Thursday, June 16, 2005

Hoping Michael Jackson is Innocent

I don't know if Michael Jackson is innocent or not, but I hope so. Of course, partly because the alternative is rather monstrous.

But also because I want to believe that a person can be flat out weird, without also being evil -- or even crazy in a way that leads to evil acts. Sure he's strange, but he's strange in a way I find plausible -- not common, but interestingly unique. And if the version of him mentioned in the Slate article I linked to is true, then I think the world's a better place with people like him (and J.M. Barrie) in it.

Some of the jurors mentioned that they thought Jackson did commit crimes, but the evidence didn't warrant a conviction. Certainly, different people will come to different conclusions but here's two of the quotes:
I cannot believe that this man could sleep in the same bedroom for 365 straight days and not do something more than just watch television and eat popcorn. I mean, that doesn't make sense to me.

And a different juror:

The allegations of past abuse were considered credible to some extent. There are not too many grown men we know that would sleep with children but we had to base it on the evidence presented to us. There were a lot of things lacking.

What bothers me a little about those quotes is that it seems some people cannot imagine that someone can be strange without also being prone to committing pretty awful crimes. This is particularly disturbing when we recall that most child predators are perfectly normal seeming relatives and neighbors, and, of course, priests.

I'd be interested if any of my friends know of any (reputable) studies showing, one way or the other, a link between odd behavior and sexual predation.

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