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WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15, 2005
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EDITORIAL

Jackson verdict right under circumstances

One juror in the Michael Jackson case cut to the heart of the testimony in the molestation and related charges against the pop music icon.

He thought Mr. Jackson was guilty, but he said the prosecution didn't prove its case. It left jurors with enough doubt to vote for acquittal.

That's the safe answer to why none of the allegations swirling around this sordid case failed to stick and partially why the jury found Mr. Jackson innocent Monday after spending parts of seven days deliberating.

Another juror, however, pointed to the 13-year-old alleged victim's mother as badly damaging the state's case. She didn't like the way the mother snapped her fingers at jurors during her unrestrained testimony.

"Don't snap your fingers at me," the unidentified juror said she thought while hearing the mother tell a bizarre story of being held prisoner and of her son's relationship with the 46-year-old star.

A blend of the state's poor prosecution and jurors' hostility toward the mother was enough for them to vote for acquittal.

The mother's previous lawsuit settlement of $152,000 against JC Penney made her suspect, too. She came across as a professional extortionist. The defense called her a con artist who set up the aging star for a financial settlement.

Still, evidence leans strongly toward Mr. Jackson being a pedophile, not just strange and not simply unabashedly caring for young boys.

The prosecution said it wanted to put an end to the long relationship between the star and young boys. Perhaps, even in defeat, prosecutor Tom Sneddon at least partially accomplished his goal.

This trial should make any parent wary of allowing a child within 10 feet of the Jackson home, Neverland.

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