As jury deliberations brilliantly made it through one day and continue this week much to the surprise of many of the onlookers, the identities of the jurors remain sealed, even from the prosecutors and defense attorneys who selected them (kind of a tough way to pick a jury.) But an attorney close to the Michael Jackson estate confirmed for this reporter that in his opinion, Judge Michael Pastor had been quite correct in concealing the names of the jurors, because it’s a little nutty out there and MJ has some die-hard fans.
The chosen jury is eclectic. The jury questionnaire is extensive. If you read it a bunch of times (like six or seven) and study the jurors’ faces in an effort to figure out which one they are, there is a great deal of info potentially discerned. But the juror’s faces have not been televised and their names remain concealed.
They jury contains a school bus driver married to a postal worker; a postal worker who owns his own home, supervises 20 employees and lists as his occupation “letter carrier;” a part-time bookseller who until quite recently was also a “specialist” in the electrical engineering/telecom field for the U.S. Army (National Guard), who has a significant other/girlfriend of seven years who is an architect; a paralegal (don’t know how she slipped in); a high-end marketing consultant; a database product manager who is married to the head contracts administrator at one of the four major movie studios; an intense-looking woman from Spain who lists her ethnicity as Caucasian, (obviously with American citizenship), was an accountant for the European Red Cross (currently unemployed) and who has been on five juries, all of which have reached a verdict; a Disney animation artist (who almost got dismissed the day before the trial started as he once met Michael Jackson on the Disney lot) and who stated on his questionnaire that he is presently on Wellbutrin, which might account for why he nodded off occasionally during testimony (or not); and my personal favorite, Juror #11, the happiest person in the courtroom—it’s just her nature—who, when asked if she’d ever been involved in any violence, wrote simply: shot in a drive-by shooting, and then answered the next question, have you ever had any involvement with police? No. Prompting this writer to wonder, 1) whether she reported the drive-by shooting, and 2) who exactly took the bullet out of her leg?
Jury anonymity makes sense: it’s a little nutty out there and MJ has some die-hard fans.
Once a verdict is reached it will be up to each individual juror to decide 1) if they want to reveal their identity, 2) whether they want to make a statement 3) if they want to figure out how to make some money off the experience, (which they are apparently not prohibited from doing) or 4) slip off into the sunset, never to be heard of again.
Personally, I would probably pick 4) as the activity outside the courthouse on Thursday and Friday last week had hit fever pitch, cries of “murderer” could be heard coming from the sidewalk, every time court breaks lead Prosecutor David Walgren gets a standing ovation when he walks through the halls, almost as if he’s walking down a red carpet, online the MJ bulletin boards are rocking, a small plane flies overhead at lunch each day sporting a full-length banner of MJ and vertically a flag, saying “South America Wants Justice,” “Iceland Wants Justice,” Tokyo Wants Justice.” (I want to know who’s paying for the plane.)
On the other hand, a few die-hard Conrad Murray supporters have been hitting the pavement, too, also, with raised voices, as well as one lone man, whose placard announces “Pastor Should Resign from the Bench.” And depending on the outcome of the jury’s deliberations, there’s so much sentiment in the air on so many sides, it almost feels like the protesters could spin into an angry (or jubilant) mob at any minute, mob being the operative word. It’s a little “Dangerous” out there.