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Home / News Archive / News January 2004

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Grand JuryProcess That Could Select Jackson Jury Found Unconstitutional. 04-01-'04

When the law speaks of defendants being entitled to a jury of their peers, it's obvious no one contemplated Michael Jackson's place in the justice system... But should his lawyer decide to challenge Santa Barbara County's jury-selection process as skewed against him, it would be possible to do so on one issue: whether it systematically excludes racial minorities.

That issue already has been a subject of legal challenges in Santa Barbara County. One of those cases is currently pending before the California 2nd District Court of Appeals. A judge found that Hispanics were being excluded from juries because of the manner in which jurors were summoned for service. Hispanics account for 34.2 percent of Santa Barbara County's population, according to 2000 Census figures.

For Jackson, the problem is compounded by the lack of blacks in Santa Maria, where his case will be tried if it goes to trial. Census figures show blacks represent just 2.3 percent of the county's population... [Steve] Cron said the law guarantees defendants a jury taken from a cross-section of the community in which they live. But that cross-section in Santa Maria would have few blacks.

Los Angeles defense attorney Harland Braun said there is no question Jackson would have a better chance with a multiracial jury. "Blacks still tend to regard him as a hero," he said. "Whites look at him as a weirdo." Braun suggested the defense should try to move the case out of Santa Barbara County to a more urban, racially diverse area such as Los Angeles or San Francisco. But he said the legal argument for change of venue should not be racially based...

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


Joseph and Katherine JacksonJackson's Parents Defend Son's Brutality Claims. 04-01-'04

Michael Jackson's parents have defended their son's claims he was manhandled by Santa Barbara, California, police - insisting audio and video tapes fail to show the whole story.

Police last week (January 2) released footage of Jackson's November (03) arrest, in a bid to prove the singer was not the victim of police brutality as he claims.

They've also launched an investigation to find out if any of his claims are true - and the pop star's parents, Katherine and Joe, are convinced Jackson will be vindicated.

In a statement they say, "The tapes do not address any of the allegations that Michael made, but only paint a portrait of what the sheriff's men did when the cameras were on them, not what they did when no one was looking."

Meanwhile, Jackson's brother Jermaine adds, "Quite clearly, they are not going to show what went on in that police station. They have a personal vendetta against Michael."

Source: MJ Star / Billie Jean


CBS Special 'Michael Jackson Number Ones' Airs In America. 03-01-'04

'Michael Jackson's Number Ones' was aired yesterday (January 2) in America. The special was originally scheduled to run when his album 'Number Ones' was released. The molestation charges made CBS pull it from the fall schedule, and this later airing seemed to be part of the compensation the network give Jackson for the '60Minutes' interview.

Dubbed 'Michael Jackson Number Ones', the special is expected to feature one new performance from Michael, a take on new single 'One More Chance'.

The rest of the hour, according to Variety, will include new mixes of classic King of Pop videos, comprising digitally restored original footage from the videos blended with concert appearances. In addition, look for celebrity shout-outs from Beyoncé Knowles, J.Lo, Missy Elliott, Mary J. Blige, Pharrell Williams, Quincy Jones and Wyclef Jean.

Michael Jackson Number Ones CBS Special
CBS airs a TV Special for 'Number Ones' featuring many young artists speaking about Michael's influence.

'Number Ones' will also include footage from Michael's HIStory tour and the making of 'Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'.

The last time a Michael special aired on CBS - 'Michael Jackson's 30th Anniversary Special' - more than 25 million viewers tuned in giving CBS its best demo results on that night in eight years.

'Michael Jackson Number Ones' is produced by Optimum Prods. in association with Graying & Balding Inc. The King of Pop is listed as executive producer, with James Gable and Chris Kraft producing.

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean


Stuart Backerman
Stuart Backerman, Official Spokesman for Michael Jackson.

Jackson Aide Was Fired. 02-01-'04

Michael Jackson's former spokesman Stuart Backerman was fired for disobeying orders, according to the singer's attorney Mark Geragos.

Backerman confirmed he was no longer employed by Jackson in a statement released earlier this week (December 29th, 2003), citing "strategic differences" for his decision to quit.

The statement prompted many to speculate Nation Of Islam officials had taken over Jackson's business and media matters - a report church elders have been keen to deny.

Now lawyer Geragos has confirmed Backerman was indeed sacked after speaking to the media following a Jackson family gathering at Neverland on December 20th, 2003. According to Geragos, Backerman had been asked not to talk to the press.

Geragos says, "He was terminated by me personally for talking when I told him not to."

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean


Michael JacksonJackson Faces More Legal Trouble Over Police Allegations. 02-01-'04

Michael Jackson faces a new legal headache if claims he was manhandled by police officials in Santa Barbara, California, are deemed to be untrue - he'll be charged with "false report".

The pop star maintained he had been "manhandled" by police during his arrest on suspicion of child molestation in November (03) in an American TV interview which aired in America on Sunday (December 28th, 2003).

During the 60 Minutes interview, Jackson showed photographs of his bruised right forearm, insisting the markings were the result of his handcuffs being too tight, and he claimed his shoulder had been dislocated by police. He also claimed he had been forced to sit in a smelly police toilet for 45 minutes.

But, in a press conference on New Year's Eve (December 31st, 2003), Santa Barbara County Sheriff Jim Anderson insisted he had video and audio evidence proving Jackson's claims were incorrect, and he refuted the pop star's toilet story, stating the washroom had been cleaned just before Jackson used it - for just 15 minutes.

Nevertheless, Anderson said he plans to oversee a routine investigation into the "serious allegations of misconduct" that could land Jackson with a new charge if he's found to be lying.

Anderson said, "Mr Jackson was in no way manhandled and abused. His treatment by this department can only be described as professional. I'm shocked and troubled by his allegations.

"I am accepting this extremely serious allegation made by Mr Jackson as a formal citizen's complaint against members of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department."

Anderson explained he had instructed officials to investigate the allegations made by Jackson.

He added, "Should this investigation prove the charges made by Mr Jackson to be groundless, I will request the criminal charges of false report of police officer misconduct be pursued against him."

Source: Contact Music / Billie Jean


Redemption Book Cover'Redemption' Book Will Be Released This Month. 01-01-'04

Geraldine Hughes, the secretary of the lawyer Barry Rothman who it took up 10 years ago for the Chandlers, has brought out a book titled: 'Redemption: The Truth Behind The Michael Jackson Child Molestation Allegations'.

Geraldine has been busy for 7 years with this book , according to her the pop star was completely innocent in that case. "A lot of proofs of Michael's innocent have never seen the out world" she told. "She can no longer keep silence about what she has discovered." " The public need to know what really happened in 1993". In the book there are documents from the court which the public has never seen.

The author is assured of Michael Jackson being innocent. Although this book certainly contains some profoundly issues which had been overlooked by the media all too gladly – it is in some ways hard to read. Continued judicial definitions and repeated bible quotations leave no doubt about the distinct deism of the author. Also it may not be forgotten that – despite all information – that Geraldine Hughes had actually never been present during the conversations between Barry Rothman and his client but attends to the available matters, as well as any other author of this issue does, or to heard word-frazzles when, for example, Evan Chandler left the office.
Without any doubt, 'Redemption' certainly is an immense important book which indeed cannot reveal the backgrounds of the '93 scandal but at least is able to put another aspect on it.

Publisher: Branch & Vine Publishers
Author: Geraldine Hughes
ISBN: 1-57688-036-2
Pages: 184
Printed: USA
Guide price: 25 €

Pre-order the book here at Amazon.

Source: MJFC / Billie Jean

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