Jackson in court for abuse trial
"Offering reasons ranging from the tragic to the bizarre, nearly half of the 300 people summoned as prospective jurors in Michael Jackson's child sex trial were excused. Judge Rodney Melville allowed 125 of the potential panellists to beg off duty in the celebrity case that will consume about six months of the lives of the 12 jurors and the eight reservists, or alternates, who are eventually chosen. " (Turkish Press)
"Race could be an issue in formation of the jury. Just 3% of the population of Santa Maria is African-American, although the jury is drawn from the wider Santa Barbara county. Jackson's father has already labelled the trial "racist". Just two of the jurors seen in the first session were black. One said: "I'm a long-distance truck driver. This doesn't suit me at all." (Guardian)
"Jackson has pleaded not guilty to engaging in lewd acts with a 12-year-old boy, Gavin Arvizo - with whom he was seen in a television documentary by the British journalist Martin Bashir in 2003 - administering alcohol to him, a conspiracy charge involving abduction and imprisonment and extortion.
His supporters say he is the victim of an extortion attempt and a vendetta by the district attorney, Thomas Sneddon." (Telegraph)
"Dressed in a bright white suit and a jewel-trimmed vest and belt, Michael Jackson on Monday stood before the first group of prospective jurors who could decide his fate on charges he molested a teenage cancer patient and plied the boy with alcohol at his Neverland Ranch." (ABC News)
"He remains a popular local figure, a fantastically wealthy and famous eccentric who chose to build his estate near here.
The city of Santa Maria, about a three-hour drive northwest of Los Angeles in a coastal farming area, has a population of 85,000, of whom nearly 60 percent are Latino and fewer than 2 percent are black. Many of the residents work in the fields of the surrounding Santa Maria Valley. Per capita income is $13,780, and more than 15 percent of the population lives in poverty." (New York Times)
It's a kind of embarrassment that so few articles list in details what charges are brought against Michael Jackson. Most of the attention is brought to his fan club and the eccentricity of his wardrobe.
Michael Jackson is a successful pop singer who became an icon figure. With stardom comes a form of power. People fear to judge him. Some fans consider him "god-like"
It is possible that he did abuse children by using such a power. If he is indeed found guilty, he should be punished like any other ordinary citizen.
His family pretends that the accusations are both the results of greed and racism (he is wealthy and he is black). If it is the case, they should prove it.
Turkish Press, Turkey:
New York Times: