Michael Jackson Case Reaffirms Fatal Flaw of Prosecutors


With a series of high-profile losses in criminal cases, it is clear that prosecutors and law enforcement people have a far different mindset regarding the credibility of their witnesses than jurors do. This is probably exacerbated in cases where celebrities, such as Michael Jackson, O.J. Simpson, and Robert Blake are concerned, but is generally true regardless.

Prosecutors have a "gotcha" mentality. They WANT to believe that people have committed crimes and that they (the prosecutors) have established "proof" of the crimes. This mentality leads prosecutors to latch onto evidence of guilt, regardless of credibility or believability of the witnesses, including law enforcement personnel. Many jurors are predisposed against believing law enforcement personnel, and can see money motives very clearly when people accuse celebrities of crimes.

As a result, prosecutors fail to see the presence of reasonable doubt, because they want to believe in guilt. And reasonable doubt, not factual innocence, is why these celebrities receive criminal acquittals.

The jury did not find Michael Jackson innocent of child molestation charges; they found him not guilty by virtue of reasonable doubt. And there WAS reasonable doubt because the prime witnesses discredited themselves and their case self-destructed in plain view of the jury.

Chief Prosecutor Tom Sneddon said in the post-trial interview that he learned a long time ago not to look backwards, but to focus on the future. This flawed, arrogant, myopic position essentially guarantees that Mr. Sneddon will not learn from his mistakes. And more taxpayer money will be wasted on fatally flawed prosecutions in which the prosecutors believe in the guilt of those charged, but cannot prove that guilt because of tainted witnesses and the undeniable specter of reasonable doubt. Intelligent prosecutors will address those issues before trial and overcome the doubt or refuse to prosecute cases that are sure losers.