Latest Michael Jackson Press Releases
Saturday, June 04, 2005
Michael Jackson Innocent
Unanimously cleared by a jury of his peers on all 10 charges!!!!!
No one can imagine what Michael Jackson has been through today, let alone the past months. On behalf of all fans may we wish him a quick a full recovery in every aspect that this ordeal has put him through.
Saturday, June 04, 2005
Case Finished - Jury Start Deliberations
Attorneys finished their closing arguments yesterday as the jury started its deliberations on reaching a decision on whether or not Michael Jackson should be convicted for the charges he faces.
Michael arrived at the courthouse with a lot of his family, including his parents, sisters Rebbie, La Toya and Janet and brothers Tito, Jermaine and Randy.
Before the case went to the jury, lead Defence attorney Thomas Mesereau finished his closing argument he had started on Thursday. The attorney said the case was the Arvizo's trying to pull "the biggest con of their careers." Mesereau said Michael is not the "monster" as Prosecutors have portrayed him to be according to the Associated Press, and the Arvizo's are "trying to profit from Michael Jackson. They think they have pulled it off. They are just waiting for one thing - your verdict."
"If you look in your hearts, do you believe Michael Jackson is evil in that way? Is it even possible? It really is not," Mesereau told the jury. "If you look deep into your heart, do you think it's remotely possible that he's constructed that way?" he asked. "What they are trying to do to Michael Jackson is so harmful, so brutal, so devastating ... if you have any reasonable doubt about the double-talk, the lies, it's over. You must acquit Michael Jackson." The attorney also talked about the Prosecution, "The witnesses are preposterous, the perjury is everywhere," he said. "None of it works. The only thing they've had is to throw dirt all over the place and hope it sticks." Mesereau accused the opposition of trying to "dirty up Michael."
The attorney projected discrepancies onto a courtroom screen as he tried to show the inconsistencies with the Arvizo's testimony, telling jurors they should have serious doubts about the family according to the Santa Maria Times. Mesereau finished his closing statement by showing jurors 30 minutes of the rebuttal video to the Bashir documentary Living with Michael Jackson. He told jurors if they have any doubt whatsoever that Michael is guilty, by law he must be acquitted.
Once the Defence had finished, Senior Deputy District Attorney Ron Zonen started the Prosecution's rebuttal. Janet and La Toya Jackson left the courtroom at that moment, the reason later revealed to be because they did not want to listen to their brother being vilified. Zonen addressed Mesereau's earlier question to jurors whether or not they think its possible Michael would commit the crime, "Why would Mr. Jackson do it? Because he could," Zonen said. "This child was in love with him. This child would do anything he said." The Prosecution finished by showing a seven-minute tape of Gavin Arvizo's first interview with authorities concerning the allegations, "You've just witnessed the seven worst minutes of this young man's life," Zonen stated.
The jury spent two hours deliberating before breaking up for the weekend. They are due back on Monday to commence deliberations. Jurors will be in the courthouse from 8:30 am - 2:30 pm Monday to Friday until a verdict is reached. The Judge told Michael that he can stay at his Neverland Valley ranch until a verdict is reached, but attorneys must never be more than 10 minutes away in case jurors have any questions.
Michael's spokesperson Raymone Bain had a few words for the media when Michael did not, "He's very strong and he has a strong faith in God and the justice system. He is not falling apart. He has been a true soldier in all of this," she said.
Friday, June 03, 2005
Attorneys Give Closing Arguments
Attorneys for both sides stood up in court yesterday and provided closing arguments to the 12-member jury as final presentations of their cases before jurors start deliberations.
First to provide a closing argument was Prosecutor Senior Deputy District Attorney Ron Zonen. The presentation lasted two hours before Zonen mentioned the child molestation charges, concentrating on the complicated conspiracy charge according to the Associated Press. Zonen stated it was near the end of the Arvizo's stay at Neverland Valley ranch that "the behavior had turned to something terribly illegal."
Zonen argued that Michael Jackson's Neverland home was not a childlike place, but something more sinister, "They rode rides, went to the zoo, ate whatever they wanted - candy, ice cream, soda pop. There was only fun. ... And at night they entered into the world of the forbidden. Michael's room was a veritable fortress with locks and codes which the boys were given ... They learned about sexuality from someone only too willing to be their teacher."
"It began with discussions of masturbation and nudity. It began with simulating a sex act with a mannequin," Zonen said discussing the molestation charges. "The lion on the Serengeti doesn't go after the strongest antelope," he told jurors. "The predator goes after the weakest," referring to the family's poor financial state. Zonen also stated Gavin Arvizo was intimidated when providing testimony about the alleged abuse, "It was intimidating. It's intimidating for me. ... He had been molested by a man he once held in high regard," he said.
In preparation for the Defence's argument, the Prosecutor defended the Accuser's Mother Janet Arvizo. "For all her shortcomings, (the Mother), after learning Michael was giving her son alcohol, in 36 hours she had her children out of there," he said. Zonen stated Michael had a drinking problem. "(Arvizo) never asked for one penny from Michael Jackson," he said. "She never desired anything form him and she doesn't today." Zonen admitted Janet Arvizo committed welfare fraud.
The Prosecutor also told the jury they had to believe testimony from witnesses testifying about alleged prior bad acts, stating the character of Jason Francia was "beyond reproach." Zonen described the now 24-year-old Francia as "the kind of young man that you want living next door to you."
Technology now plays its part in closing arguments these days, and Zonen projected images onto a screen depicting homosexual acts taken from a book that was in Michael's possession. Although he admitted the book was not illegal to possess, Zonen stated, "This is a study of what two men are able to do with each other. The pictures are absolutely graphic. This is a publication you are not going to find on anyone's coffee table." He went on, "Are you comfortable with a middle-aged man who possesses this book getting into bed with a 13-year-old boy?" The Prosecutor stated the heterosexual adult material seized from the ranch was not for Michael, but "for the boys," as part of a grooming process.
Zonen decided to attack the credibility of Michael's attorneys as well as their client. He stated lead Defence attorney Tom Mesereau had promised celebrity witnesses would testify who did not. He also attacked former lead Defence attorney Mark Geragos, saying, "He received $180,000 in his first three weeks of representing Michael Jackson and he could not sit up here and tell you about one conversation. ... Mark Geragos' testimony simply was not true," he said.
"The suggestion this was all made up is nonsense," Zonen said. "It's unmitigated rubbish."
Mesereau began his closing argument referring to Zonen's attack on himself and other attorneys, "Whenever a Prosecutor does that you know they're in trouble," he said. "This is not a popularity contest between lawyers." The attorney referred to the Arvizo's as a family that consisted of "con artists, actors and liars." He told jurors a civil case will materialise after this case, "Everyone is looking for a big payday at the expense of Michael Jackson," Mesereau said. "There's going to be great celebration in this group if he's convicted of one single count in the case." He went on, "Aren't they all after millions from Michael Jackson? Haven't you seen one (witness) after another come in this courtroom who sued Michael Jackson? They're all lined up," he said.
When discussing the evidence of alleged prior bad acts, Mesereau told jurors that three of the five alleged victims Prosecutors claimed were molested by Michael denied anything happened and that the other two reached financial settlements in favour of a conviction, including the only one of the two to testify, Jason Francia.
The attorney stated that Prosecutors engaged in a "mean-spirited, nasty attempt, a barbaric attempt" to attack Michael's credibility throughout the case by displaying his collection of adult magazines, financial records and supposed "sagging music career." Mesereau stated that none of the adult material Michael possessed was illegal to own and Prosecutors "have dirtied him up because he's human. But they haven't proven their case because they can't." He also said the books were amongst thousands of other in a library and Prosecutors made a "barbaric attempt to dehumanise and degrade Mr. Jackson," he said. Mesereau continued to attack the Prosecutor's argument, "They'd like you to think it was Michael Jackson taking these innocent little lambs and corrupting them," he said, "and it's all baloney."
Mesereau displayed charts as he noted that it would have been ridiculous to commit an act of molestation in the timeline suggested with such international media scrutiny. The attorney discussed the Accuser and his brother testifying that they do not know much about sexual matters, "he acts like he doesn't know what an erection is. He's 13," he said. Mesereau asked the jury to remember the Accuser's demeanour on the stand, "You saw no emotion whatsoever. When did you see him really get angry? When he talked about Michael Jackson abandoning his family," he said.
Mesereau brought to the attention of jurors the fact that the family visited more than one civil attorney before going to authorities, and stated a civil lawsuit would be easier to attain of there was a conviction, "They want the taxpayers of this county to establish liability for them," he said. "For this to happen, you have to label him a convict. You have to label him a sex offender. You have to label him everything he is not."
The Arvizo children were used to lying according to Mesereau, who brought up the fact they lied in a civil lawsuit against store chain JC Penney to receive a $152,000 settlement. "He was very young, he was very street smart, he had been schooled by his parents," Mesereau said. "This served as a looking glass for everything that followed." The attorney said the pattern of lying under oath is ground enough for dismissal according to the Santa Maria Times. "If you have the slightest suspicion, Mr. Jackson must go home, he must go free," Mesereau said to the jury.
Michael responded to reporters stating he was feeling "OK" after yesterday's proceedings. The closing arguments are expected today with Prosecutors expected to have a rebuttal argument before the case gets handed over to the jury for deliberations.
Thursday, June 02, 2005
Jury Given Instructions For Deliberations
Judge Rodney Melville sat down with eight women and four men of the jury yesterday to read over instructions for their deliberations.
"You've heard all of the evidence, and you will hear the arguments of attorneys," Melville said. Closing arguments are expected to begin today with the jury expected to commence deliberations on Friday. The jury were instructed by the Judge to determine the facts and make their decision without "pity for or prejudice toward" Michael Jackson. Melville sat in the witness box for 90 minutes as he read through the 98 pages of the instructions packet according to the Santa Maria Times.
After court finished for the day, Michael's spokesperson Raymone Bain spoke to reporters according to the Associated Press. "He realises in the next few days there will be jury deliberations. ... It's a very difficult situation to sit in there and know your life is in the balance," Bain said. "He has strong faith in God and in the judicial system. He knows his fate is in the hands of 12 jurors."
Senior Deputy District Attorney Ron Zonen is expected to give the Prosecution's closing argument today with lead Defence attorney Tom Mesereau providing the Defence's closing argument on Friday. Since Prosecutor's have the burden of proof, Zonen will be allowed a rebuttal once Mesereau has finished, but he can only address what the Defence addressed in their argument.
Wednesday, June 01, 2005
Judge Decides On Jury Instructions
Michael Jackson and the 12-member jury that will decide the outcome of his trial were not in court yesterday as attorneys argued over what instructions can be provided to the jurors for when they start deliberations.
Judge Rodney Melville agreed with Prosecutors (and against Defence objections) that the four alcohol charges against Michael can be reduced to "lesser included offences" if the jury wish, meaning they could convict Michael of being guilty of a misdemeanour of giving liquor to a minor instead of providing alcohol to a minor to facilitate the felony of child molestation. Although this would not be a felony charge that could encounter four years in prison for each, if found guilty a small prison term or fine can still be handed down.
The Judge also made a ruling concerning the Martin Bashir documentary Living with Michael Jackson. "I'm willing to give ... the instruction, 'The video of "Living With Michael Jackson" is not offered for the truth of what is said except for certain identified passages,"' Melville said. "'The rest is considered hearsay and you can only consider that it aired and its impact if any on Mr. Jackson."' The passages that were referred to were not specified in court according to the Associated Press.
Melville agreed to tell jurors that they could outright dismiss testimony from a witness whom they believe has wilfully made false claims during their testimony. The written instructions will be allowed to be taken into deliberations by each member of the jury, and will specify (amongst other things) that the "prior bad acts" evidence brought in by Prosecutors are not charges Michael is currently facing and will read, "Evidence has been introduced for the purpose of showing the defendant committed crimes other than those for which he is on trial. This evidence, if believed, may be considered by you only for the limited purpose of deciding if it tends to show a characteristic plan or scheme to commit acts."
The jury will also be instructed that the fact Michael did not testify himself should not be used against him.
Michael is due back in court today with attorneys resuming their arguments concerning the jury instructions. Jurors will then enter the courtroom and will be told by the Judge the instructions of how to carry out their deliberations. Closing arguments are expected to start tomorrow with deliberations possibly starting as early as Friday.