Michael Jackson's Trials

Michael Jackson's Trials


The Ongoing Trials of The Late Michael Jackson

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Never Neverland

Judge Rodney Melville yesterday excluded the possibility of a jury visit to the Neverland Ranch. Jackson's lawyers had argued that this was crucial to rebutting an image of the estate as a "magnet for criminal activity".

Judge Melville vetoed the bid, noting that they had already seen extensive video footage of the ranch.

"I think we have a more than adequate notion of what Neverland is like,"

Jackson's lawyer, Thomas Mesereau, said that Neverland was unique and extraordinary, in his view the jury needed to have a better idea of it.


"The prosecution has constantly referred to Neverland in negative terms which we strongly dispute.." he added that there had been an "unfair portrayal of Neverland as a magnet for criminal activity".

Mr Mesereau noted that the ranch has a petting zoo, amusement park, mini-train and amusement arcade; he said this contrasted with the image portrayed by the prosecution of it being a "criminal centre, a criminal location from A to Z".

He added

"So much of this case involves what the nature of Neverland is ... and whether or not these people were held against their will and imprisoned...I don't think there's ever been a crime scene that cries out for a jury view more than this,".

Intriguingly the prosecution did not object to a jury visit.

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