Astonishing Jackson Trial Discussion w/ Mesereau – MB#290

Part 1 | Part 2

DECEMBER 6 2005 — “You can’t be afraid of your case especially if you have the truth on your side,” said Attorney Thomas Mesereau as he was speaking in front of a crowd at Harvard Law School Nov 29 2005.

During his appearance on the discussion panel, the philanthropic attorney talked about the Michael Jackson trial which resulted in an acquittal on 14 counts (10 felony and 4 misdemeanor) earlier this year. Dan Abrams was also on the panel.  More about his contentions will be in Part 2 of this special MJEOL Bullet.

Mesereau spoke on a number of issues and gave advice to future lawyers about how to think independently and to customize their defense depending on the case they are trying.  One of those issues was race and how it can play a part in the justice system.

He said what happened to Jackson earlier this year was <b>”absolutely unjust”</b> and that the “case”, in his opinion, was a <b>”total fraud”</b>.  No arguments here.<hr id=”system-readmore” />He laid into prosecutors like only he can, lambasting their zeal to get a conviction against Jackson by almost any means necessary.  Again, no arguments here.

In conservative, libertarian Santa Maria, Jackson is extremely popular among all age groups, according to Mesereau, who spent time in Santa Maria before the trial.

White people, latino people, young, middle aged, old, children, loved Michael.  He was their celebrity.  He could have lived anywhere in the world, he had chosen their community.  He had done kind things for people in that community,” he said.

Jackson wasn’t prosecuted for his race, but rather, because he is a mega-celebrity, Mesereau said.  And he didn’t want Jackson to be identified with a racial issue because it may have separated him from the community that stood in judgment of him during the trial.

He also learned most people in Jackson’s community thought the D.A. was on a vendetta to get Jackson; a vendetta which goes back to the 1993 investigation.

As discussed in MJEOL Bullet #289 (Stunning Revelations about 1993 Accuser via Mesereau — MB #289), there were stunning revelations around the 1993 accuser’s accusation revealed by Mesereau.  He was not one of Jackson’s lawyers at the time.

Through the course of his investigation for this past trial, he came upon some information about the 1993 accuser.

He says there are witnesses who say the 1993 accuser, Jordan Chandler, told them that Jackson did not molest him. Further, these witnesses say that Chandler was so angry at what his parents made him do, he said he would never speak to them again. 

On top of that was the fact that he filed for legal emancipation from his parents.  From the appearance:
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MESEREAU: Now the one you’re talking about never showed up. He’s the one who got the settlement in the early 90s. And my understanding is prosecutors tried to get him to show up and he wouldn’t.

If he had, I had witnesses who were going to come in and say he told them it never happened. And that he would never talk to his parents again for what they made him say.

And it turned out he had gone into court and gotten legal emancipation from his parents. His mother testified that she hadn’t talked to him in 11 years. So, you know, there was a problem there as well.
(see <a href=https://site2.mjeol.com/modules/mydownloads/singlefile.php?cid=40&lid=609>Harvard U. , Nov 29 2005</a>)</div></blockquote>

The media is thus far completely mute on these latest revelations.  I assume it’s because it does not fit the ‘wacko-jacko-molester’ image they continue to try to sell the general public.

That undeserved image now hinges on the 1993 allegation, which has gotten less and less credible throughout the years to those who believed it in the first place.  And this appears to be another 18 wheeler-sized hole in the collapsing dam of suspicion.

Children usually don’t file for legal emancipation for no reason.  The typical basis for such an action is to keep parents from haphazardly misusing money belonging to the child or having access to their finances, and to prevent them from being in a position to make decisions on behalf of the child.

Additionally, Mesereau told the audience he found out the grand jury in the 90s had serious problems with the validity of the Jordan Chandler’s allegations.  He said he spoke to a member of the 1993 Los Angeles county grand jury who relayed that they thought the Chandlers wanted to get money out of Jackson.

Continuing to lay down the facts around the 1993 investigation, he said the D.A. flew to two different countries looking for someone to accuse Jackson after the 1993 investigation.  Further, law enforcement had a website at the sheriff’s department looking for information on Jackson, Mesereau reported.

All of this wouldn’t be so creepy if Jackson were actually a criminal. But since he’s not, this type of behavior seems to have an obsessive undertone to it. That is, if the vindictive obsession isn’t outright apparent.

__…so ridiculous it could have been a protracted Benny Hill skit__
The dimpled attorney said he believed they had the truth on their side and he saw no reason not to hit prosecutors over the heads with it.  Again, no argument here.

This case was totally ridiculous.  There were people claiming to be kidnapped and held hostage while they were out shopping (spending Jackson’s money), getting body waxes, being put up at posh hotels, talking to the Dept of Children & Family Services, going to doctor appointments, and meeting with civil attorney Bill Dickerman among other things.

Not to mention they were staying with Maj. Jay Jackson and being flown to Florida on a jet chartered by Chris Tucker. Oh yeah, that’s what I call kidnapping!  It was a ridiculous allegation to make and an asinine allegation to believe.

Gavin Arvizo claimed he was laying up in Jackson’s bed getting “molested” at a time when his mother is complaining to witnesses — Azja Pryor for example — that Jackson’s people are keeping the family away from him. 

Last time I checked, you actually have to be around a kid for there to be any possibility of molestation. I suppose he was seconds away from alleging to have been molested telepathically? Ludicrous.

The children were behaving like destructive little &!#@ all while playing the roles of innocent and later corrupted little victims of Jackson.  Never mind the fact they acted like holy terrors on the flight back from Florida….at the dentist’s office…at actress Verne Watson-Johnson’s house….on the set of Chris Tucker’s movie in Las Vegas….at Neverland when Jackson was away….at Neverland when Jackson was there…..etc.

And those are only a few of the many things wrong with the trial before we get into the preposterous actions of the prosecution!

Mesereau admitted he didn’t want to play the traditional “reasonable doubt” card which so many defense attorneys use.  He said he did not want to appear as if he was playing with technicalities in front of the jury.  From his appearance:

MESEREAU: …I wanted to be the bearer of truth; not them.  I did not want to look like someone who was playing with technicalities. Let them look like it.</b>
(Harvard U, Nov 29 2005)

Prosecutors did look like they were playing fast and loose with the facts and benefiting from technicalities, commented some observers who also heard Mesereau speak.

In my opinion, technically Janet Arvizo could assert her 5th Amendment right not to testify, for fear of incriminating herself concerning issues of welfare fraud.  But the public knew how it looked. 

She was essentially leveling allegations without being forced to answer questions about illegalities in which she’s been involved.  Add on top of it the fact Tom Sneddon claimed in his opening statement that she was going to admit to breaking the law, but she didn’t.

Another technicality, again in my opinion, concerned the now infamous 1108 so-called “evidence”. 

Decade old 3rd party-allegations became a part of this trial.  But technically — and at the allowance of the judge — it did seem rather ridiculous that prosecutors didn’t have to produce the now grown men who these 3rd party witnesses claimed were molested.

Prosecutors would use testimony from a set of witnesses with zero credibility and skirt the issue of the absence of said “victims”.  But the public for the most part — and the jury — evidently saw right through it.  And so did the defense.

Taking on the role of truth bearer, the defense contacted the prosecution-alleged “victims” who ultimately came in and testified that Jackson didn’t touch them, didn’t show them any pornographic material, and didn’t give them alcohol.

Oops! I can only assume prosecution didn’t bank on the defense being able to get Brett Barnes, Wade Robson, Mac Culkin, or their families, to come in to testify.

Mesereau addressed the issue of whether or not he should have put on a defense case.  If you remember, there were talking heads saying the defense should have rested right after the prosecution rested its case.

The seasoned attorney told the audience if he would have done that, the jury would have probably been a hung one.  He advised the future lawyers in the crowd not to be afraid of their cases or walk on eggshells, especially if they have the truth on their side. 

<b>”But again I felt we had the truth. I felt we had the evidence, so I did not rest”,</b> he said.

He advised that jurors want to know what the truth is and they think the lawyers know what really happened—whether the lawyer does or not.

When attorneys use only the reasonable doubt defense, Mesereau said, jurors are most likely thinking ‘his client’s guilty, he just thinks he can stop them from proving it’. 

Had the defense not put on a defense, many people would have been wondering why not. In addition there were questions they wouldn’t have addressed, but could have.

For example, there is nothing more striking than having someone who prosecutors claim is a “victim” come to court and testify that Jackson never touched them. And further, to get on the record that they told prosecutors the same thing over 10 years ago.  It is simply too pertinent not to get that information before the jury.

__Asset grabbing?__
During the question portion of the discussion, an audience member asked Mesereau if the desire to get Jackson’s assets may have played a role in the “case” materializing. 

Jackson has quite a few assets, but the main points of desire for some are his half ownership of the Sony/ATV catalog and that 2700 acre ranch in the heart of wine country.

Mesereau said the desire to obtain Jackson’s assets, like the ATV catalog, would have been significantly enhanced if Jackson was convicted.  He says:
I happen to fervently believe there are people who were waiting in the winds hoping he would be convicted so they would simply walk in and grab assets.

Can I tell you definitely that people who want the catalog are in that group? No I can’t.
(Harvard U, Nov 29 2005)

There were people trying to grab assets even before any of this materialized.  So it’s not a huge leap to conclude those same people weren’t going to lift a finger to help or public support Jackson.  They may have even been acting against him.

As discussed in a previous MJEOL Bullet, Las Vegas attorney David LeGrand started an investigation into the people around Jackson looking for illegalities and irregularities in how Jackson’s money was being disbursed by his advisors.

None of them came in to testify for the defense.  Two of them, Marc Schaffel and Dieter Wiesner, are currently suing Jackson. And Jackson has already filed a countersuit against Schaffel.

__You can’t judge a book by its cover__
Mesereau never thought the jury would penalize Jackson for not fitting some clean-cut, ‘boy-next-door’ image although the media continued to portray him as “strange” and allege jurors would punish him for being “weird”.

I specifically remember Geoffrey Fieger — currently caught up in a scandal of his own — morphing into a total lunatic while ranting about how the jury would be likely to convict partially because of the way Jackson looks.

For those who still want to cling to the notion that Jackson “bleached” his skin, Mesereau slapped that issue down as well.  He confirmed for the purposely stupid that Jackson does in fact have vitiligo.  He said he’s seen the evidence of it himself.  From his appearance:
MESEREAU: I never thought this jury would penalize Michael Jackson cause he has long hair; because he has a serious skin condition which I have witnessed.

It’s called vitiligo. He has shown me his skin. If you look at the — his back, you will see brown patches and white patches. It’s changing and eating pigment in his skin. 

He’s very embarrassed with that. He chose to put white makeup on his face rather than have these splotches all over his face. That’s his choice. I don’t think it’s a crime to do that.
(see Mesereau Vid Webcast Part 2 Nov 29 2005)</div></blockquote>

During the question section of the discussion, one audience member mentioned the contrast between the way the media generally covers Jackson, and the way they cover other celebrities.

This unidentified audience member said there did seem to be a racial component in coverage of what he called Jackson’s “artistic eccentricities”. 

In Jackson’s situation, this collective group of reporters, editors, and producers we call “the media” do seem to cover his artistic eccentricities to make him look like a mentally challenged buffoon, while his white counterparts are respected as creative geniuses. 

For instance, I don’t see too much hateful criticism about Richard Branson trying to shoot people off into space nor do I see that same level of criticism after a tv special on the wild life of some rock star.

In Branson’s case, he’s a pioneer and an innovator. If Jackson made a statement that he wanted to make space travel affordable for the average person, it would be cause for more media ridicule.

Does Jackson have some fault in the way the media portrays him or are they simply selling the story which garners them the most advertising dollars and ratings?

One needs only to look at the recent spate of ridiculously unfounded Jackson stories — everything from crack in underwear to an Islamic conversion — to know the answer to this question.

In Part 2 of this special MJEOL Bullet, we will discuss Mesereau’s comments about the media coverage and get into some of the most asinine statements I’ve ever heard out of the mouth of MSNBC’s Dan Abrams.

Stay tuned.

-MJEOL

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