updated 6/14/2005 11:58:02 AM ET 2005-06-14T15:58:02

Guest: Jim Thomas, Brian Oxman, Daniel Horowitz, Susan Filan, Ron Richards

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

TOM SNEDDON, SANTA BARBARA DISTRICT ATTORNEY:  And I think, Mr.  Mesereau would tell you the same thing.  And that‘s a product of being a trial lawyer.  And you learn to adjust and you go on.

QUESTION:  Why did you go ahead with the case, when you knew the mother, in particular, to be such a troublesome witness?

SNEDDON:  I don‘t think the media generally understands the responsibility of a prosecutor.  And I‘ll answer it this way—and the simple thing is, when a victim comes in; and the victim tells you they‘ve been victimized; and you believe that; and you believe that the evidence supports that; you don‘t look at their pedigree, we look at what we think is right.  You do the right things for the right reasons.  If it doesn‘t work out, that‘s why we have a jury system.  But we did the right thing for the right reasons.

QUESTION:  Do you have any problem with the judge reading the jury notes privately without releasing to the media last Friday and having that?  SNEDDON:  Listen, the judge is the judge.  He has the prerogative to do and run his court the way we wants.  And I have no criticism with the judge.

QUESTION:  So you think that‘s constitutional and you don‘t have any problem with that?

SNEDDON:  You know, Greta, I just—you know, it‘s—the judge has done what he‘s done.  And that‘s—that‘s the way—we have to live with what, as you know, what the judge does.  I have no criticism of the judge whatsoever, none.

QUESTION:  Tom, if there were pivotal moments in the trial when you thought it was going one way or the other, what were they?

SNEDDON:  I didn‘t think there were any.

QUESTION:  Mr. Sneddon?

SNEDDON:  And I didn‘t.  Just that the case went on.

QUESTION:  If someone came to you now with strong allegations of molestation on the part of Michael Jackson, what would you do?

SNEDDON:  We‘d review it like any other case we review in our office. 

Just like we reviewed this one.

QUESTION:  You wouldn‘t shy from it now?

SNEDDON:  Well, the answer to the question, truthfully, is, I probably wouldn‘t if it was a good case.  But I think we all learned some lessons here, that we thought we had a good case this time.  And we thought we did a conscientious job, and the sheriff‘s department did a remarkable job of investigating it.

But no, the people in this county elected me to do a job, and I‘ve tried to do that conscientiously.  And I‘ll continue to do that the same way.

QUESTION:  A child molester has escaped unpunished?

SNEDDON:  No comment.

OK? QUESTION:  Do you hope that Mr. Jackson leaves Santa Barbara County?

SNEDDON:  No comment.

QUESTION:  Can I just ask, what was your assessment of the defense team and how they did in this trial?

SNEDDON:  I absolutely have no comment about that.

QUESTION:  Do you have an estimate on the costs?

SNEDDON:  No.

QUESTION:  You mentioned you‘d learned some lessons.  What lessons have you learned?

SNEDDON:  Well, I was referring probably more than anything else to the celebrity factor.  I guess I‘m not the Lone Ranger in that text.

QUESTION:  Why does it take so long to try this case?

SNEDDON:  Actually, I thought the case went pretty fast considering what the original estimates were.  We were in trial for February—

February, March, April, May.

QUESTION:  So you don‘t think trials seemed to take a little longer in California than...

SNEDDON:  Well, they definitely take a lot longer than they do in the South.

QUESTION:  I‘ll give you that one.

SNEDDON:  And I...

QUESTION:  Tom, when you walked into the courtroom, did you know—did you have an inkling what the verdict was?

SNEDDON:  No.

QUESTION:  No?

SNEDDON:  We obviously had our aspirations.  Certainly had no inkling.

QUESTION:  You mentioned the celebrity factor.  Do you think that‘s played a key part?

SNEDDON:  Well, it seems to us.  But maybe we‘re just looking for explanations in the wrong places.  I don‘t know.

OK.  Any other questions?  If you don‘t, we have some unfinished business.  All right.  Thank you very much.

SNEDDON:  If you don‘t, we have some unfinished business. 

Thank you very much. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Thank you. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Thank you. 

DAN ABRAMS, HOST:  Tom Sneddon, the district attorney here in Santa Barbara County, with few words after a stinging defeat in the Michael Jackson case, a juror of—jury of eight women and four men finding him not guilty on all 10 counts, Tom Sneddon defending the prosecution, defending his case, defending his honor with very few words to the jurors, to the public, to the media, who are asking him all of these questions, and simply saying that he did the right thing by moving forward with the prosecution of Michael Jackson, but being very careful not to criticize the defense, not to criticize the jurors, not to criticize the judge in this case. 

Mike Taibbi was inside the courtroom when the verdict was read.  He has been covering this case since the moment it began. 

Mike, so, the verdicts are read and is doing what? 

MIKE TAIBBI, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  He is sitting ramrod straight in his chair, Dan, the way he has for the most part through this trial, except for pajama day and other days, when he was clearly medicated, having some other health issues, by his claim.

He sat ramrod straight up against that cushion that he‘s had for the small of his back for the back pain that has described both by him and both others on his behalf, reacting not at all as one not guilty followed another.  Behind him, his mother, Katherine, dabbed her eyes with a Kleenex, obviously was crying, tearing up.  Her son Tito reached back, held her hand through the rest of the reading of the verdict.

Joseph Jackson, Michael Jackson‘s father, about whom Michael has said some uncomplimentary things over the years, and even in that Bashir documentary, also sat stoically, without showing any response whatsoever. 

But the fans in the back in the public section, 40 or so fans, did begin reacting.  They were crying audibly.  A couple were raising fists in victory, mindful, one assumes, of the admonition from Judge Melville that they not react at all, or at least in any way that was visible or audible or else they would be evicted immediately from the courtroom.  That was it.

And then, when the judge said in the end, Mr. Jackson, your bail is exonerated, you are released, that was the end of the case against Michael Jackson. 

ABRAMS:  We are being told that the jurors will hold a press conference in the next few minutes, that all 20 of them will be there for this press conference, the 12 jurors and the eight alternates, even though the eight alternates did not deliberate this case.

It seems that all 20 of them want to make a statement together in union.  And they are saying they will only be available for 10 minutes.  So, we will certainly bring that to you live when it happens. 

I am joined now by Jim Thomas, the former Santa Barbara County sheriff, also a good friend of Tom Sneddon‘s, the DA in this case. 

Jim, you have been listening to Tom Sneddon talk about this case, look back on this case.  This has got to be a—a real disappointment for Tom Sneddon. 

JIM THOMAS, FORMER SANTA BARBARA COUNTY SHERIFF:  Oh, Dan, of course it is. 

I mean, you can‘t put yourself into this case for over a year, living in Santa Maria, not seeing your family, not seeing your kids, prosecuting a case that you believe in, and then have it thrown out on all counts, including the misdemeanor counts, and not feel upset about it.

I am sure he is disappointed.  But we have talked about this.  And I also know that, once—once this gets past a little bit, you go on with your life and you move on. 

ABRAMS:  Yes. 

THOMAS:  Like he says, he believes in this justice system.  And so do

I.     

In 1993, we were frustrated because it never had a chance to go through the system.  Well, this time it did and the system has spoken.  You accept it and you do move on. 

ABRAMS:  We are told that Tom Mesereau, Michael Jackson‘s attorney, is on his way to Neverland, the ranch where Michael Jackson lives, and that he is not expected to hold a press conference in the immediate future.  But, we still may be hearing from family members of Michael Jackson. 

And, most interestingly, we are expecting to hear from the jurors.  What were they thinking?  How did they reach this verdict?  Many of those questions may be answered in the next few minutes.

As we wait, I am also joined by the great district attorney Jeanine Pirro from Westchester County. 

Jeanine, if you are the DA in this case, a high-high-profile case, where, by the end of this case, many believed that the prosecutors had a real shot, you have got to be beyond just disappointed. 

JEANINE PIRRO, AUTHOR, “TO PUNISH AND PROTECT”:  Well, you know, prosecutors across this country, Dan, deal with the issue of losing a case, but it is stinging when it is a high-profile case and so much of your persona as the DA, you know, is part of the case. 

And that is why you‘ll find, a lot of DAs across this country will not try these cases.  They leave it to assistant DAs, because they almost become bigger than the case itself.  But what is important about this is that we are professionals.  We understand that, at the end of the day, when the jury speaks, we accept that verdict and we move forward. 

But make no mistake, Dan.  It is very difficult as a prosecutor to hear a witness that you believe is credible, that the grand jury believed was credible, that the judge believed was credible, or else he would have dismissed the case on a motion to dismiss while the jury was part of the case. 

And the truth is that we don‘t have crystal balls and we don‘t know how it is going to play out.  This did not play out well.  And it is a shame that it is at the end of Tom Sneddon‘s career.  It‘s a shame whenever these cases get attention and other—other victims who may be legitimate victims will be afraid to come forward. 

But I think the bottom line in this case, Dan, is, this was about celebrity.  Celebrity trumped everything. 

ABRAMS:  Really?  Was it about celebrity? 

I mean, let me just say, before I ask that follow-up question, we are looking at a live picture of Michael Jackson‘s car, which we expect to arrive at his ranch within minutes, along with his team, along with his family members, and, again, Tom Mesereau followed close behind. 

Jeanine, I don‘t think that that is entirely fair.  I mean, the bottom line is, that, even if Michael Jackson weren‘t a celebrity, this is an accuser and a family that had problems.  And we talked about this from—from moment one in this case. 

PIRRO:  Well, no question.  This is an accuser and a family that had problems. 

But remember, Dan, the higher degree of dysfunction threat,  greater chance the family is going to be selected.  But, aside from that, I can‘t imagine a worst case for a prosecutor.  Every one of the prosecution witnesses, Dan, had something to be cross-examined on, something bad in their history, an axe to grind with Michael Jackson, suing for money and losing. 

Mesereau did an outstanding job.  It was almost as simple as that.  And you know what?  Don‘t misunderstand my statement.  I believe in the system.  We accept jury verdicts and we go forward. 

ABRAMS:  This, again, a live picture of Michael Jackson on his first day of true freedom. 

He has been free on bail, but that bail has now been eliminated.  Michael Jackson is not just free on bail.  Michael Jackson is free, now that he has been acquitted on all 10 of the counts. 

Before I go to Mike Taibbi, who is inside the courtroom, let me play a piece of sound for you from a former attorney for Michael Jackson.  He has worked with Michael Jackson on this case from moment one. 

OK.  We actually don‘t have that. 

So, let me go to Mike Taibbi—Mike. 

TAIBBI:  Yes, I just want to say something about what Jeanine said about celebrity.  And I understand the point she is to make.  And Tom Sneddon, at the wrap of his press conference, also used that word.  When asked about what the reason might be, he just said the single word celebrity.  I‘m not sure that is it.

I was in this courtroom for all of the testimony, save the one day when Mark Geragos gave the second part of his testimony.  I was in New York that day.

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  Mike, hang on one second.

(CROSSTALK)

ABRAMS:  Mike, let me just me—let me—Mike.

TAIBBI:  Yes.  Go ahead.

ABRAMS:  Just for one second, I just want to tell people, this is Michael...

TAIBBI:  Sure.

ABRAMS:  Let‘s just listen for a minute, Michael Jackson entering his Neverland Ranch.  

(HORNS HONKING)

ABRAMS:  All right.  Well, you see there a car blocking the camera view. 

But this is the moment those fans have waited for.  They have come to this courthouse—and let‘s not overstate it.  Only a handful of them have come to this courthouse each and every day.  But a number of them have come here on a somewhat regular basis to support Michael Jackson.  And these are people who are die-hard Michael Jackson fans, who believed unequivocally in Michael Jackson‘s innocence. 

This is the picture of the—this is a huge ranch, this Neverland Ranch, a sprawling compound, where I have been before.  And this—you can see the cars are just driving on the—that entryway which leads up to the front gate.  So, they have not even yet arrived at the front gate of Michael Jackson‘s ranch.  The gates will open.  And Michael Jackson should be returning with a very different feeling than he had the last time he was there. 

I said as he left that this could be the last time he leaves as a free man for a long time.  We now say this is the first time he can return without the worries and concerns of a man burdened by a criminal case.  Michael Jackson is free.  He has been acquitted on all of the charges. 

All right, Mike Taibbi was talking about covering this case and about the process and about the way the jurors looked at this case. 

Mike, I apologize for having interrupted you. 

TAIBBI:  Oh, no, no.  We have got to watch this.  This is Michael Jackson returning home, as you say, completely free for the first time in months, more than a year and a half, in fact.

No, Jeanine was talking about every one of the prosecution witnesses having something they could be cross-examined on.  To me, the most important, unremarked, largely unremarked, exchange in the entire trial was when Steve Robel, the chief investigator, being questioned by Tom Sneddon was asked how they came to the decision to execute the search and arrest warrants in November of 2003. 

His answer—and I‘ve looked back at the transcript of this was—well, sometimes, to try to advance a case further, we do more investigation.  In this case, we chose not to, which means that, from the time that the prosecutors and the investigators interviewed this family, all of whose members, including the accuser, were a credibility challenge, at the very least, as witnesses in this case, until they arrested one of the most famous people on the planet, they did virtually no substantive investigation. 

Now, Sneddon can talk as much as he wants about how:  We did a conscientious job.  Our the sheriff‘s department did a great job.  And I‘m sure they worked very hard.

But in that interregnum between the interview with this family and the mother, who clearly the jury didn‘t like, and the boy, who clearly the jury didn‘t believe, and the time they arrested Jackson, they didn‘t do the substantive investigation to put the building blocks in place to make a case that would meet that burden of beyond reasonable doubt. 

And that, to me, was—was—I think was a key problem in the prosecution case, which Tom Mesereau clearly exploited.

ABRAMS:  Yes. 

TAIBBI:  In how he attacked it, that every, you know—and—and that was it. 

ABRAMS:  We are—we are told that the jurors will be entering a courtroom at the courthouse in a moment, all 20 of them, the 12 jurors who deliberated and the eight alternates, although...

TAIBBI:  Wow.

ABRAMS:  Yes.  That does seem to be a room with enough chairs, it seems, for all of them.  We are expecting them to arrive in that room at any moment, this as we will also keep up a shot of Michael Jackson‘s caravan arriving at his Neverland Ranch. 

Let me read you a statement, this from the jurors, that the judge read this in court, and, again, this as we wait for the jurors that—well, before I read that, let‘s take a look here.  This—we are having some trouble, as you can see, with the live picture from Neverland. 

So, so, so, -- all right.  Here, we—here we see, this is the Michael Jackson jury.  Ladies and gentlemen, this is the group of people you have been hearing about from reporters and analysts and pundits for months now.  These are the people who everyone has been looking at to assess their each and every reaction, looking at their eyes, looking at their movements, looking at their interactions to get some sense of where they were going with this case. 

This is the Michael Jackson jury.  There were eight women and four men on the jury, in addition to the eight alternates.  The alternates did not deliberate this case.  It was merely the 12 jurors who did it.  Of the 12 who actually served on the jury, seven have children.  The oldest is a 79-year-old grandmother.  The youngest is 20 years old.  Most of them said they knew something about the case coming into this, although a couple of them said they knew nothing about it, including the jury foreperson.

This will be the first time that anyone has heard from this jury as a whole, this coming only minutes after they announced that Michael Jackson is not guilty of all of the charges against him.  So, remember, 12 of these jurors deliberated the case.  Eight of them heard all the evidence in the case, but did not deliberate their fate. 

And so, when you listen to them, they are going to be referred to by their juror numbers, one through 12.  And, then, of course, there is the alternates as well.  I presume that they will be referred to as alternate one through alternate eight. 

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Let‘s just simply begin with asking you to tell us how you would like to be identified, so that we are able to ask questions of you specifically. 

And, if we could, sir, let‘s start with you. 

How would you like to be identified, name or number, which ever is convenient to you? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Seven. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Eight. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Number six. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Seat number 10. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Seat number 10.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Two.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Seat number three.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Seat number 11.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  OK.  The acoustics in this room, I need to ask you to speak up.  You‘re actually great on microphone, but the folk in the back can‘t hear.

OK.  In the second row, please.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  148.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  But what juror seat number were you in the box?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I was an alternate one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Thank you.  Alternate one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Nine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Nine.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I‘m five.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Twelve.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Number one.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Four.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Alternate number two.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Alternate number seven.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Alternate number five.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Alternate number eight

ABRAMS:  As you‘re listening to the jurors identify themselves for the press and media there at the press conference for the jurors, you can obviously see that, interesting in the composition of this jury, not a single African-American sat on this jury.  And only four were minority, Hispanic and Asian.  Eight women and four men.

Let‘s listen in.

QUESTION:  What did you think about the accuser‘s testimony, as well as about the obvious absence of the boy from the ‘93 investigation?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And who are you asking that question of?

QUESTION:  Number two.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I would rather not comment on that right now. 

Maybe somebody else would like to answer that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Anyone at all?  Anyone comfortable with that?

Let‘s move on.  And we will come back as we move through.

Let me turn then to The Associated Press.

QUESTION:  Hi.  I‘m Linda Deutsch of Associated Press.  And it‘s nice to be able to talk to you all after looking at you for so many months.

I‘m wondering if there were any disagreements in the jury room when you first went in, or did you quickly find that all of you were pretty much in agreement?

Any one of you can answer.  Perhaps number five.  We‘ve been looking at each other across the room.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We‘ve been smiling at each other, too.

QUESTION:  That‘s right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I think we all just looked at the evidence and pretty much agreed.

Wouldn‘t you say so, number three?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We came in with our personal beliefs.  But we did look at the evidence.

QUESTION:  I can‘t hear you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We—some of—we all came in with our personal beliefs, and some of those did differ.  But we spent a lot of time really seriously studying the evidence and looking at the testimony, and the jury instructions, and obviously came to an agreement.

QUESTION:  Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Thank you.

QUESTION:  Did you pay attention at all, or see all the sort of media circus out here?  And, if so, how did you sort of separate yourselves from that? 

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You are all jumping at that one. 

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  This is your chance to whack us.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No.  We came in around the back and we came in through the back door. 

And when we were allowed to park our private cars here, we also parked around the back.  I‘m speaking for just a few of us, I think, but we never really went around Miller Street or the front over there.  We just avoided everybody, including the media, by going around the back and trying to stay as private and quiet as possible.

QUESTION:  Anyone else want to add on the media, or have a thought on the media?  You all jumped at it, it seemed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I felt that the first time that I really felt the presence and stuff, I think, was our first—second day out of jury deliberations when we all walked out to the van together, and seeing all those people on the right of us and on the left of us.  It kind of hit you like, Oh, my god, where did they all come from and that.

But, you know, we could hear the media going back and forth and everything when we were outside and stuff.  But otherwise, it didn‘t really bother us that much at all.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Anyone else? Please, sir?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I think by the time we got to deliberation, we had all been so conditioned to the media, that it didn‘t make any difference anymore.  That was my personal feeling.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Good.  Thank you.  What number, sir?  Just one more time, your number?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Number one.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Number one.  Thank you.

Turning across the aisle?

RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT:  Rusty Dornin, CNN.

Juror number one, I know you said in your statement that you meticulously all went through the evidence and that sort of thing.  But what stands out in your mind as the most important thing that swayed you, that made you feel it was—that you had to vote not guilty in this case?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I can‘t really point to any one specific item right now.  It‘s—I mean, there were tons of evidence to consider, and to pick one item out is really difficult.

And I would just say that we considered all of the evidence.  And, of course, since it‘s a criminal trial, it had to be beyond a reasonable doubt.  And in looking at all of the evidence, and not just one specific item, I mean, that‘s the conclusion we arrived at.  And I think we really worked hard and were very careful in making that decision.

DORNIN:  Any testimony, though, that just stood out in your mind, that kind of in your own head, you thought, this isn‘t right, I just can‘t...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  As I sit here right now, I can‘t point to anything specific.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  OK.

Across the aisle.

QUESTION:  Hi.  Quintin Cushner from “The Santa Maria Times.”

Just curious, what was your opinion of the attorneys‘ performances, both from the prosecution and the defense, as they tried this case?  For anybody.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I think they were all wonderful litigators. 

Very well prepared on both sides.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘d like to—I think it was—it was a sight to see, because I‘ve never seen anything like this.  And you‘ve seen it on TV all the time, and now you actually see it up close and personal.  And it‘s like, wow, you know.  For my first time doing jury duty, this is—it‘s pretty interesting, to say the least.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And we got to see their faces like you guys didn‘t.  So when stuff was going on, we could see, you know, their size, or their, yes and stuff like that.  And we could see what they were thinking in their selves there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Anyone else have a feeling?  OK.  Let‘s move on to across the aisle.

QUESTION:  Hi.  Good afternoon.  My name is Salvador Duran (ph).  I‘m with Telemundo, Channel 52, Los Angeles.

I would like to find out if the fact that Michael Jackson is an international superstar, what role did that play in your decision- making? 

And I would also like to ask, Mr. Foreman, if any of you speak Spanish, to

also after you answer my question to briefly make a statement in Spanish to

·         for the Spanish—the large Spanish audience across the United States.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, personally, I think we looked at all the evidence.  We looked at Michael Jackson.  And the first—one of the first things that we decided, that we had to look at him as just like any other individual, not just as a celebrity.  And once we got that established, that we could go beyond that, we were able to deal with it just as fairly as we could with anybody else.

QUESTION:  Do you speak Spanish, sir?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I‘d rather have her answer in Spanish.

QUESTION:  Could you tell us just what your thoughts on the fact that Michael Jackson is a mega-star, known around the world, in Espanol, por favor.  (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  (SPEAKING SPANISH)

QUESTION:  (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  (SPEAKING SPANISH)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Thank you very much.  And across the way to you?

QUESTION:  And I wanted to direct this question mainly to the parents on the jury, somebody with children.  And some of the more troubling evidence to many observers was about Mr. Jackson sleeping in bed with children.  And I was wondering if you found that troubling or believable, and if you would approve of your own children would do such a thing?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Are you asking that of...

QUESTION:  Any parents on the jury.

I see you nodding, ma‘am.  I would like to ask you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Well, as a parent, you know, it‘s something that you are constantly—every moment of your day, you‘re protective over what happens to your children.  And I guess I might be speaking maybe for myself and a few others, jurors, that, you know, what mother in her right mind would allow that to happen, or, you know, just freely volunteer your child, you know, to sleep with someone?  And not just so much Michael Jackson, but any person, for that matter.

So that‘s something, you know, that mothers, I think, are naturally concerned with.

QUESTION:  So did you feel that the mother in the case was at fault, rather than Mr. Jackson?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I‘d like to comment on that, but I believe at this time I probably shouldn‘t.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  OK.  That (OFF-MIKE) again for that.  Let‘s move it along. 

QUESTION:  Hi.  Thanks for all of you to come.  My is Steve Lentz from KFWB Radio. 

If I could just ask, when the mother, Janet Arviso, looked at you and said, it is burned right here in my brain, I can tell you, the media laughed. 

(LAUGHTER)

QUESTION:  Could I just ask your reaction when you heard, you know, the comment from the mother, when she looked at you directly and talked to you. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Are you asking me? 

QUESTION:  Yes, I am. 

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Well, you know...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  What number are you? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I‘m number 10. 

She said a lot of things that were maybe a little—they came on very strong, you know?  And when she said it was something, you know, burned right there, I kind of felt that, you know, she—there was a lot of things probably burned right there.  So, I don‘t know how to answer that, really. 

QUESTION:  Could we go to the lady behind you there, please?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I‘m number five.  I disliked it intensely when she snapped her fingers at us.  That is when I thought, don‘t snap your fingers at me, lady. 

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Number four, I know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I was—I was very uncomfortable with that. 

A lot of the witnesses looked over at us from time to time, but then they would look back.  But she didn‘t take her eyes off of us.  So, that was a very uncomfortable feeling. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Thank you. 

I know that we are sort of cruising along on our 10 minutes.  You guys are feeling OK?  I just want to touch base with you. 

OK.  Good.

I am going to stay with print for a moment.  We‘re trying to alternate print, TV.  So, print, we go next, and then TV after that. 

QUESTION:  Hi.  My name is Nick Madigan.  I‘m with “The New York Times.” 

I just wondered whether there was anybody in all the long line of witnesses—there were, I think, 140-odd witnesses—who you found credible?  And, if so, why?  Because, obviously, you found everyone—you found him innocent on all counts.  So, I just wonder there was anything that actually rang true.  And, if so, who and why? 

And I believe you were interested in talking about that. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I am very comfortable at saying the telephone people were very credible. 

(LAUGHTER)

(CROSSTALK)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  That‘s all.

(LAUGHTER)

QUESTION:  Well, is there anyone else who found—who found anyone credible?  There were a lot of witnesses. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Wait.  Wait, Jen (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Oh, I‘m sorry.  I thought you...

(CROSSTALK)

QUESTION:  The lady in pink.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I found Kiki, her testimony, to be credible—

Fournier, housekeeper.   Also Jesus.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Jesus Salas.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Jesus Salas, his testimony.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I think I saw some folks maybe on my right in the back.  Did anyone want to add to that?  I want to make sure we respect your thoughts.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I just want to add a last name.  Jesus Salas was another credible witness.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Aja (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Aja Prior (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  No previous victims?

That is what we are calling them, but—Anybody at all?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Alleged.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I guess not, all right.

And we move across the TB.

JANE VELEZ-MITCHELL, CELEBRITY JUSTICE:  I‘m Jane Velez-Mitchell from Celebrity Justice, and thank you for coming out and speaking and having seen you this whole time - a question, question and I think I would start with the juror number five, the lady back there.

A lot of people said the timeline was one of the biggest problems with the case.  That the conspiracy had some problems, that the allegations of molestation began 19 days after the cover-up began.  What are your thoughts on the timeline?  How the prosecution presented that?  And some of the things that happened in the interim of that timeline?

JACKSON JUROR #5:  I really don‘t want to comment on that right now. 

We discussed that, and maybe number three would like to take that one.

VELEZ-MITCHELL:  Go for it, number three.

JACKSON JUROR #3:  We spent a lot of time.  And personally, that was very confusing in the beginning.  I wrote to the point where I could hardly use my thumb.  I am proud of everyone here.  We took notes so well that we could develop the timeline on the board and really analyze it.  So it was a question, the timeline was a concern.

VELEZ-MITCHELL:  A concern or a problem?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We will keep moving.

DAN WHITCOMB, REUTERS:  Dan Whitcomb from Reuters News Service for the foremen or anyone else who wants to answer.  We heard a tremendous amount of testimony about pornography found in Mr. Jackson‘s room, all the explicit material, alcohol, sleeping with boys supposedly.  Jesus Salas, who several of you said he was a good witness, testified to him being drunk four days out of the week.  I am wondering if you were disturbed by any of that?  If they gave you pause?  If that factored into the deliberations and how you feel about that at this point?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We went threw a lot of fingerprints, latent prints, ridges, you name it.  We heard it all.  Things we have never thought about.  But again, the fingerprints, I think had a lot not to do with the case because those were adult magazines.  Anyone can own them.  I think that is all I want to say about that right now.  But anybody else?

WHITCOMB:  Did you find the testimony credible or reject it and say this has not been proven to me?  Did you decide maybe it is proven but doesn‘t prove the charge?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  That would it right there.  It doesn‘t prove the charge.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Anyone else?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Let me go to television then.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Hi, Kimmie Culp (ph) with ABC News and “Good Morning America.”  Juror number five and juror number 10, specifically you guys, have spent a lot of time together over the past few months, and the experienced a unique situation.  Talk to bee me about the dynamic and whether you formed lasting friendships on this jury?

JACKSON JUROR #5:  We certainly—shall I go first?  We certainly have formed lasting friendships.  And really close, it is really a close knit thing you can‘t imagine how lost we felt with the alternates left us.  It is like part of us left and we just felt.  But I think we are all going to keep this up as friends.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We wanted them here for support because we just needed them.

JACKSON JUROR #10:  That is a good point.   Because I think coming from all different walks of life and al different types of employment, we were really a good support system for each other.  We all had different views, of course, but sometimes we found that we had a lot of things in common and that we did think alike.  But, of course when it came to the fine details of things, fortunately we did get to know each other in being tight quarters that we were able to have discussions and not screaming matches.  And we had a lot of good food.

JACKSON JUROR #7:  One thing out of this whole thing I got, I just told them today, is that I made 19 new friends over six months.  And I mean I‘m happy about that.  I appreciate them all, you know.

What?  That I made 19 new friends out of this.  And I‘m glad I got that out of this.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I see one, hold on, let‘s come over to you, to the camera and go ahead, please.

JACKSON JUROR #3:  And the beauty of that was that we set the intent that we would get along no matter what we decided or saw, we would discuss it and keep it cool and we did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Let me go to a dot com.

ROGER FRIEDMAN, FOXNEWS.COM:  Hi.  Roger Friedman from foxnews.com.  Thank you for being here.  We could probably keep you here for hours asking you questions, especially the reporters who have been in the courtroom the whole three months.  We have been staring at you guys.  I wanted to ask, maybe alternate number five I felt like I was looking at you a lot during the case.

Two questions—one did the 11.08 stuff mean a lot to you?  The Macaulay Culkin, Brett Barnes, Wade Robeson, Jason Francia, others, did that really play an impact with you?  Because that had not been used much in cases.  And it was developed especially for Michael Jackson from 10 years ago.  And the other question for all of you, did you—you were told by Mesereau that the Arvisos were con artists, liars and thieves.  Is that something you were thinking being earlier in the game, is that something that was going through your head while they were watching them as they came and went and your testimony about them.

JACKSON ALTERNATE JUROR #5:  I just want to say as alternates we took it as serious as being jurors.  We at all times, even in the time waiting when we weren‘t there we felt we were there.  And everything that we saw was extremely important.  Macaulay Culkin was as extremely important as other evidence that was shown.  I can‘t say any one piece was more extreme than another.  It all was important.  The whole situation was extremely sad and there is not a person in this area that takes lightly what went on the last four months.

FRIEDMAN:  I was asking about the 11.08 because it is supposed to be about a preponderance of evidence.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Can you just step forward just a little bit.

FREIDMAN:  Because the 11.08 was supposed to show a preponderance of evidence that would lead up to a conclusion.

JACKSON ALTERNATE JUROR #5:  I still want to tell you not any one piece stood out.  We considered everything, and I know that every person sitting here can tell you the exact same thing.  They considered every piece as extremely important.  We think it was an important piece, but it was only a piece.  And the judge instructed us on that in the very beginning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Anyone else want to add to that?  I am getting a little bit of a time cue.  We will take only one or two more as we wrap up or as long as you can hang on.  Anyone else want to add - Let‘s go to print.

And we have short, quick questions before we lose the jury.

TINA SUSMAN, “NEWSDAY”:  I‘m Tina Susman from “Newsday” newspaper in New York.  I have a question, I believe it‘s for juror number eight.  You were crying openly while the verdicts were being read.  You looked extremely emotional.  I was wondering if you can you explain what was going through your mind?  What made you sob so openly?  You looked heartbroken, actually.

JACKSON JUROR #8:  Well, it is very emotional.  And I wasn‘t the only one crying, okay, even though it might be because I am sitting up front.  I had to pass it around.  But after deliberating for as long as we did, and emotions that everybody goes through, and you know, everything, it just, it just realize that it is done and it is over.  And that we all can now go on with our lives, as much as possible normally as that will be.

But yeah, it was very emotional.  There is like a no-win situation, you know, for the Arviso family or for Michael Jackson.  Everything that both families had gone through.  But we had to do what we were instructed to do and that is what we did.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Anyone else want to add to that?  One last TV question.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Hi, I am Sarah Cligett (ph), I work at the “Today” show and with “Dateline NBC.”  We all left here on Friday at 2:30 wondering how long we would be here.  What changed the four hours this morning in your deliberations to come up with a verdict?

JACKSON JUROR #1:  I actually didn‘t believe we would be finished today.  I don‘t think anybody did.  I think having the weekend to do some thinking about it helps.  You come in with, with a clearer mind maybe of where you‘re going and what you have to do.  But to think that we would have been finished today, that hadn‘t entered my mind this morning.  There was still a lot of ground to cover, but I think once we understood all of the evidence and talked it out, that it was clear what we had to do.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Did the rest of you think you would be here longer?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  I did.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Yeah.

JACKSON JUROR #4:  I was surprised.  I wasn‘t expecting to be out today.  So, I thought, I thought it would be perhaps sometime this week but I didn‘t think it would be today.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I am getting signals that we are doing questions individually.  We are not going to do screening.  I promised them that.  I am going to hold to that promise.

I am getting signals you are okay for a little bit more?  A little bit?  Can we ask you indulgence (ph), can I get you water or anything at all.  You are all good?  All right.  Let‘s stay over here for a moment. 

Then we will go over there

ART HARRIS, “ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT”:  Thank you for doing this.  We saw you taking notes and you did an amazing job.  Art Harris with “Entertainment Tonight” and “E Insider.”  Tom Mesereau said this was about reasonable doubt.  And I just wonder if you could explain to us what reasonable doubt you all found?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Who would like that?

JACKSON JUROR #2:  Just a short comment.  We had 98 pages of instructions and we referred to them diligently.  And we kept going back to it, you know.  It has to be beyond a reasonable doubt.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Anyone else for that?

JACKSON JUROR #1:  We actually challenged one another in the deliberation room.  It wasn‘t—I don‘t want to give the impression this was a slam dunk deal where you go into a room and 12 people agree.  I don‘t think 12 people can agree on anything except that the sun might come up tomorrow morning.  And beyond that, you got have to talk about it.  And we did talk about it.  We challenged the issues, and we came to the decision that pointed to reasonable doubt.

JACKSON JUROR #2:  Just inside information, we did have little jobs for a lot of people.  We assigned a scriber for ourselves.  She took notes.  We had a time keeper over here so he would keep us on track.  What else am I missing?  We had a reader over here.  Any time we wanted to go back to the instructions, the 98 pages he practically had them memorized.  He would say, I know where that is, and he would go to the page.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Believe it or not we raised our hands to speak and we had a bell when we got out of turn at that happened.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  You had a timer.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The timeline lady right here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And the closet of evidence.

JACKSON JUROR #10:  I think the closet of evidence said it all.  Every time we came up to a stopping point, we all had to remind ourselves that we have a closet full of evidence that really made us always come back to the same thing.  It was just not enough, you know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And we did look at the gate logs and telephone logs again.

JACKSON JUROR #10:  And we put them back where they belonged.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  In order.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  All right.  There are lots of people, lots of questions.  I will go to the other side.  Pinging back and forth.  Go ahead.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Hi, Shayla Bezer (ph) with Fox News Channel.  Thank you all for coming out to talk to us.  Did you, while reviewing the evidence, did you and do you know believe that the family, the accuser‘s family were thieves and scam artists that were trying to frame Michael Jackson?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Who would like to take that?UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Anybody?

JACKSON JUROR #10:  The thought was definitely there.  You couldn‘t help but wonder.  Many times just the way things on the timeline and just things didn‘t add up.  So yes, the thought was there several times.

JACKSON JUROR #2:  And one other thing, too.  I guess the mother when she looked at me and snapped her fingers a few times and she says you know how our culture is and winks at me, I thought no, that is not the way our culture is.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And continuing, from Marty Kassendorf (ph) from “USA Today.”

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Hello.  Martin Kassendorf from “USA Today,” for foreperson, juror number two, last Friday, I believe, you asked the court to have testimony read back.  Some of the transcript.  Can you tell us just what that was?

JACKSON JUROR #2:  Well, just briefly, it was on the young man that was the accuser.  We wanted to make sure we all had the same information in our head so we could talk about it, discuss it, come up with the same answers and same results.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What part of the testimony?

JACKSON JUROR #2:  Probably the first half I would say.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  The first two days.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  The first two days.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And let‘s go to print.  “L.A. Times.”  He should be next.

Hold on, give him the microphone.

STUART PFEIFFER, “LOS ANGELES TIMES”:  Hi, I‘m Stuart Pfeiffer from the “Los Angeles Times.”  And I have two questions for juror number nine.  Your husband is a television journalist.  I have know all of you probably had difficulty with this I am wondering how you personally, how difficult it was to not talk to your family and relatives and friends about the case, and to avoid the massive amount of information that was out there?

And then my second question would be totally unrelated.  How many votes did you guys end up taking on the different charges, if you could estimate that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Both for number nine.

PFEIFFER:  Both for number nine.

JACKSON JUROR #5:  My husband is a reporter.  I don‘t find it difficult at all.  Actually, he is very good.  I mean we don‘t even talk about it.  He knows what people would have to do.  And the way I figure it out, if I talk to him and if he spread it out it will be so obvious it came from me and I wouldn‘t even think about that.  How many votes?  I don‘t know.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Two.

JACKSON JUROR #5:  Two.

PFEIFFER:  On each count or all counts?

JACKSON JUROR #2:  We don‘t want to say we took two votes and stick to that.  We discussed it thoroughly.  And if we weren‘t sure of something we would discuss it again, maybe two or three hours or the whole day on that one issue.  And when we‘d vote again we felt more comfortable with it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It kind of varies as to the number.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Let‘s stay on microphone, otherwise (unintelligible) will lose it.  The next we‘ll go to electronic.  Over there.

DAVID SINGER, KNX NEWS RADIO:  Hi, I am David Singer with KNX News Radio.  I have a question for each you.  We all were listening as the judge lifted his order and you can now read and see about the Jackson case.  I am wondering after this many months if you have any intention of doing that or if you are completely Jacksonned-out at this point?

ABRAMS:  Wow!  These jurors did not like the mother in this case at all.  Juror after juror talking about problems they had with the mother of this accuser.  That they didn‘t like the way she snapped at them.  They didn‘t like the way she looked at them.  She didn‘t—they didn‘t like the way she talked to them.

This mother was a huge problem for this prosecution case.  In the end, one of the jurors saying things just didn‘t add up.  Wow!  Before we go to our panel, Brian Oxman was an attorney representing Michael Jackson in this case for much of the case.  He left the case about a month ago.  Brian, good to see you.  So you listen to the jurors this is exactly what you would have hoped as a defense attorney, that the jurors would have said about mama.

BRIAN OXMAN, ATTORNEY:  Mama was the biggest problem that this prosecution had from the very get-go.  She was the one who orchestrated it as we said time and time in the course of this case.  It was something which contrived and it was something that was never a part of reality and she was smoking gun, exhibit A.

ABRAMS:  Brian, the defense team, I think, at the beginning of this case, I think it‘s fair to say, came in with a certain level of confidence that there were going to be problems with the mother, there were going to be problems with the boy.  But after all of the other evidence, the other alleged bad acts came in, other witnesses saying that they saw Michael Jackson behaving inappropriately, other witnesses that came in and said Michael Jackson behaved inappropriately to them.  Your team must have been a little bit concerned that you weren‘t going to get the outcome that we ultimately saw here?

OXMAN:  The concern, Dan, started from the very start.  We were concerned from the time that Michael was charged with this crime.  We were concerned with it throughout the entire course of this proceeding.  At no time did anybody take anything for granted.  This was all out war, and it ended in a conclusion which we are really very pleased.  We‘re elated that this is the conclusion.

ABRAMS:  Are you sorry that you are not officially a member of the team to celebrate now?  Are you just happy nor Michael Jackson?

OXMAN:  I‘m been part of this family for 15 years.  I don‘t know how to get out.  I have tried to get out many, many times but they won‘t let me.  I think they are my brothers, they are my sisters.  Michael is my man.  I just have such adoration for him he is one of the most marvelous human beings on this earth.

ABRAMS:  Let me ask you about that Brian.  Look, I can understand the “not guilty” verdict” in this case.  I really can.  But to say he is one of the most marvelous human beings, regardless of what you think about this case, it is disturbing, is it not, that even if nothing happened with the kids, that he is sleeping in bed with so many kids?  I mean there is something really troubling about that.  One kid he slept in bed with for a year.

OXMAN:  There was a great difference of opinion as to how we present and how we deal with the allegation of Michael sleeping in bed.  I have been with the family for 15 years.  And what I have seen that these are slumber parties.  These are people who are in large numbers and there is always an adult supervision there.  It was a difference of opinion as to how we would track this (ph).

ABRAMS:  But that‘s not true, Brian.  You know that it‘s not true that in a lot of cases-Wait, wait, wait, when you say adult supervision—hang on, let me—you mean in another room.  The bottom line is that Michael Jackson slept alone in bed with boys, with a single boy on many occasions, one-on-one, mano e mano, so to speak, in the bed alone with boys for a prolonged period of time.

OXMAN:  At no time did Michael Jackson have any kind of a connection or relationship or solo in bed with this accuser.  Never.  There was always an adult there.  People seemed to miss the fact.  That was a fact from the very get go.

ABRAMS: I am talking about the other case, Brian.

OXMAN:  You are talking about ancient history.  You are talking about 15 years ago, and you are talking about someone who said nothing ever untold happened.  And I think that is really the answer to your question.

ABRAMS:  Because I really was asking you less a question about molestation because look, the jury said not enough evidence to convict, they didn‘t charge him in ‘93.  We can talk about the civil settlement, whatever.  But I am simply talking about sort of as a moral, practical matter the fact that he is sleeping in bed for such a prolonged period of time, one boy, for example, for a year, I think that is troubling at the least as a human being.  But you don‘t think so, right?

OXMAN:  I hear you.  I know exactly what you are saying, and I know what the troubling factor is but what you have to remember, is nothing ever took place in any of that time, over any of that incidence.  To simply chose an incident years and years ago and to make - to create a prosecution today over ancient history, that is why this case resulted in the result that we have today.

ABRAMS:  Then look—I think that is probably true.  That‘s a slightly different point but a fair point.  Brian, I have got to ask you another question.  Because I know you have to go in a minute.  There was an article that made an accusation towards you, and I know that I had asked you about it and you said look, I can‘t say anything until the gag order is lifted in this case.  The case is now over.

You were accused in an article in “Vanity Fair” of trying to pay off witnesses in the case not to testify.  Your response?

OXMAN:  I have been accused of many things in my lifetime and this one really takes the cake.  I never talked to Jordy Chandler in my lifetime.  I never talked to Vinnie Amand (ph) in my life time.  I don‘t know how this could have been thought of by people.  I have no connection, no discussions, never offered anybody anything.  With all the money I didn‘t get, I most certainly wasn‘t going to give it to anybody else.

ABRAMS:  All right.  Brian Oxman, thank you for coming on the program. 

Good to see you.  Appreciate it.

OXMAN:  Good to see you.

ABRAMS:  All right, one of the attorneys-Look, Brian Oxman may not have been there at the end but he was part of the defense team that add an out all victory today in the Michael Jackson case.  Before I go to the rest of my panel, there is something that really struck me as I was listening to the press conference from the jurors, and that is that they all came down hard on the mother in this case.  Let‘s listen.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JACKSON JUROR #10:  You are protective over what happens to your children.  And I guess I might be speaking maybe for myself and a few others, other jurors, that what mother in her right mind would allow that to happen?  You know, just freely volunteer your child, you know, to sleep with someone?  She said a lot of things that were maybe a little - that came on very strong.

JACKSON JUROR #5:  I disliked it intensely when she snapped her fingers at us.  That is when I thought don‘t snap your fingers at me, lady.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  She didn‘t take her eyes off of us.  That was a very uncomfortable feeling.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ABRAMS:  Ach! Jeanine Pirro is a prosecutor.  You have got to be listening to the press conference and it is a dagger in your heart?

PIRRO:  Well, it is a dagger in my heart, Dan, because this case wasn‘t about the mother, it was about the boy.  If they said we didn‘t believe the boy, there wasn‘t enough evidence, you accept it.  This isn‘t about the mother‘s personality and they didn‘t like that she looked at them the whole time.  That is not what this is about.  And I have got to tell you, these jurors were asked specifically, Dan, what specific thing brought you to the issue of reasonable doubt?

They couldn‘t even answer the question.  Beyond that, they couldn‘t understand it because the foreman said we had 98 pages of what reasonable doubt was.  They came back and said what was specifically was the reasonable doubt?  They said they listen to the evidence.  This was a very simple jury.  Whoever did the jury selection on this on behalf of the Mesereau did a great job.  They got what they bargained for.

ABRAMS:  Daniel Horowitz, I sit there and it is almost as if they were scripted.  These jurors sound like politicians at times.  We looked at all of the evidence, we looked at all of the evidence, and we don‘t want to go there right now.  And answering the right questions and not answering other questions.  But the bottom line is, they hated this mother.  And they did exactly, exactly what this defense team wanted it sounds like.  They basically said mama can‘t be trusted, the case can‘t be trusted.

DANIEL HOROWITZ, DEFENSE ATTORNEY:  Dan, you‘re right.  And let me start by saying this was actually a very intelligent jury.  This had three people on the jury who had graduate degrees and a college graduate and the other people had high school and some college.  This was a smart group of people.  Dan, they were politicians, and here‘s why.  They basically, if you read between the lines about what they were saying, felt very free to attack the mother with the pointing and snapping and really manic activities.  But those children and the prosecution witnesses as a whole were disbelieved.  They were politicians because they didn‘t want to attack the children on national TV.  But that doesn‘t mean in the jury room they didn‘t reject her - reject the .

ABRAMS:  Ladies and gentlemen, I teased Daniel Horowitz a lot, but Daniel Horowitz never wavered in his belief that this jury was going to come back with an acquittal across the board.  Daniel, you nailed it, you are one of the few who didn‘t waver.  I wavered.  Look, after listening to the closing arguments I was thinking these jurors were probably going to convict him of something, even though at the outset I thought it would be all out acquittal at first.  Daniel Horowitz did not waver.

Susan Filan also has been in the courtroom throughout.  Susan, you are listening to the jurors and you are a former prosecutor.  You have watched this case.  This is really—the defense couldn‘t have handed these people a better script.

SUSAN FILAN, FORMER PROSECUTOR:  Look, they did what they were supposed to do.  They deliberated, they reviewed the evidence and they applied the correct legal standard which is beyond a reasonable doubt.  It sounded to me like they thought that maybe he did it but that do you want satisfy the burden of proof that the prosecution had.  So justice was served, like it or not, whether you got the verdict you thought was right or the one that you wanted.  If these jurors say in good faith and have I no reason to disbelieve them they looked at everything, they thoroughly dissected it and they followed the instructions to the letter of the law, then so be it.  That is the way the system works and that is what is so great about it.

ABRAMS:  Very quickly, let me play another piece of sound from the jurors talking about a big troubling issue for the prosecutors, and that is the timeline.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JACKSON JUROR #10:  The thought was definitely there you couldn‘t help but wonder.  Many times just the way that things on the timeline and things just didn‘t add up.  Yes, the thought was there several times.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

ABRAMS:  Ron Richards, defense attorney, friend of Tom Mesereau‘s, Ron, you wavered.  You thought they might convict.  What happened?

RON RICHARDS, CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY:  Well, I said I was cautiously optimistic.  But it was a close case as we all found.  But the legal analysts that were saying he was going to get convicted I think was a problematic because this was really a clean sweep for Mesereau and I said it all along on this one issue, that the apple doesn‘t fall far from the tree.  And that if they believe that the mother influenced the kids that they were going to acquit him.

But at the end, the prosecution did a god job by playing the video are the accuser and that is what made us all halt.  Because if they believe that accuser they were going to convict.  But they didn‘t believe him and they didn‘t believe the mother and I think it spoiled the case.

ABRAMS:  Wow!  What a press conference!  What a case!  What a verdict!  Any one that tells you that they were confident this was going to be the verdict is a liar.  This verdict was stunning.  I think even to those who expected it.  It was still amazing to hear not guilty, not guilty, not guilty, not guilty, not guilty, again and again and again.

This, another shot of Michael Jackson earlier today feebly walking out of the courtroom immediately after the jury found him not guilty on all of the charges.  I am going to be back at 11:00 p.m. Eastern Time, 8 p.m.  Pacific for a special edition of the program.  A look back at all of today‘s events.  Please tune in for it then.

HARBALL WITH CHRIS MATTHEWS is up next and I will be on that program. 

Thanks for watching.  See you in a minute.

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