By Former Conn. state prosecutor and MSNBC analyst
updated 6/13/2005 5:52:20 PM ET 2005-06-13T21:52:20

Michael Jackson was found not guilty Monday on all counts in his trial on child molestation charges, concluding a two-year legal saga for one of the world's most well-known pop stars.

The singer could have faced nearly 20 years in prison if convicted on all charges. Instead, his bail was revoked, and he quickly departed the courthouse complex.

Defense Attorney Tom Mesereau did a great job creating reasonable doubt by focusing on the credibility or lack thereof of the accuser and his family. He prevented the accuser from being called the victim.  He prevented the pornography from being called pornography. He brought witnesses forward who corroborated his theory of the case.

Where the defense won:

  1. Cross examination of prosecution witnesses
  2. Calling witnesses who corroborated their theory of the case such as Azja Pryor (actor Chris Tucker’s ex-girlfriend)
  3. Not having Jackson testify, but getting his story in front of the jury through the outtakes of the Bashir documentary
  4. Calling to the witness stand the paralegal of the law firm who handled the JC Penney lawsuit
  5. Calling to the witness stand the lawyer who represented the accuser's mother in the JC Penney lawsuit
  6. Proving the accuser’s mother committed welfare fraud

Prosecution's downfall:

  1. The accuser's mother
  2. Confusing graphics relating to telephone calls in connection with the conspiracy charge
  3. Not addressing the problematic time line
  4. Not making clear when Jackson was at Neverland at the same time as the accuser so the window of opportunity was clear 
  5. Not addressing the issue of the chimes.  Jackson’s bedroom had a series of chimes that would ring when you were approaching the corridor to his bedroom and again once when you opened his bedroom door.  The accuser’s brother testified he entered Jackson’s bedroom while Jackson was molesting his brother, but if the chimes went off, wouldn’t Jackson have heard them and stopped?  Did the chimes go off?  Were they not working?  Was Jackson too intoxicated to have heard them?  The prosecution should have done a better job of addressing the question of the chimes, because it is a fact against which the accuser’s credibility can be weighed.

Stay tuned to MSNBC TV for more legal analysis and reactions.


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