Traitorous Jurors Get No Love from Media, Public, Fellow Jurors MB #280
Despite the medias discontent, theyre getting it wrong again
AUGUST 13 2005 — The jurors who have flip-flopped seemingly for the pursuit of financial gain have found very little sympathy from the media, the public and their fellow jurors. These jurors have seemingly become the poster children from whats wrong with the legal justice system as it relates to celebrity trials.
Besides the timing of these allegations from Eleanor Cook and Ray Hultman, people are questioning the sincerity of what they allegedly believe about Michael Jackson. Even their fellow jurors are speaking out at the allegations leveled against them.
In post-trial interviews, Hultman and Cook both have said that the evidence for a conviction just was not there. Now, theyre claiming the evidence pointed towards guilt, but that they were bullied and threatened to vote not guilty. Please!
The media is already missing the plot in this, though. Although the media have rightly been openly disdainful of the actions of these two, they are still treating this situation as if guilty was the correct verdict; acting like they are angry at the pair for not convicting Jackson. This, in itself, is ridiculous.
They got it right the first time when they voted to acquit Jackson. But a lot of media are not dissecting the story in this way. More often than not, they are not pointing out numerous contradictory statements Cook and Hultman made in post-verdict interviews. They are not bringing attention to the attitudes of these two right after the verdict.
Yesterday (August 12 2005), the normally pro-prosecution hosts of Court TV flamed these jurors about their misconduct. We knew they would have a pro-prosecution bend to their criticism though being more upset that the pair helped allow Jackson to walk.
Jackson attorney Thomas Mesereau, who never minces words, told Anderson Cooper (Anderson 360/CNN) in an August 9 2005 show that Cook and Hultmans allegations are an embarrassment to the system.
He also says he doesnt put any stock into any of these allegations-come-lately. He says he thinks they conducted themselves in a proper manner while they were on the jury. But now, after they have talked to other people and approached movie producers, they are changing their stories. And yes, believe it or not, the agent Cook and Hultman are signed to, is actually shopping around for a movie deal. Again, you cant make this stuff up.
One of the ridiculous allegations leveled by these two concern the strong-willed Debbie Rowe. They claim they are suspicious someone from Jacksons camp may have tampered with her testimony by making promises to her. They also claim other witnesses may have been paid off. The allegation is baseless, as they have no evidence that points towards tampering.
Rowes attorney told Rita Cosby that she wouldnt even dignify that allegation with a response. By the way, others have speculated Rowe was never in the prosecutions corner and perhaps prosecutors wanted to back-door her into this trial hoping she would berate Jackson on the witness stand in front of this jury.
In his Anderson 360 interview, Thomas Mesereau told Cooper that Cook and Hultman are speculating about witnesses like Rowe. Some observers say they are using excuses instead of faulting the prosecution for not preparing their witnesses. From the interview:
MESEREAU: None that I know of, and none that anybody on my team has ever heard of. See, these people are now speculating, they’re speculating about all sorts of improprieties that they never thought about when they were deliberating with the other jurors.Both of them registered not guilty verdicts 14 times, not five, not 10, 14, 10 felony counts and four lesser included misdemeanor counts. And they stated in open court to Judge Melville that this was their verdict. So I really question what they’re doing. I think it’s absurd. (see Anderson 360: Mesereau Speaks out + Melissa Herard Responds to Cook and Hultman)
There does seem to be a sickening air of oh yeah, I knew it all along and by the way, buy my book coming from these two. This, stacked on top of Cosbys rabid urging to watch her new show, was all very disgusting to me and many other people.
In an interview on June 14 2005 with the Today Shows Matt Lauer, Hultman said, Well Matt, this whole trial wasnt about what you believed. No kidding.
Now, with the help of Cosby, Hultman claims he thought Jackson was guilty all along and that he believed the accuser in this 2003 ramshackle-at-best case. This, of course, is a far cry from what he said in interviews after the verdict.
For instance, during the aforementioned Today Show interview, Hultman was specifically asked if he believed Gavin Arvizo. From the show:
LAUER: Do you believe Michael Jackson molested the boy in question in this case, the accuser?HULTMAN: No, I dont. I believe that theres reasonable doubt because of a number of factors. And that was what the case was all about. There was a lot of evidence presented, bit it didnt lead me to believe that it erased the reasonable doubt in this case.
Hultman also told Lauer he thought the jury did a good job in separating the issues and arriving at the conclusion there was reasonable doubt. Again, a far cry from what he told Cosby.
It is rather interesting the way some in the media have apparently peered out from under their blinders long enough to ask questions about the motives of these two.
After the verdict, the media seemed to be in love with Ray Hultman because he was espousing the ridiculous opinion of Jackson being a child molester even though he had no credible evidence to back up that claim. They made sure to give him as much air time as possible.
During that time, however, he still was unwilling to claim the accuser in this case was believable. So the question of course is why is he changing his opinion now? Further why is Cook now suggesting she was a victim of these jurors?
Cook apparently had Cosby eating out of her hands despite all of the previous comments shes made. Shes worse than Janet Arvizo, shes flip-flopped so much. Cook is the one who claims she was threatened and intimidated into acquitting Jackson. If a good reporter got their hands on these two, they would have specifically confronted them with a detailed discussion of their previous statements.
As mentioned in a previous MJEOL Bullet, for example, Cook appeared on Larry King Live June 23 2005 saying her time on the jury was a great experience.
She wasnt telling King the same thing shes now telling Cosby. On Kings show, she even denied that she was writing a tell-all book about the trial itself. According to her, on the June 23 show, the book was going to be about the bond formed between the jury.
Again, folks, I cant make this stuff up. Its just so reminiscent of the way the accusing family in this case flip-flopped after being caught on tape like Cook was caught on tape telling a completely different story. Needless to say, their fellow jurors arent allowing Cook and Hultman to sully their names in the press for whatever as yet untold reason. (Continue to next Section: Juror Tammy Bolton speaks Out)
__Bolton speaks out__
One juror who was specifically targeted by Hultman and Cook was Tammy Bolton. They attacked Bolton as being a Jackson fan who didnt want to see the truth. Bolton appeared on Court TVs Crier Live on August 8 2005 to talk about the media reports.
The August 8 Court TV show turned out to be one of the less frantic shows I personally have ever seen featuring Catherine Crier and Diane Dimond on the air at the same time. The pro-prosecution Court TV hosts did not go after Bolton because she says Jackson is innocent. They didnt talk over her, talk down to her, or trash her after her interview. Surprise, surprise.
Bolton says she is very disappointed in the things these two jurors are saying. She also says none of the allegations made about being threatened are true. From the appearance on Crier Live August 8 2005:
CRIER: Whats true and whats false?BOLTON: None of it is the truth. And Im so disappointed in the things they are saying. (Crier Live August 8 2005)
Bolton says there really wasnt much of an argument made by either Cook or Hultman for conviction in the deliberation room.
She says Cook didnt have too much to say which was based on the facts of the case. And, surprisingly, she reveals that Hultman thought Jackson was probably innocent until he saw the police interview.
Bolton says it wasnt until after the jurors pointed out all of the inconsistencies with the accusers story in the police interview that Hultman came back over to the not guilty conclusion. From the interview:
BOLTON: Eillie [Cook] didnt have much to say that was factual. And Ray said that he probably thought Michael was innocent until he saw the police interview. We watched that and we discussed it. And we pointed out many flaws in the interview.
She also says she believed prosecutors didnt prove the case and that she does believe Jackson is innocent. Bolton never liked the idea of Cook already starting a book before the trial was over, she says.
Reports before the end of the trial revealed Cook engaged in either writing a book or beginning the process of writing one. More from Bolton:
BOLTON: I dont like the whole idea that Ellie had this book started before we were done with the trial. It seems motivated to me, it seems to me like a guilty verdict would make for a better book than a not guilty. Who cares if he didnt do anything, you know. (see Crier Live August 8 2005)
Both Crier and Savannah Guthrie said the behavior of Cook and Hultman is very disconcerting. Remember, one of the allegations is if they didnt vote for an acquittal, they were going to be kicked off the jury.
To that, Guthrie says these people werent going to get kicked off the jury for disagreeing with the others.
Guthrie says, Its disconcerting because it seems like these are jurors who want to make these spectacular claims because theyre trying to shop a book proposal.
She also says it would be up to Judge Melville to do something about these jurors but shes not sure hell want to. After which, Crier implored him: Judge Melville, its none of my business, but I think you ought to do something about this because its becoming a real, real problem.
__Herard speaks out__
Another juror, Melissa Herard, also responded to the claims of Cook and Hultman. She appeared on Anderson 360 August 9 2005. Herard confirms that nobody was intimidated by anyone else. She says she is so upset with the allegations being made against them. She told Cooper they couldnt come up with any evidence in deliberations of why Jackson should have been convicted. From the interview:
HERARD: We asked them if you believe he is so guilty, here’s the room full of evidence. Would you please go in there and show us where it shows that he’s guilty? Because we went through all of it, and not one thing pointed towards his guilt. (see Anderson 360: Mesereau Speaks out + Melissa Herard Responds to Cook and Hultman)
These stances were confirmed at the time both by Hultman and Cook. And Herard thinks Cook had an agenda before the trial started by writing a book.
Herard told CNNs Cooper, I think Ellie, from the very beginning, even before the trial started I think she had an agenda of writing a book.
As a matter of fact, Herard reveals that jurors asked Cook point blank if she was writing a book. After which, Cook became very defense and lied to them about its subject matter. From the Herard interview:
HERARD: because we confronted her in the jury room at the end, and we — one of the jurors asked her, “Ellie, are you writing a book?” And she turned around, she said, “Well, yes, I am. I’m 79 years old and I can do what the [hell] I want to.” And we confronted her. I said, you’re not supposed to be, you know, doing any of this stuff, you know. And she’s like, “Well, I’m not writing a book about the trial. I’m writing a memoir on my life.” (Anderson 360: Mesereau Speaks out + Melissa Herard Responds to Cook and Hultman)
__Other jurors speak out__
Other jurors have also spoken out about the claims from t-shirt selling Cook and flip-flopping Hultman. Using very strong language, 21 year old Michael Stevens called them traitors, according to an article by The Scotsman (Jackson jurors attack traitors in ranks).
Some say even that assessment isnt harsh enough. Juror Susan Rentschler also commented, calling the allegations from the book writing pair ridiculous. She also told the paper that Hultman said Jackson was not guilty pretty quickly during deliberations. From the report:
A fellow juror, Susan Rentschler, added: “They’ve really changed their tune. I don’t know about Ray, but I think Elly wants attention and she’s trying to sell a book.” ”Ray actually came over to the ‘not guilty’ side pretty early on. He realized that he could not convict Michael Jackson on his personal feelings alone.” (see Jackson jurors attack ‘traitors’ in ranks)
This corroborated what Tammy Bolton told Crier on that August 8 show. Another juror, who remained anonymous, commented about Cooks personality, telling the paper, If you think anyone could tell [Ellie] what to do, then you dont know [Ellie].
The general consensus is that Cook is far from some innocent, little old lady who cant defend herself.
The jurors who followed the law probably made Cook and Hultman follow the law as well, which is what was supposed to happen. Instead of convicting someone in a Salem witch trial fashion, the majority of the jurors just didnt buy the allegations against Jackson. And apparently neither did Frick (Cook) and Frack (Hultman) until their eyes started to light up with dollar signs.
But, again, leave it up to the general media to miss the plot so thoroughly that even when they criticize these two jurors, they are still prone to criticism themselves for the way theyve questioned Cook and Hultman.
The flaw in their seemingly sudden enlightenment is the context of being upset. The media is more upset at these two for not convicting Jackson than anything else. Its not about the two jurors lacking the courage to stand by their convictions. But rather, its about them lying and telling two different stories at two different times.
This is what we call pulling an Arvizo.
Either Cook and Hultman were lying right after the verdict in post-trial interviews, or theyre lying now. -MJEOL