Historic case should have little affect on Georgia jurors - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Historic case should have little affect on Georgia jurors

June 13, 2005

Santa Maria, Calif.- The jury who heard the case of Michael Jackson cleared the music legend of all charges after a four month trial watched by people all over the world.

"We the jury in the above entitled case, find the defendant not guilty," the court clerk said ten times for the world to hear.

Jackson walked out of the Santa Maria courthouse a free man.

"Justice was done," said Tom Mesereau, Jackson's attorney. "The man's innocent, he always was."

The jurors said after 15 weeks in court, the state simply did not prove its case.

"We had a closet full of evidence that really made us always come back to the same thing, it was just not enough," said one member of the jury. They did not want to be identified.

Even though Jackson's case is historic, prosecutors say it shouldn't affect how juries in South Georgia hear cases.

"We want to think that our jury here in Dougherty County would be those type of people, would look at the evidence and put aside any other notions and make the decision based on the evidence," said Greg Edwards, assistant chief district attorney in Dougherty County.

It's their job to make sure the evidence clear when they put accused child molesters on trial.

"We believe that when we present cases, everything will be for the jury to assess and based on probably cause and sufficient evidence to bring the matter forward," Edwards said.

This California jury says that's not what happened in Jackson's case.

"We challenged the issues and we came to the decision that pointed to reasonable doubt," said another juror.

Reasonable doubt that locked in his future as a free man.

Many of the jurors also said they found few of the witnesses for the prosecution credible, especially the accuser's mother. Michael Jackson could have spent almost 20 years in prison if he had been found guilty of those charges.

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