Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Is Michael Jackson -- happy, hanged or hung?


Okay, okay, cheap headline. But what the heck.

Through a series of semi-random web clicks, I came across a talking head panel's predictions of the verdict in the Jackson molestation case. The panel was almost unanimous in predicting a "not guilty" verdict.

I disagree. My impression of the trial -- which I admit I haven't followed closely, but have kept tabs on -- has been that the defense raised reasonable doubt and then some. But let's face it: Jackson is weird, and the prosecution did make him look bad.

I'm predicting that, sometime in the next few days, the jury will come to the judge and disclose its inability to reach a verdict. In my opinion, there will be at least one juror who will not, under any circumstances, vote to convict -- and at least one juror who will not, under any circumstances, vote to acquit. Once this has been made clear in the jury room, and once the jury has made a show of giving it the old college try, they'll give up. I suspect the prosecution will give up, too -- this has probably been a very expensive trial, and it's no doubt kept a number of prosecutors busy who could otherwise have been occupied fleecing the rest of the public. They aren't going to want to do this again.

Of course, there's always the possibility of civil suits. If Jackson's smart (and I think he's probably smarter than many people give him credit for) he's already moving as much of his wealth as possible out of the US and will personally follow it once he's able to do so. He can make records anywhere.

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