The Right Coast

June 14, 2005
Gallup Poll Reports "Major Racial Divide" on Michael Jackson Verdict
By Gail Heriot

According to a Gallup poll, 48% of Americans "disagree" with the Michael Jackson verdict while only 34% "agree." The figures break down rather strikingly by race. Among white respondents, 54% said that they disagreed with the verdict and 28% said they agreed. Among non-white respondents, 26% said they disagreed and 56% said they agreed. The Michael Jackson poll gap is not quite the size of the O.J. Simpson poll gap (Whites 62%/27% – Non-Whites 24%/67%), but it bears some similarity.

I’m in the minority (of those who weighed in) this time. I admit that it’s entirely possible that I would have a different view if I had been present at the trial (or even if I had paid more careful attention to the news reports), but guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is a tough standard and I’m not at all convinced that standard was satisfied here. I’m not even sure that I would have found Jackson guilty under a lesser evidentiary standard.

The extraordinary fact that was proven (indeed admitted to) was this: Several years after Jackson paid huge sums of money to settle a claim that he had molested a young boy, thus avoiding prosecution by the skin of his teeth, Jackson was still inviting young boys into his bed, thus risking further prosecution and lawsuits. To me, this proves beyond any reasonable doubt that Jackson is either a child molester who just couldn’t stop himself or very, very odd and out of touch with reality.

The problem is that Jackson clearly is very, very odd and out of touch with reality, so maybe the evidence doesn’t really prove anything new. And he’s rich. That’s makes him the perfect target for a grifter, which the complaining witness’s mother appeared clearly to be.

Here's hoping that justice was done.