JUNE 3 2005 — Closing arguments are now over and the jury has began deliberations now. Defense attorney Tom Mesereau finished his incredibly powerful closing statement today. He literally picked apart the different versions of the different stories Gavin, Star, Davellin and Janet Arvizo all told. He touched on everything from the under oath grand jury testimony, to police statements, to under oath court statements; highlighting numerous inconsistent stories. And according to CNN’s Jeff Toobin, he did so very effectively as well. According to Court TV’s Savannah Guthrie, Mesereau was “fast-paced”, “intense” and “focused” on laying his case out before the jury. Of this prosecution against Jackson, during closing arguments Mesereau said the prosecution has engaged in “a mean-spirited, nasty attempt, a barbaric attempt to dehumanize and degrade Mr. Jackson.” In one of her reports, she relays:
Well, what he’s doing is seizing on these inconsistent statements that he says the family has made. And he’s literally going witness by witness. He started with the accuser, he moved to the brother, he moved to the sister. Now he’s on the mother. Going through their testimony and pointing out what he called are lies. For example, he says the accuser conveniently has changed the dates of the molestations because he knew he had to deal with this interview– this rebuttal video where he was extolling the virtues of Michael Jackson. So he [Mesereau] says the dates of the alleged molestations have changed. He said the number of times of that he said he was molested have changed. First, the accuser said ‘oh about 5 times’. On the stand, he said two times. He told the story about how the accuser initially said that it was his grandmother who told him this story about ‘oh if you dont masterbate, you might rape a girl’. But on the witness stand for the first time, to everyone’s shock, he then attributed that statement to Michael Jackson. Even the police officers — the lead investigator didn’t see that coming. [Mesereau] said, “He’s a liar. He’s a perjurer. And that’s an excuse.” [Mesereau] said, “He flip-flopped all over the place because he’s a liar.” And at one point, [Mesereau] looked at the jurors and he said “How many lies does this guy have to tell for you to see what’s going on?”
Totally explosive and devastating closing argument from Mesereau. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. According to Guthrie and Jennifer London (msnbc), Mesereau also talked about the financial windfall the accuser’s family hopes to find themselves in by getting a conviction against Jackson. In her report, Guthrie quotes:
GUTHRIE: He has argued that the whole purpose of this criminal case is so that those — that family can come into civil court with a criminal conviction and get paid. And he just said to the jurors “If you convict Michael Jackson of anything, they’re gonna be multi-millionaires. Its the biggest con of their career. They’ll be celebrating. They’re waiting, they just need you to help them. “
Mesereau talked about that video prosecutors showed at the end of their case. Mesereau told the jurors to “look at it as he lies”. Quoting more from Guthrie’s report:
GUTHRIE: Yes. In fact, Tom Mesereau used that video that everybody else has talked about. The accuser’s first interview. He said “I hope you do look at his demeanor.” He said, “Look at his demeanor as he lies.” He also said “Look at him on the witness stand. Remember, he didn’t get angry or upset when he relayed this alleged molestation.” You know the only time he got angry was when he was talking about Michael Jackson rejected his family; how he didn’t want to be apart of this accuser’s family any more. That was the only time that the boy got mad. He once again said, “He’s cunning and he’s smart. Remember what Chris Tucker said.”
Mesereau laid into the mother as well. Yesterday, Mesereau says the mother committed perjury right inside the courtroom in front of these jurors. He also says that perjury was a habit to her. He talked about the mother’s modus operandi (MO) as being someone who doesn’t outright ask for money, but rather lays a trap with her “tales of woe” while people open their wallets to her. Mesereau also played clips from the outtakes of the Bashir “documentary”; clips that Bashir purposely left out of the broadcast version. Legal observers say that Jackson’s opinions about his life are explained to a much more complete extent than what was shown on the broadcast version, and that it was quite clear Bashir “lied to Jackson”. According to Guthrie, people inside the courtroom actually applauded when Mesereau finished playing the outtakes. Definitely not a good sign for the prosecution, says some hosts and reporters covering the trial. Even some pro-prosecution outlets have started to ask a few questions about the argument prosecutor Ron Zonen made before the jury. One of the pieces of “evidence” used in his closing included a photo-collection of Jackson and pictures of Jordan Chandler, Jason Francia, Brett Barnes and Gavin Arvizo. Prosecutors were trying to show that these kids look similar. Some observers already pointed out that it was “disingenuous” for them to include a picture of Brett Barnes in that list because Barnes has testified that Jackson never did anything to him; never molested him and never acted inappropriately with him. Since 1993, Barnes has always said Jackson never molested him. But other observers have pointed out another disingenuous if not outright deceitful problem with this. Conspicuously absent from this little photo-show were pictures of blonde hair, blue-eyed Mac Culkin and blonde-haired Wade Robson. They don’t fit that “profile” of what the prosecution tried to claim are Jackson’s “victims”, so the prosecution purposely left them out. Remember, in their case prosecutors claimed that all these kids were “victims” of Jackson’s. But 3 of them — Mac Culkin, Wade Robson and Brett Barnes — testified to Jackson’s innocence during the defense’s case. So we’re hearing from quite a few observers that were more than a little put-off by the misrepresentation Zonen apparently made to this jury. It could be an illustration of a prosecution only believing what they want to believe and conveniently overlooking things that are unfavorable.