A third juror in the Michael Jackson case who initially favored a guilty verdict weighed in after two others expressed second thoughts, saying she believes the entertainer is a child molester but joined in the verdict exonerating him because of reasonable doubt.
Appearing on MSNBC yesterday (Aug. 9), Juror Katarina Carls said she initially agreed with Eleanor Cook and Ray Hultman that Jackson was guilty, but decided she could not convict because of jury instructions that he must be acquitted if there was reasonable doubt. She said it was possible that Jackson’s accuser was lying.
“I kept asking myself, is there any slight possibility that this boy might lie at all? And my answer was ‘yes,'” she said.
Cook and Hultman said Monday as they began publicizing book deals that they believe Jackson molested his 15-year-old accuser and now regret finding him not guilty in the June verdict. They said on MSNBC that they went along with the other panelists because the jury foreman threatened to have them removed.
Cook and Hultman’s reversals have no effect on the verdict, which cannot be appealed. Jackson’s lawyer, Thomas Mesereau Jr., has ridiculed their accounts, saying they may be seeking fame and fortune.
Another juror appearing on MSNBC yesterday, Mike Stevens, disputed Cook’s claim that she was intimidated into going along. He said Cook told another juror at one point that she couldn’t be swayed, and that the jury foreman did not threaten to remove Cook for holding out, but for giving personal opinions rather than following the law and the evidence.
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