The rantings of a Public Defender constantly fighting against society's pervasive Police Industrial Complex. Enjoy the unique perspective of one whose life's work is to fight the system through the system.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

What's Up with the Michael Jackson Case?

I've been keeping up with the Michael Jackson case and all I can think of is this: Could there be a more blatant example of a shakedown family than the mother of the victim in this case? Don't get me wrong, it's entirely possible that Michael Jackson molested these kids, and if so, he should be punished like any other molester (here in California that invariably means many years in prison, perhaps life). However, it may just be that he's a freak who is not a molester, but certainly primed for being shaken down because he's so bizarre.

I tend to be skeptical of wackos like Jacko, despite my typical public defender leanings. In general, I'm more sympathetic towards poor clients who haven't had the best of guilded opportunities their whole life rather than rich defendants who get the royal treatment everywhere they go, and still screw up. But, this doesn't mean that Jackson should rot in prison.

The case for a shakedown seems ever more obvious with every revelation that comes in this case. The family insisted for so long that Jackson was wonderful to them and never did anything wrong, even in response to a Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services interview after the Bashir tape aired. They took money from him, they spoke on a rebuttal tape glowingly about him, and they stayed with him for a long time. I know that they allege that they were forced to do this, but I don't believe that for a second. Apparently, they hung around Westlake or Calabasas for the longest time cruising around in the lap of luxury with Jackson's assistants, making hour long phone calls to the mother's boyfriend in Los Angeles (a boyfriend who was a member of the military - like he'd just sit around and take it if they tried to kidnap his girlfriend and her family). Add to this the fact that she hit up every other star she met for money, and filed a bogus lawsuit against JC Penny where she got her kids to lie for her about sexual misconduct, and I believe you have reasonable doubt.

Except one nagging problem I have. I was talking with some of my co-workers a couple of weeks ago and I played this theory out, and when I was done (I had been arguing both sides), two of them said that they found the argument devestating against Jackson, and that, knowing what they did about the weaknesses of the family's credibility, they'd still find him guilty. It goes something like this:

Most people are not exceptionally paranoid about molestation charges. But, personally, after the McMartin allegations of the mid-80's and the hysteria that swept the nation putting probably innocent people in prison on outrageous claims, I became a little concerned. There was one point I lived in an area with my then-fiancee (now wife) during law school where many little kids would hang out playing outside of my townhouse during the day while I was home studying or otherwise screwing around. These 2 cute little girls next door (probably 6 and 3) used to love stopping by and bugging me, and they were so adorable I didn't mind. One time, they came by and invited themselves inside like only little kids can do and began chattering while I was trying to study (or watch TV, far more likely knowing my study habits). At some point I got worried and thought, I really shouldn't have these 2 little girls hanging at my house without anyone else around. Thoughts of me being dragged away in handcuffs, my life ruined, all because their mother and her boyfriend decided to blame some of their woes on me and make up a molestation claim went through my head (alright, law school can make you a little paranoid, but just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that they're not out to get you). I gently ushered them out and never let them in my place again without anyone else around.

Michael Jackson had good reason to be exceptionally paranoid about molestation complaints. In 1993, he escaped being charged with child molestation by the skin of his teeth and by virtue of a $25 million payoff. He had every reason to be more paranoid than not just me, but almost anyone else you could imagine. He should have been so concerned about future allegations, especially knowing about his close call and the fact that everyone thought he was a freak, that he would be extra careful from then on. Alright, so he loves kids, he loves his child-like lifestyle, and wants kids around. But what kind of wierd compulsion propelled him to have little kids around him in such close poximity, without any other adults present, without any objective proof that he wasn't doing anything untoward towards them. You have to wonder what kind of unnatural needs he had that he would continue to put himself in the position of being accused, after having gone through it so seriously once before, that he continued associating with kids in this "unnatural" manner. This kind of wierd compulsion is the type associated with someone who cannot control their behavior, and of one who has something to hide, rather than being open about everything. If he was paranoid about not being wrongfully accused, he would've invited disinterested adults to observe his conduct any time they wanted, he would've had cameras everywhere to ensure he was not doing anything wrong. Instead, he did the exact opposite, he kept kids away from responsible adults, he fashioned a system that allowed him to be far away and unable to be surprised by other adults. These actions were the type of a person who had an unnatural compulsion to do wrong, not a compulsion to avoid even an appearance of impropriety.

He may be innocent, but I don't understand how someone who had been through this once before could even allow himself to get put in that position again.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree completely.

I used to friend who was accused of rape not once, but twice, by two different women. The first woman just confronted him, the second woman actually called the police, he was arrested and eventually the charges were dropped.

Point is, when he called me and told me about the second instance, I couldn't believe he let himself get in that situation again. "If I were you," I told him, "I'd have women sign waivers before I'd even look at them."

Michael Jackson? Same thing.

3/13/2005 10:28 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was supposed to be "I used to have a friend..."

3/13/2005 10:29 AM

Blogger Tom Lincoln said...

Now you convinced me too. I guess your argument is going to be pretty much the prosecution's closing argument.

3/13/2005 9:07 PM

Anonymous DiRe said...

Hang on, this is not the same. If I were accused of rape it wouldn't stop me wanting to be intimate with adult women, so I could end up in the same situation. I have no urges to be intimate with children so to be accused of child molestation would make me want to be sure I was never in a situation where I could be accused again.

I share your concern regarding Micheal Jackson's behaviour, it does suggest some unnatural compulsion; I too wonder why he did not do more to protect himself, was he perhaps arrogant in assuming he would get away with it? It is also disconcerting that Micheal Jackson has adult material, so demonstrating an adult sex drive and awareness; one feels this conflicts with a child like naivity which could explain his behaviour innocently.

All this said, I also have doubts about the family too. I suspect greed motivated much of their behaviour, whether the child was molested or not is going to be hard to prove. I don't think there has been any real hard evidence, but when is there ever in such cases?

Frankly Micheal did himself no favours by paying off the kid the first time.

3/14/2005 5:26 AM

Blogger Indiana Public Defender said...

In the end the jury has to decide whether:

Michael Jackon sleeps with young boys and molests them.


Whether he just sleeps with young boys.

3/14/2005 5:54 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm curious, how do you think that the defense tactics of the MJ case would change if this was a public defender case? First, if the client wasn't famous (or infamous for being extremely strange), and secondly, if the defense didn't have the same resources as Mesereau et al .. ? I worry that financial resources - the ability to pay experts, have a big defense team, conduct investigations - contributes more to a not guilty verdict than the actual question of guilt. I suppose I'm thinking a bit of the OJ Simpson case.

3/15/2005 10:14 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets put the pieces together:
1. Mother sued JC Penny and Lied
2. Mother coached son in JC Penny case to lie
3. Child shows no edvidence of Molestation during video
4. Child shows no emotion on testimony video
5. Children returned over and over again to Neverland ranch
6. Sister lied on the stand, testimony not collaborated by her brother, the accuser.
7. Jay Leno say the boy sounded coached, when did his mother let him watch such a show,
McCullin said he was never bothered.
I think some people are jealous, mad because Michael bleached his skin, dont like the color of skin, and really justice is blind, the prosecutor did not prove behind a shawdow of a doubt, and if that doesnt convinence you, then how about the social worker who testified the mother nor the child even after the video did not charge micheal with molestation. How about the legal secretary that said the mother lied about being beaten by a security guard when infact it was her husband. Who is to say that the reason the first boy did not go to the police was because all that really happen was money. If he said anything on the stand other than he was molested he may have to give that 2 million dollars back and explain him self. Boy the extend people will go through for money, and the prosecutor needed a case to boost him into the mayors office. They all need to get a life.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


I don't understand if michael is innocent or guilty?
can anyone clarify how can i believe that micael is really innocent?


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