As has been widely reported, Michael Jackson has been cleared on all charges, bringing an end to the four month trial. However is it an end, or will Jackson be back in court at a later date?
I watched the coverage of the verdict, and was intrigued by the interviews with members of the jury, firstly because it is not something we see after a British court case, but also from what they said. What I think it boils down to is the fact that Jackson was found not guilty beyond reasonable doubt, rather than totally innocent. With the evidence presented, and the big doubts over the reliability of the prosecution witnesses, the jury felt they could do little except clear Jackson, despite a careful review of all they had seen and heard. Whilst to my mind they did what was right given the evidence with which they were presented, the media weren’t expecting the verdict, and many are saying that this won’t be the end. As friends with children have said to me today, they were concerned that he was cleared totally, but equally given the evidence they didn’t think he could be found guilty. Basically the verdict has done little to stop many peoples suspicions.
Jackson has now said, through his lawyer, that he will change his lifestyle, however how long will it be before someone else comes forward and tries to prosecute him again? As the Santa Barbara District Attorney has said, if someone came forward with evidence:
“We would review it like every other case we review in our office, just like we reviewed this one, I probably would not shy away from it if another case came forward.”