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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 June, 2005, 00:37 GMT 01:37 UK
Jackson's jury explains decision
Michael Jackson trial jury

The jury in Michael Jackson's child abuse trial said there was simply "not enough" evidence for a guilty verdict.

"We had a closet full of evidence that always came back to the same thing - it was not enough," one female juror said.

The eight women and four men talked to reporters after they found Jackson not guilty on all 10 charges.

Jurors found Janet Arvizo, the mother of teenage accuser Gavin Arvizo, "intimidating" as she snapped her fingers at them while giving evidence.

'Not as celebrity'

Speaking at Santa Barbara Superior Court, California, after a court gag order was lifted, the jurors - aged between 20 and 79 - were identified only by numbers.

They said they treated singer Michael Jackson as they would any other defendant during more than 30 hours of deliberations.

"One of the first things we decided was that we had to look at him like any other individual, not as a celebrity," said the jury foreman.

"And once we got that established, we could go beyond that and we were able to deal with it just as fairly as we could with anybody else."

Michael Jackson arriving at court
In a case like this you are waiting for a smoking gun, something you can grab onto
Male juror

A female juror said members of the jury "came in with our personal beliefs, and some of those did differ".

"But we spent a lot of time really seriously studying the evidence and looking at the testimony and the jury instructions, and obviously came to an agreement."

No one piece of evidence stood out above any others, a female juror said, as they considered all the evidence "important".

One male juror said prosecutors had failed to convince them during the three-month trial.

'Expected better evidence'

"In a case like this you are waiting for a smoking gun, something you can grab onto," said a male juror. "In this case we had trouble finding that."

A female juror added: "We expected better evidence, it just wasn't there."

Janet Arvizo
(Janet Arvizo) did not take her eyes off us - that was very intimidating
Female juror
A female jury member who had children said she was disturbed by Janet Arvizo's testimony that she allowed her teenage son to share a bed with Jackson.

"Every moment of your day, you're protective over what happens to your children," the juror said.

"What mother in her right mind would allow that to happen? Or just freely volunteer your child, you know, to sleep with someone. And not just so much Michael Jackson, but any person, for that matter."

When asked whether they considered the Arvizo family to be "scam artists who were trying to frame Michael Jackson", one female juror replied: "That thought was there several times."

'Don't snap your fingers'

Another female juror "disliked it intensely" when Mrs Arvizo addressed the jury while giving evidence.

"I thought 'don't snap your fingers at me, lady!'" she said.

We took this as seriously as anyone does anything in their life
Female juror
An elderly juror said: "She did not take her eyes off us. That was very intimidating."

When asked who they regarded as "credible" witnesses, jurors only named ex-Neverland housekeeper Kiki Fournier.

They said their court duty, which for some jurors had lasted up to six months, had been physically and mentally demanding.

"It has not been easy," one male juror said. "I would get three to four hours of sleep a night, then wake up and it was on my mind. My wife says I do not smile any more."

A female juror concluded: "My hope is that the world has confidence in us because we took this as seriously as anyone does anything in their life."


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Watch an interview with the jury foreman




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