IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Does history matter in the Jackson case?

Readers weigh in on judge's ruling to allow other accusers to testify
/ Source:

Judge Rodney Melville's ruling that testimony about other alleged molestations will be allowed in the Michael Jackson will dramatically rewrite both sides' courtroom strategies.

Many of you thought the judge made the right call, allowing the jury to consider 2003 charges that Jackson molested a then-13-year-old cancer patient in light of other boys who came forward with their own claims about the King of Pop.

Others felt that the decision was just the latest attempt to bulk up a weak case against the pop legend.

Here is some of your thoughts on the latest twist in the Jackson case.

"Presenting prior accusations to the jury that did not result in even a criminal charge seems a very questionable legal practice. If the jury is to make its determination on the evidence in the present case only, these unadjudicated accusations can't help but prejudice them. This kind of information would be more appropriate for a sentencing hearing." Ron, Calif.

"If I were on the jury, I would have serious questions about these prior 'bad acts.' It could end up that the prior 'bad acts' testimony only serves to create confusion." —Jabari, Washington, D.C.

"I'm not a Michael Jackson fan nor am I one of his supporters. I do believe however that in a court of law only facts should be presented as evidence. Allegations from the past that were never proven or even evaluated by a court of law are hearsay at best and at worse slander." —Terry, Lombard, Ill.

"I think the judge is setting the stage for a mistrial by allowing hearsay and previous allegations to be brought into the courtroom." —Michael, Atlanta, Ga.

"If the prosecution can't get a conviction using the evidence that they have that actually pertains to this specific case, that's tough for them." —Joel, Tallahassee, Fla.

"Any vice cop -- or anyone who has been impacted by child molestation -- will tell you that what we have heard about Jackson to date fits every profile ever written about child molesters. The "softening," the isolation, the use of mood altering substances, the proximity of molester to those being molested, the threats." —Josie, San Diego, Calif.

"The use of prior bad acts is a common technique used in the investigation and prosecution of child molesters. Only on rare occasions is there physical evidence to support the allegations made by the accuser. Having multiple accusers, who do not know each other and do not know what each has said, tell the same or very similar stories about the perpetrator and his actions is evidence that is very convincing, reliable and important in deciding who is telling the truth." —Michael, Long Beach, Miss.

His character has been suspect for years and his other behaviors of altering his appearance speaks volumes about his instability and self-esteem. I believe the past adds up to years of abuse and that he has behaviors that reflect "grooming" of children.  —J. Almond, Indiana

"I have followed the Michael Jackson case ever since 1993 and I am confident that there is no evidence that Jackson molested any of these boys. The biggest question that no one can seems to answer is that if the prosecution had evidence back in the 90's that a crime by Jackson had taken place, then they would have filed charges. It is just that simple." —Pamela, Los Angeles, Calif.

"I applaud the ruling by the judge ... Jackson has repeatedly involved himself in the lives of little boys and, in some cases, paid the families off for their silence. I think it is appropriate that the jurors know this." —Pat, Lawton, Okla.

"I think that if Michael had been accused of molesting African-American children this case would not have warranted any coverage regardless of his King of Pop status." —Michelle, Houston, Texas

"I don't believe the two accusers from the past should be allowed to testify. The reason being, is they had their chance to go to court and decided to take a cash settlement instead. If they are allowed to testify, they should be required to return the settlement they received." —Brian, Council Bluffs, Iowa

JACKSON'S OWN FAULTS"Jackson has chosen the poorest and most pitiful to use, knowing that they are much easier to discredit. ... And by the way, how can Jackson claim to be a 'black luminary' when he has gone to every extreme to make himself 'white'?" —Linda, Midwest City, Okla.

"He is a strange man who indulges himself in the company of little kids (especially boys). I think bringing the old accusers in to testify will help bolster the fact that he is a molester and need serious help." —Suzie, Bronx, N.Y.

"Any forensic psychiatrist will tell you that Mr. Jackson's behavior is that of a pedophile. Any other person would be behind bars already. ... He wants look like Peter Pan with his turned-up nose in Neverland, his attraction to boys is obvious and yet there are some that excuse this behavior." —Armando, Bay Harbor Island, Fla.

"Jackson has clearly set forth a pattern of behavior. Perhaps the most damaging fact is that even after the 1993 molestation accusations and subsequent out-of-court settlement, Jackson continued to place himself in situations where he was alone with young children." —Joseph, Memphis, Tenn.

"Anyone who has been rejected by three different religions, their personal psychic and even some of their own family should probably worry about their trial." —Vickie, Carson City, Nev.

THE MEDIA'S FAULT?"In my opinion, there has been enough written and spoken of in the news media to allow these alleged victims to make up a story that fits the pattern presented." —Wilson, Roxboro, N.C.

"I think Michael Jackson is innocent, but dumb and naive as hell. I also think it's sad that so many 'expert' legal experts such as Diane Dimond, Gloria Allred and Nancy Grace have already convicted the man. It seems all someone has to do is say something negative about Jackson and they automatically take it for the gospel." —Derrick, Memphis, Tenn.

"Innocent until proven guilty. But you and others of your ilk have already tried, sentenced, and executed Michael Jackson. So much for a fair trial. Allegations have no place in a courtroom. Had he been convicted of a crime, that's one thing. As it is, Mike is finding out what it's like to be a black man in America." —Stan, Jonesboro, Ga.

AND THE PARENTS?"I believe Jackson to be guilty but I also would like to see each and every parent who allowed their children to associate with Jackson after the first charges of molestation to be tried and convicted for putting their children in his harmful path." —Bill, Seaford, Del.

"When the first allegations about him came out in the '90's why didn't the parents stop their children from going over his house? ... I wouldn't send my child to his home if I keep hearing about him molesting children. Michael Jackson, I love you and I've been a huge fan of yours for years. I'll keep you in my prayers and you just hang in there, my brother." —Cynthia, Baltimore, Md.

"If past accusations are so important then what kind of mother would allow her child to be in the presence of an accused perpetrator? One that wants millions?" —Sylvia, Lynn, Ind.

Some comments have been edited for length and clarity.