Michael Jackson's Trials

Michael Jackson's Trials


The Ongoing Trials of The Late Michael Jackson

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Jackson Jury High Jinks Damages Justice System

The post Michael Jackson trial jury fallout does not seem to be abating.

It seems that the "fifteen minutes of fame" were simply not enough for some members of that jury.

They tasted the "sweet fruits of fame" (I am being ironic here), and decided that they wanted to gorge themselves on more.

Two of the jury, Eleanor Cook and Ray Hultman, claim that they were pressured by other jurors into voting for acquittal.

Then, for good measure, they have also announced that they intend to milk their jury work for every cent that they can get; they plan to sell books, a TV movie even T-shirts.

Cook is quoted as saying:

"They ought to be ashamed. They're the ones who let a paedophile go."

Unless I missed a point here, she was on the jury too. She could have voted guilty, but did not.

Now other members of the jury have gone public, in an attempt to reclaim their "honour":

Susan Derr-Drake, a jury member, said:

"I was crushed. The whole thing is fracturing. It was very disheartening. Up to the point of the verdict and the (post-verdict) press conference I felt we all did a really good job and had integrity. And then, as soon as the publicity hit, people changed. They were seduced by fame and fortune."

Susan Rentschler, another juror, said:

"I called Ray and spoke with his wife (after the trial) and she wouldn't let me speak to him. I wouldn't want to speak with them now. They should be ashamed of themselves. They are giving juries a bad name. They are not doing anything good for the legal system itself by saying things that are totally untrue."

Larry Garrison, a Hollywood producer, has purchased the rights to Cook and Hultman's stories; he has imposed a media blackout on them.

Garrison has waded into the fray, and said:

"Right now I have the whole world converging on me to do interviews. I have a major (TV) network that right now I'm in negotiations with. I have about four major publishers (interested) in the books. Within a day or so both deals should be done, hopefully."

He then added, somewhat implausibly:

"This is not about money. This is about the judicial system gone awry. This is about two jurors being pressured, being told they'd be kicked off the jury. Elly Cook is 79 years old and she doesn't give a damn about money right now. She's donating the money to feed the children."

Of course it is about money!

How gullible does he think people are?

Garrison then contradicted his "not about money" claim by saying that Cook is marketing T-shirts with the words "Don't Snap Your Fingers at Me, Lady -- Elly Cook, Juror Number 5".

This unedifying spectacle is doing immense damage to the public's perception about the integrity of the jury system, not to mention the remains of Jackson's shattered reputation.

Maybe he could sue them for defamation?

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