Instructing The Jackson Jury

Gregory Isaacs, the Jamaican reggae singer whose smooth style earned him the nickname ``Cool Ruler,'' has died at the age of 59.
Agency Group
Jurors in the Michael Jackson child molestation trial were to return to court briefly Wednesday to listen to the judge read their instructions.

Judge Rodney S. Melville will explain to the jury what reasonable doubt is, what evidence they can consider, the specific charges against Jackson, and what must be proven in order to find Jackson guilty, reports CBS News Correspondent Steve Futterman.

Many of the instructions are complicated, so Melville will give each of the jurors a copy they can follow along as he reads it. That should take about an hour.

The judge said jurors may consider allegations of past wrongdoing against the pop star as long as they conclude the allegations are true.

The decision was one of several reached Tuesday by Melville as he and lawyers in the case tried to work out instructions the jury will receive before beginning deliberations, likely this week. Jackson was not in court.

Melville planned to finish hearing arguments from the lawyers Wednesday morning, then bring the jurors back into court in the afternoon to give them their instructions. He scheduled closing arguments to begin Thursday.

A few fans gathered outside Neverland Ranch Tuesday, reports CBS News Correspondent Vince Gonzales. Some sent flowers to the compound where Jackson waited in seclusion as his attorneys and prosecutors argued over the jury instructions.

Another instruction approved by the judge addressed the importance of the TV documentary "Living With Michael Jackson," in which Jackson's future accuser appeared with Jackson and the pop star said he allowed children to sleep in his bed in an innocent, non-sexual way.

"I'm willing to give ... the instruction, 'The video of Living With Michael Jackson is not offered for the truth of what is said except for certain identified passages,'" the judge said. "'The rest is considered hearsay and you can only consider that it aired and its impact if any on Mr. Jackson.'"

The passages the judge referred to were not specified in open court.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys also debated what the jury should be told about judging Jackson based on the past allegations against him.

Melville said he would tell the jurors they could consider the alleged past acts if they "tend to show intent" on Jackson's part with regard to the crimes with which he is actually charged.

However, the jurors will have to decide whether the allegations of past acts — which never resulted in any criminal charges — were true.

"Evidence has been introduced for the purpose of showing the defendant committed crimes other than those for which he is on trial," the approved instructions read. "This evidence, if believed, may be considered by you only for the limited purpose of deciding if it tends to show a characteristic plan or scheme to commit acts."

  • David Hancock On Google+»

    David Hancock is a home page editor for