Monday, January 31, 2005

Michael Jackson's jury selection begins

Today the jury selection in Michael Jackson's trial begins in Santa Barbara County Superior Court. Many people have already predicted that, in terms of notoriety and the challenge it represents to the court, the Jackson trial will rival O.J. Simpson's. I agree. Before the O.J. trial, what did we know about him? He was a great football player and appeared in some funny commercials. Contrast that with the downward trajectory of Michael Jackson’s career, the bizarre facts and wild rumors we’ve heard about his increasingly strange lifestyle and the goings-on at his ranch, Neverland. Add to that the generic prejudice that people have against sexual abuse of young children. Worst of all from a defense standpoint is Jackson’s widely publicized settlement in 1993 over similar charges of sexual impropriety with a young boy. “Pretrial publicity” hardly seems to capture all of this!

I was intrigued that Judge Melville, who is presiding over the trial, allowed Jackson to release a video statement proclaiming his innocence, responding to secret grand jury testimony leaks. Other than that, Judge Melville has imposed a gag order on the lawyers and the parties. And unlike O.J., there will be no cameras in the courtroom for the Jackson trial. The New York Times reports there will be "re-enactments" of the testimony broadcasted after the testimony is presented.

This promises to be a fascinating jury trial. Let the jury selection begin!

3 Comments:

Blogger Stephen Gordon said...

Valerie:

I look forward to your coverage. I'm bookmarking and will be back regularly.

Attorney Stephen Gordon
Shreveport, Louisiana

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jacko seem'eth now not dapper and prim
T'would seem his hopes be dim
the odds of impartiality be'eth slim
verily the prima donna look'eth grim
I come'th here naught of mere whim
T'was Jeremy, I think'eth highly of him -
LDM ( Lonely Donut Man)

7:42 AM  
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1:33 AM  

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