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Who do you believe?

Readers weigh in on charges against Michael Jackson
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With prosecutors nearing the end of their case against Michael Jackson, followers of the trial have now heard most of the evidence against the pop star.

Some of you have told us the case, while largely circumstantial, is more than strong enough to convince the jury Jackson is guilty of giving alcohol to a then-13-year-old cancer patient, molesting the boy and then holding his family captive at his lavish Neverland ranch.

Others insist the case isn't strong enough, that it may just be an attempt to smear the King of Pop and ruin his reputation. And still others have been so unsettled by the often lurid details of the case that you don't want to hear anymore.

Some readers' feedback about the trial:

No fans of JacksonPeter, Taos, N.M.: "Michael Jackson's claim that he is being targeted because he is ‘a black luminary’ is so pathetic. To try and link himself to a great man like Nelson Mandela is ridiculous — he is a pop star and nothing more. If he cares so much about his black heritage why did he pick a white surrogate mother for his children?"

Catherine, Roanoke, Va.: "I have follwed Michael Jackson since I was a child. We are of the same generation era, But we all should be very worried for the children, even his children. This may be a scam but something is wrong, very wrong, with Michael."

Melinda, Ore.: "I think we all know that the grooming process applies here. Someone with Michael Jackson's power could intimidate and discredit a young boy from a bad childhood very easily. This is the pattern of all child molesters."

Standing by MichaelMartha, Altamonte Springs, Fla.: "Michael has more fans out here than you could ever imagine. We are not fooled like a lot of your reporters are by some greedy people out there who want his money. Michael's lawyer brought that out on cross-examination of those accusers. But you reporters only want to focus on what the DA is bringing out and not a balanced view of the whole trial."

"I understand Michael Jackson on some level. What is wrong with a child laying in a bed with an adult? Absolutely nothing, if you're just sleeping and laying there. It only looks wrong because of the terrible things that have taken place time and time again and now we have been conditioned to believe that everyone or anyone who feels that it's OK must be some kind of wierdo ... Well, I disagree."

J. Wade, Ill.: "I think that Mr. Jackson is 100 percent innocent. He does not fit the profile of a child abuser. Surely it would have surfaced before he reached his 30s. I believe that his having to grow up to quickly has made him what he already believes to be: Peter Pan, making it easier to relate to adolecents. I believe Michael did everything possible to help these families and when they realized how vulnerable he is took advantage of it."

What about the accuser?
Steve, Jonesboro, Ind.: "I am a middle-aged white male, no fan of Mr. Jackson, but it seems clear to me that he is a very easy target for golddiggers and scam artists. Previous accusations and testimony only prove the point. They were and are after his money — plain and simple, justice has nothing to do with it."

Bobby Barrington, S.C.: "It seems to me that the many boys who visited the Neverland Ranch must have enjoyed all of the benefits. It seems that they continued to go; so I feel that they enjoyed everything. ... I think the parents are partly the blame for allowing their boys to visit if they felt that molestation was going on."

Donald, Jamestown, Tenn. "I think the parents should be put on trial for pimping out their kids if he is guilty. If he is not guilty they owe him a big, big apology."

Shen, London, England: "No matter how wacko the media and certain sections of the public view Mr. Jackson, it seems highly unlikely to me that Mr. Jackson would decide to perpetrate the alleged molestations a month after the huge publicity generated by the [2003 Martin Bashir] interview — and apparently none before the interview."

Grossed out
Holly, Burney, Calif.: "How is it possible Michael Jackson still has fans? His music is horrible now and he is obviously a very sick individual. ... With a fan base still there, that's just offering him the next opportunity to hurt another child or children."

Shawn, Atlanta, Ga.: "I just don't know what to make of it. I have been a long-time MJ fan since I was a child, but I'd have to say he has become the wierdest human being alive. The accusations could go either way in my mind."

John, Friday Harbor, Wash.: "I think he's just a wierd dude who prefers the company of little kids.He never really grew up and feels more comfortable with kids. I don't think he is a molester."

Beth, St. Joseph, Mo.: "I wanted to believe that it wasn't true. I took my children to see MJ in concert. I wanted them to hear the music I grew to love while growing up. What is unraveling in this trial is almost too disgusting to even think about. What sort of denial is his family in? His workers at Neverland? Why has this gone on so long?"

Some comments have been edited for length and clarity.