Michael Jackson No show

I do not fully understand why Jackson not showing (as long as his Lawyer could reasonably assure the Judge of his whereabouts) was such a HUGE deal.

In theory he could be a flight risk and I get that he needs to face his accusers in court. Is there more to it than this?

Why couldn’t the Judge say “We will continue this trial today without him.”?

He’s done this before and his excuse for being late did not sit well with the judge.

WAG - Jackson is also grandstanding. The judge does not like this.

The sixth amendment, right to face one’s accusers:

Now, it is sometimes modified if there are overriding reasons for the defendent to be absent from the courtroom - if they really are too ill to leave a hospital bed, for instance, or insisted on creating disturbances or threatening people in the courtroom. In those cases, I believe the defendent gets to watch a trial on a video link. Even rarer, there have been trials in abstentia when the accused has fled to avoid trial - Ira Einhorn, for instance. But a judge isn’t going to bend the 6th amendment lightly.

Could it be that if the defendant isn’t there for any part of the proceedings, it could be grounds for later appeal in the event of a conviction? The defendant’s not being there, even if voluntary, smacks of trial in absentia, and trial in absentia is one step away from secret trial, which is forbidden by the Constitution.

Doesn’t the Sixth guarantee the defendant (Jackson) the right, not an obligation, to face the accuser?

Yes. But if he has a legitimate reason for being absent and they go ahead without him, that may be grounds for arguing that his right was violated. I imagine that if the accused voluntarily agreed not to be present, then the trial could procede without him.

Didn’t anyone watch Court TV and/or get on the Fametracker boards and see bad-back Jackson turn his upper body around to wave at the fans a few seconds after getting out of the van?

Sheesh! I can’t believe he’s getting away with this. He even chose a hospital on the other side of Neverland from the courthouse. Hope he didn’t bump off any grandmothers this time.

Wrong thread.
No, right thread, wrong kind of reply. :wink:

Wow. I was pretty sure it was going to be a ‘noble suicide’ or an OJ-style Bronco chase when I heard he was AWOL/MIA on the very day of his accuser’s testimony.

Kudos to Mesereau for the ‘bad back’ thing. It doesn’t play very well in court when you have to say to the judge: “My client lives on Mars and thinks that your time is not as valuable as his and he does not care that a dozen people are here, away from their jobs, to do their civic duty, and he has no respect for your position, and he thinks that he can pull a no-show on this busy court day, and I’d like a few minutes to make several frantic cell-phone calls, and I have several more run-on sentences to proffer whilst my assistant calls a doctor to write a note. And furthermore…”

Just tell him to show up in PJs with a limp (don’t forget the umbrella-holding goon!)

OK, OK, I’ll be serious, but Crazy Mikey makes it so hard…

The boy on the stand is legally a child. Child witnesses, especially victims, are handled very carefully; time is taken to pace them, keep them on the stand for as brief a time as possible, and minimize the trauma. Some of the littlest ones actually testify by videotape (although this is being challenged in some places as a violation of the Sixth) so they don’t have to see the accused again. By getting ‘hospitalized’ today (I’ve also heard that he just went to get some prescription drugs) MJ prolonged the child’s ordeal and wasted the jury’s time. AFAIK no doctor phoned the court to explain; MJ may have to get a doctor’s note for tomorrow, and it had better be a real doctor.

MJ also apparently did not inform the court that he had gone to the hospital. Judging from the pacing, cellphone-yammering Mesereau outside the courthouse, MJ did not inform him either, a serious breach which left the lawyer unable to answer the Judge’s questions. Court lets out at 2:30 no matter what, esp. with a kid’s testimony.

Now, if a disinterested emergency room doctor steps forward to say that a barely-able-to-breathe Michael came rushing into his ER, well, OK I guess. But the coincidence of this happening in the morning of key testimony from the victim…

And they’re only eight days into testimony too. Months to go.

BTW, THE DAILY SHOW also pointed out the hobble-hobble-hobble-swivel-and-wave-to-the-fans!-hobble-hobble-hobble thing as its first item. :wink:

Thanks, Mehitabel. That works. The guy is kinda strange.
What I’d like to know, what the OP ask’s, is what exactly compel’s Jackson to attend. The judges order? Or is it law?

I’m pretty sure it is the law. Every time I have ever been to court, I have been summond to appear. Those exact words. I cannot imagine that a trial for criminal prosecution doesn’t include the same language.

The judge summons, you show. Or, you do jail time for “failure to appear.”

By the way, this is strike two for Jackson, on this particular failure to follow the law.


As has been noted elsewhere, I find it interesting that he was so ill that he didn’t have time to put his pants on, but he DID have time to put his lipstick on.