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Jackson jurors go home after day two

Still no verdict; Jackson has support from Jesse Jackson
/ Source: The Associated Press

The Michael Jackson jury has gone home for the day without reaching a verdict in his molestation trial. It was the second full day of deliberations.

Things were much more calm at the California courthouse today, a day after fans mobbed Jackson’s father. Still, hundreds of fans are on hand — playing Jackson music and holding up signs of support.

The Reverend Jesse Jackson says the singer remains optimistic.

Jackson, 46, is accused of molesting a 13-year-old cancer survivor in 2003, plying him with wine and conspiring to hold his family captive to get them to rebut a damaging TV documentary about the entertainer. If convicted on the molestation counts, Jackson could get several years in prison.

Jackson supporters on Monday held signs declaring “Only love. No crime. He’s innocent. Leave him alone,” “We shall overcome” and “Peter Pan rules.” One woman was spotted with a sign showing Mohandas Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr. and Jackson.

Little more than an hour into Monday’s session, jurors told the judge they had a question. The query and its resolution were not publicly disclosed, drawing a protest from news organizations.

Media pool coordinator Peter Shaplen said Judge Rodney S. Melville met with lawyers in his chambers to discuss the question and how it would be answered, but Melville did not plan to reveal to the public any details.

The procedure was considered unusual. Normally, questions from the jury are part of the public record since they are submitted in writing by the jury foreperson.

An attorney for news organizations including The Associated Press filed motions seeking a transcript of Monday’s closed proceedings and immediate access to any questions from the jury and to any proceedings concerning those questions.

The singer’s fans were outnumbered Monday by an international throng of reporters, photographers and TV crews anticipating any hint of development in the high-profile case.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson, no relation, showed up at the courthouse and said that Michael Jackson was emotionally strong despite a recurring back problem that sent him to an emergency room over the weekend.

Jackson expects to be acquitted “if the jury uses reasonable doubt,” he said.