Jackson Jury Selected without African-Americans MJEOL Bullet #247 FEB 23 2005 The jury currently selected to hear the prosecutions alleged case against Michael Jackson has been seated in less than 3 full days. There is not a single African American on the panel of reportedly 8 women and 4 men. The prosecution removed both of the remaining blacks in the pool through their peremptory challenges. Conflicting reports set the jury makeup as 8 whites, 3 Hispanics, and 1 Asian. However, some reports set the number at 7 whites, 4 Hispanics and 1 Asian. According to news reports, the jurors range in age from 20 years old to 79 years old. They have various occupations. But as varied as the panel is, its probably going to be known as the all white jury as opposed to the attitudes of the people on it. Some of those who made the cut are very interesting indeed. One of the women allowed to sit on this panel has an extensive history of sexual abuse in her family. Mesereau wanted to question the woman further in the Judges chambers as agreed upon previously by this same judge. Inexplicably, he refused to allow further questioning of her by the defense. Prosecution supporter Ann Bremner said on Court TV (Feb 23 2005) that she was surprised the judge didnt allow defense attorney Mesereau to follow up in the judges chambers. As good as she may look to the prosecution, this could come back to bite the prosecution in their proverbial asses, however. She may not take too kindly to the behavior of the accusers mother in this case: the mother not calling the police when she claims she saw Jackson abusing her son on a plane ride and the mother going to a civil attorney after she claims she escaped from Neverland, instead of going to the police and pressing charges. These are simply a few examples. One powerful moment during this process came via one of the two African Americans that were tossed off by prosecutors. She blasted the media, Sneddon and former sheriff Jim Thomas for being biased. An article from the LA Times details some of her comments. She called attention to former Sheriff Jim Thomass comments in the media. Thomas is a paid analyst for MSNBC specifically about this case. From the article:
During today’s questioning by defense attorney Thomas Mesereau Jr., the woman said: “How can he [Jackson] get a fair trial anywhere when even the ex-sheriff of Santa Barbara County gets on the news and tells the world he [Jackson] is a child molester and was a child molester back when I was sheriff.” (see Jackson Jury Selection Complete (Feb 23 2005) – LA Times)
Thomas, in his usually ridiculous manner is said to have made a joke of the womans comments in the courts overflow room. More from the report:
Thomas, who was in the press overflow room, replied: “I guess she is not going to lunch with me.” (see Jackson Jury Selection Complete (Feb 23 2005) – LA Times)
This is the type of mentality prevalent with law enforcement, say sources. There really is nothing funny at all about this situation, nor about his obvious biases. Thomas, as hes admitted publicly, is close friends with Tom Sneddon. The African American woman, taken off the panel by the prosecution, also questioned how Jackson could possibly get a jury of his peers in the Santa Maria area. From the article:
As Mesereau probed, the woman went further: “The only thing I question is a jury of your peers. How is this man [Jackson] going to get it here in this area?” Jackson, who sat quietly through most of the questioning, nodded vigorously in agreement. Jackson supporters have raised the issue of race before, arguing that as a popular African American pop star, Jackson was singled out for prosecution. (see Jackson Jury Selection Complete (Feb 23 2005) – LA Times)
Reportedly, Mesereau argued vigorously against the dismissal of this juror. And seeing as how the judge allowed a woman with an extensive family history of molestation to remain on the panel, it wouldnt have been a big deal for this woman as well to remain on the jury panel because her views are shared by a number of people in that community, according to some local observers. During this writing, I flipped over to The Abrams Report just in time to hear shouting matches between Abrams and his guests, along with hackneyed, criminally stupid insults of Jacksons looks from Jeff Feiger, of all people proving once again how out of touch he is with the facts of this case. Speaking of looks, Dr. Deaths attorney (Feiger) better not ever be on trial for murder because well .do I really need to finish that sentence? But I digress. According to data compiled by independent researcher TSColdMan, the rundown of the 12 jurors dont appear to be as bad for the defense as some prosecution supporters initially claimed. Some of the jurors have either been to Neverland or knew someone who had. One juror who trains horses says she thinks Jackson is a wonderful entertainer according to this research. One juror, a high school teacher, says her children love Jackson. Another male juror has a brother-in-law whose sister works for Jacksons doctor. He also says his sister and her boyfriend have been to Neverland before. Yet another juror, male, age 21, is disabled. Based on reporters, he says he visited Neverland when he was in the 6th grade as a part of his cerebral palsy disabilities group. As you know by now, the gates of Neverland are often thrown open to children of all ages and all levels of abilities and have been for well over a decade. A social worker is also on the panel. She admitted in court that she thinks children can be influenced by their parents. She could also provide a unique perspective as to what social workers do when they question children, and she can be distrust of the prosecutions motives after the initial Dept of Child and Family Services investigation found the allegations against Jackson to be unfounded. Other jurors include the female with a family history of abuse mentioned earlier, a physical therapist aide, and an engineer who thinks the media can be influential in these types of high profile cases. Regardless of what the defense and prosecution want, it is rather strange to say the least that in this high profile case in this day in age, there would be no black jurors on this jury. However, in the end, this may not matter at all based on the mountainous amount of exonerating evidence alluded to in the media by sources from 1993 to now. In the coming days, some of the media may try to convince the public not to ask serious questions about the speed of this process and about the judges heavy-handed manner during questioning. Some may, however, start to finally ask questions about both the validity of this process and the validity of this case. The media has been wrong about the pace of jury selection. Theyve been wrong about the strength (or lack thereof) of the case against Jackson. Theyve even been wrong about Jackson faking the flu. And judging from the incredible amounts of contradictions outed by recent leaks which have backfired for prosecutors, theyve been wrong about what they have collectively claimed is Jacksons guilt. By all accounts, the defense seems to want to get the show on the road. Some case observers say the defense may be tired of the judges gag order tying its hands from sufficiently and substantially respond to the very many leaks from either the prosecution or prosecution sympathizers. By there not being an black juror on the panel, the prosecution wont be able to argue that Jacksons race got him off. If this all white jury acquits Jackson, the prosecution wont be able to fall back on that excuse. The defense has repeatedly said that this is not a battle they will fight in the media. And that once evidence and cross-examination from the defense is finally heard, the media could be proven wrong yet again as usual. Opening statements are set to begin Monday, Feb 28 2005. Stay tuned. -MJEOL :nav Your comments?