Florida Pilot

A compendium of random thoughts from a former Washington Beltway insider who is now having a lot more fun flying small airplanes in Central Florida.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Michael Jackson -- not guilty

It is always difficult to form an educated conclusion about a criminal case without being on the jury and hearing all of the evidence instead of only those portions that are of interest to the media. The overcoverage of the Michael Jackson molestation case combined with the amazing weakness of the government's case, however, makes it possible to come to a reasonable conclusion regarding that case and that is that Mr. Jackson should be found not guilty on all counts.

In a criminal case, the prosecution bears the burden of proof, "beyond a reasonable doubt" is the standard that is used. In a case such as this with no direct physical evidence whatsoever, the credibility of witnesses is critical. In the Jackson case, the accuser and his family have been shown to be professional grifters and con artists. It is hard to believe that a responsible prosecutor would proceed on a case based on this category of witness. But this prosecutor is Tom Sneeden who has, for many years, had a personal vendetta against Michael Jackson. And, as prosecutor, he has a substantial amount of discretion to bring a criminal case, even in circumstances like this where is case is so weak. It is hard to believe this case would have been brought against anyone who was not some sort of personal enemy of the prosecutor. Perhaps Sneeden's animosity towards Jackson is so great that he is willing to risk the remains of whatever sort of reputation he still has in the hopes that he can "get his man". Sneeden seems to share towards Jackson the same kind of burning hatred that Dan Rather has towards George W. Bush and it has arguably affected his judgment.

It goes without saying that an adult man sharing his bed with young boys is not conventional behavior. Yet that act alone is not against the law in Santa Barbara county (where Jackson lives) and Jackson should not be presumed to be guilty of something that is illegal simply because he does things that, while not against the law, are quite unconventional.


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