Are we taking the 2005 verdict seriously enough?

Court

Why has the not guilty verdict been ignored?

On November 14th 2005, Michael Jackson was found Not Guilty of all ten charges of Child Molestation but that didn’t stop the portrayal of him in a negative light. Sections of the media still portrayed him in an unflattering light and the court of public opinion did not seem to acknowledge the weight of this verdict. Even today, I see that many people are quick to dismiss him as a pedophile, either online or what I observe in my day to day life. The question that rises in my mind is how can some people be so convinced that Michael Jackson is a pedophile.

Let’s leave my views out for a moment and do some reasonable thinking. One reason why people believe that such a claim is true is because of the public persona of Michael Jackson that has been created by the tabloids. It is believed by some that he is “weird”, “strange” or even a “freak”. However, whatever they might think, it is a logical fallacy to assume that just because someone is assumed to be abnormal that he is a pedophile. We cannot assume Y because of X. It is easy for us to be led into such a conclusion but we have to check the basis of our knowledge.

Another reason is the settlement of the 1993 case. People question whether the decision to settle the case was one made by a guilty man. It is interesting to point out that 97% of all civil cases in the U.S are settled without going into court [1], which removes the abnormality of the settlement. Keep in mind that at this point the case was still a civil case and not a criminal one. Michael Jackson’s reasons for settling the case can be summed up in his own words.

“I wanted to go on with my life. Too many people had already been hurt. I want to make records. I want to sing. I want to perform again…It’s my talent. My hard work. My life. My decision.”[2]

This makes sense. How many of us would willingly fight in court for years, forgoing our occupation and daily lives? Wouldn’t we be tempted to “get rid” of the problem? Needless to say, this decision probably did more harm than good in the long run and Michael Jackson admitted that the decision was a mistake, which is why the 2005 case was fought in court [3].

The settlement in fact, was not an admission of guilt as the terms of the settlement specifically stated that Michael Jackson was admitting no wrongdoing [4]. But what about the father? Why would the father of an abused child agree to the settlement? If I was a father and if someone had molested my child, I would want the criminal to rot in jail, regardless of the the amount of money that I could gain in a settlement. However, the father did not seem to care for his child.

“That’s irrelevant to me…It will be a massacre if I don’t get what I want. It’s going to be bigger than all us put together…This man [Jackson] is going to be humiliated beyond belief…He will not sell one more record [5]”                            –When asked about his child

However, returning to the 2005 case, there is still the curious issue that even after fighting the case and winning, Michael Jackson is often labeled as a pedophile. In fact, the reason why Michael Jackson was found not guilty is because there was not a single shred of evidence that suggested that he had done anything wrong. Neverland was raided by 70 investigators. No murder case has seen a higher number. The FBI has been monitoring Michael Jackson for 17 years and they found nothing that hinted towards Michael Jackson’s guilt [6].

Without any evidence you don’t have a case. The evidence that suggests that Michael Jackson is a pedophile is equal to the fat sum of zero. Therefore the evidence that suggests that you are a pedophile is either equal to or higher than the evidence that suggests that Michael Jackson is a pedophile.

This leads me to conclude by saying that there is no reason to firmly believe that Michael Jackson is a pedophile. The point that I would like to stress the most is that we as Michael Jackson fans are being too defensive. If someone calls MJ a pedophile, we quickly bombard the person with facts, facts and more facts while the person remains unconvinced.

It’s our fault as well. If someone persists that Michael Jackson is pedophile, don’t stay on the defensive, attack. Tell them that Michael Jackson has been found to be Not Guilty after 574 days of investigation and if they themselves have no evidence to suggest that Michael Jackson is a pedophile, their argument isn’t worth a damn. A person who listens to highly biased media sound-bites in the evening news is not an expert on what happened. Ask them, what evidence do they have? What reason do they have to dismiss the case? If there is none, there is no reason to label or condemn someone as guilty of such a heinous crime.

Oh and please do not entertain fallacious arguments such as “Michael Jackson escaped because of his wealth and influence”. If anything, the case was biased against Michael Jackson. He had to pay $3 million in bail, which is unfair. Not to mention the endless tabloid slander and the money that would have been generated by the press had he gone to jail. A whole cottage industry would have been set up around monitoring him in jail. Also, does anyone remember how Michael Jackson had been handcuffed in public as if he had been arrested for a crime?

Wasn’t it supposed to be “innocent until proven guilty” but that basic right has not been extended to Michael Jackson. I actually feel sorry for him. What a complete waste of time and money to have landed in something like this. He could have gotten up every day and made music, but instead he had to go to the courtroom. Not to mention the huge amount of stress caused by a media willing to tear down his image for readership. No wonder he couldn’t get any sleep. I believe that he probably would have been alive today had it not been for the case. Well, at least mainstream music would have been a lot less crappy.

References:

  1. Government survey shows 97% of civil cases settled.
  2. Taraborrelli, p. 540–545
  3. Michael Jackson regrets out of court settlement
  4. Michael Jackson’s settlement
  5. Taraborrelli, p. 477–478
  6. FBI files Michael Jackson

If you wish to know more about the case, the Wikipedia page is an excellent place to start as it has links to many other places. The video series “True Crime with Aphrodite Jones” is another excellent source of information. And if you’re really curious to know more about the minor details of the case and what happened inside the court, I would recommend reading “The Michael Jackson Conspiracy” by Aphrodite Jones.

Just on a personal note, I’m really sorry that I couldn’t write this earlier, before his death. In 2005, I was just a small child and I became a fan in late 2008, by becoming aware of Michael Jackson’s charity work and because of the attention that Thriller 25 brought. Now that I have exams, I cannot promise much until May. All I can promise is that this website will be alive.

Comments are disabled not because I’m a chicken (which I’m not), but because I’m aware of the kind of comments that could be posted here and I don’t want to waste time replying to them. I have limited time but feel free to send an email at invinciblethriller@gmail.com

Here’s the first part of “True Crime” if you wish to know more about the case. Take care!

March 11th 2011 by MJNinja

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Posted on March 11, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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