow for "Not Proven" along with "Not Guilty" and "Guilty". I recently served on a jury where a "Not Proven" would have been the verdict, and many of us were not completely okay with the "Not Guilty" verdict we came up with. We weren't going for "Guilty", but the notion that the defendant was completely free of guilt just didn't completely sit right with us.

    Having an option to say "Not Proven" is good, but unless you also keep "Not Guilty" it would only serve to stigmatize those who really are innocent. Adding "Not Proven" allows for juries and judges to say to prosecutors that the case just wasn't strong enough even though the defendant looks a bit guilty. That such a verdict would be like a slap in the face to prosecutors is a good thing in my book, since if anyone needs to be taken down a notch in power, it is prosecutors.

  • @ Ed: Robert Blake and Phil Spektor got convicted, and they're not poor and/or black. So did Martha Stewart. Naturally, being very rich considerably raises your chances to have an excellent attorney who can out-argue the prosecution. But these are not necessary connections, and you know it quite well. The connection rich-legally invulnerable is based on statistical frequencies, not deterministic laws. Can't use it to make claims about single individuals. File this under "Ed vs Fallacies."

    @ Sarah: So maybe MJ is not guilty, but at least he's clearly creepy. Sure. Yet he's still a lot LESS creepy than Dick "dick" Cheney, who went on to become Chancellor palatine… erm… Vice-president for Torture and Autocracy. And Hardly anybody gave a shit, whereas we're all full of outrage that a creepy entertainer hangs out with our chilluns.

    In general, when one discusses Michael and his alleged abuses, there's rarely a mention of the fact that, first, a jury of 12 people found him not guilty, and second, some unscrupulous parents have a vested interest in milking wealthy celebrities of all they can. No which is creepier, a mentally unstable king of pop with a thing for childhood, or a redneck mother who exposes her child to the risk of sexual abuse hoping to make a quick buck?

    And no, I am not black.

  • I meant to say, obviously, Chancellor Palpatine. Sorry. Although the typo makes some sort of remote sense, too.

  • Desargues, neither am I. Not sure how you're going from the discussion on how over-the-top is the wall-to-wall coverage of our newest national tragedy, the death of Michael Jackson, to Dick Cheney, but for the record I did not vote for Gee Dubya either time he was up for president (and I still give my dad, Mr. Clinton-basher himself, a bloody hell of a time for all the badgering he gave me to vote for that SOB in 2000). I did and I do give a shit about all the shenanigans orchestrated by Bush, Cheney & Co. (those we do and *don't* know about), but unfortunately I live in a heavily Republican area of Florida and I feel like a lone voice crying out against a hurricane of apathy, ignorance, and outright stupidity. You will excuse me, please, if I sound a tad jaded. I will turn your own "acquitted legally by a jury of his peers" reasoning around on you and say that Cheney seems to have successfully engineered his own squeaky clean getaway with the very same system which freed Michael Jackson.

  • The idea of "not proven" is a good one, in part because it reminds people that law and justice can be mutually exclusive. Even a rich criminal can hire a bad lawyer. And even the best lawyer can be undermined by an uncooperative client…or one who is just plain nuts.

    But MildlyDisturbed is right. If you had a small child (of either sex), would you think an adult neighbor (of either sex) who wanted to have the kid over for slumber parties was A-okay? Anyone who says, "that doesn't mean MJ was a pedophile" is willfully suspending disbelief.

    The argument that MJ was mentally retarded is not supported. That he was emotionally retarded (to a prepubescent age) may be supported, but is undermined by his physical age, adult sexual compulsions, his mental age (adult, past the age of reason), and his power. Even if he felt like a little boy inside, he does not get a pass to sleep with or touch "other" little boys, or feed them alcohol, or otherwise take advantage of them.

    If one more person says MJ was innocent, or tries to pass off some irrelevant apologia for his behavior, I am going to implode. There are lots of child molesters who have no malice toward children; who are not violent monsters; and who have been hard working citizens, community leaders, and decorated veterans. Friendly folk of high standing, excellent scholarship, and selfless service. They can be rapists, child molesters, domestic abusers, and they world may never know — in part because they don't turn into ugly trailer trash fit for Jerry Springer shows the moment they do what they do, and people can't seem to believe a smiling, well-groomed person could really be THAT bad. I'm sorry to have to ask, but will people please stop defending abusers? I don't care if the motherfucker sang like an angel, supported a million charities, and danced better than Little Egypt. He didn't die soon enough.

  • Kudos for fighting the good cause in Florida, Sarah. My wife's from the South, then her folks transplanted into America's Wang, so I've met a few of the fascist-ass knuckle-draggers you mention. I didn't mean it as a diatribe at you, to be sure. I would only say that, on a list of things to be outraged about, the persistent weirdness of a washed-out entertainer ought to be fairly low down, well behind a lot of other things happening to this country right now.

    Same point re: the orgiastic celebration of past entertainers (or of minor shills, like Tim Russert). Enough with it, already; it's getting obscene.

  • Desargues: Actually, Robert Blake was acquitted, and the jury deadlocked on dear Phil S. the first time. Just sayin', is all.

    jon: Yes. You're right; I'm wrong. A lack of caffeine and an attendant headache led me to snarling excess. Incidentally, the last time I was on a jury, my exact words to my fellows was "Oh, he's most likely guilty, but nothing I heard in there could constitute 'proof.' So according to the rules, we have to let him go." They agreed, and we did.

  • Desargues; No offense taken. Certainly, I can agree that MJ's music was enormously influential and I would be listening to it myself if I did not find it tainted by the child molestation allegations, but all the coverage of his death and the tributes to him (a la Anna Nicole Smith–geez, what a sorry shadow of itself this country has become) are really just leaving a bad taste in my mouth.

  • I stand corrected, John Dryden. In fact, I remember Jay Leno cracking wise once that any celebrity who plans to kill somebody ought to come and do it in California.

  • Late, but, arguably Michael Jackson's best song is "Ben", a love song to his pet rat. This factoid should be directly addressed by you.

  • You people are all fucked up. The last I heard, in this country "Not Guilty" means —– NOT GUILTY. (Except in the case of OJ of course.)

  • Yes, and if you weren't retarded you'd understand that the discussion is about the difference between "NOT GUILTY" and "innocent."

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