Criminal Investigative Process

In criminal investigations, there are certain procedures that are involved in order to be successful in the process. These include gathering adequate information from the accuser an the witnesses, ascertaining that the accused is within reach, interviewing the suspect, and providing security to both the accuser, witnesses and the evidence. Upon obtaining sufficient information on the case, the authorities are mandated to file the case in court an aid in the prosecution process (George, 2010).

Both parties; the prosecution and the defense get a chance to present themselves in a court of law. Finally, when the court is satisfied, a judgment is passed depending on whether the accused is proven guilty or not guilty. Michael Jackson's case on child molestation is a typical example of the cases that have been investigated and documented in the media (Campbell, 1994).

The world's king of pop music, Michael Jackson was accused of child molestations more than once. The first case involves a boy called Jordan Chandler that lived with the celebrity in his 2,600 Neverland ranch in 1993 (George, 2010). Later, the more similar cases also flooded the world that eventually negatively affected the celebrity's career.

The celebrity declared all the allegations made against him false and mere scheme by his opponents to get money from him; exhortation (Breitbart & Ebner, 2004). During the investigation of the cases, the prosecution gathered a lot of evidence that made them to believe that the allegations were indeed true. On the other hand the defense worked hard to prove the accused not guilty of the offenses.

In Jordan Chandler's case, the boy accused the celebrity of sexual abuse. The boy and his parents claimed that Michael Jackson had molested the child that the boy's silence was bought by the accused. This case was revisited in 2000 upon the emergence of another case by the Arvizo family. The family also accused the celebrity of having molested their son, John. Since John was a victim of cancer and required a huge amount of money for his medication, it is reported that his mother had approached the Michael Jackson and other celebrities for financial assistance, which she got from the accused. In the case of Jordan chandler versus Michael Jackson, the authorities received a report from the family that their son was a victim of Michael Jackson's criminal activities (Campbell, 1994).

Soon after that, the authorities began their investigation process on the allegations. As part of the investigation process, the authorities undertook an intensive investigation on the case by gathering sufficient information from the accuser and the witnesses. The family and the boy were probed on the issue and they maintained that the accused had really committed the offense (Austin, 1993).

In fact the first accuser testified that the accused had kissed and fondled with him in his bed more than once. It was found out that Michael Jackson had many children in his compound who were there for the purpose of assistance. When the investigators questioned the accused, he claimed that the allegations were all false in that he could not commit such an offence, most important on the children (George, 2010).

The next thing that the investigators did was to gather evidence that would point the accused guilty of the offences. This implied looking for witnesses and interrogating them as they recorded their responses in an attempt to safeguard the evidence. Many witnesses came out all pointing an accusing finger against the world's most famous entertainer. Further investigations were done on the case as the investigators searched Michael's house for any possible signs of his involvement in crime. Consequently, several magazines, photographs and tapes that made them suspect him to be guilty were found in his possession (Campbell, 1994).

Some of the investigators in Michael Jackson's cases versus Chandler include the Santa Barbara County Sherriff's Department and the Department of Children and Family Services. Both departments undertook the investigations in February 2003, and resolved that the allegations against the accused were false, after they interviewed the Arvizos. The two government investigation agencies found out that the accused had not committed the crime (Austin, 1993).

Mark Geragos, Michael's defense attorney, also conducted his own investigations and established that there was not abuse the celebrity committed on the boy. He claimed that the allegations were a mere fabrication by the Arvizos' family to get money from the defendant. He further claimed that the defendant had an alibi, since there was a contradiction in the dates of the crime, and the whereabouts of the accused (Breitbart & Ebner, 2004).

Moreover, before Michael Jackson's arrest, the Santa Barbara Police Department conducted their investigations as required by the constitution before arraigning him in a court of law. They searched the Neverland Ranch for any possible evidence that could pint Jackson guilty of the crime. Apart from the literature that was found there, no more evidence was found. The police also conducted a search of the accused on the nude to verify what the boy had described to be his genitals. However, nothing came up that could be used as concrete evidence of the crime (Dimond, 2005).

Due to insufficient evidence of the case in 1993, the legal authorities suspended the case, which resurfaced after a decade, 2003. The prosecution authorities worked to gather as much information of possible in order to prove their accuser guilty of the charges alleged against him. In fact, the prosecution was led by attorney Thomas Sneddon, Santa Barbara County attorney.

He and his team filed a case against the celebrity claiming that he was guilty of child's kidnap and molestation. Sneddon announced a warrant of the accused claiming that he had violated the California penal code (George, 2010). The case was connected with the moral panic triggered by Martin Bashir's 2003 controversial documentary; "Living with Michael Jackson" (Austin, 1993). As a result, the case was reopened in 2003 with the arrest of the accused.

Evidence is a very important component of a court proceeding as it determines whether the accused is really guilty or not. Therefore, it is essential that the prosecution presents reliable, credible and relevant evidence before the court in order to prove the accused guilty of the offense in question. It is also imperative that the prosecution has sufficient information on the witnesses, their details including the details of the names, addresses, and their facts about the habits and behaviors of the accused (Campbell, 1994).

In Michael Jackson's case, part of the evidence presented was that of the boy who testified that the accuser had invited him to his bedroom and that is where Jackson molested him. The prosecution, led by Santa Barbara County Attorney, Thomas Sneddon, presented their case findings to the court. It also believed that the defendant had bought the victim's silence by paying him a ransom amount. It is believed that the celebrity had done that so as to make the boy conceal the information from the family and the public. Moreover, the prosecution presented videos, presented to the court photographs, magazines, tapes and videos that suggested the defendant's potentiality of being guilty (Campbell, 1994).

The first prosecution witness to witness to testify was the victim's mother who told the court about the relationship between the defendant and the boy. Jones, who was the former employee of the accused, also testified against Michael Jackson, but ever seeing the accused licking the boy's head (Austin, 1993). The next witness presented by the prosecution was June Chandler who testified that his son slept in the same bed with the accused in 1993, despite her reservations. She claimed that every time she refused to let the boy, the accused would get upset and accuse her distrusting him.

From the witnesses that were presented in by the prosecution in court, it was clear that the accused and his accusers were in a good relationship before the charges were put on him. There is a possibility that the accused really molested the boy and bought their silence with gifts and other goodies (Campbell, 1994). Claims on head licking and fondling in bed are clear indications of molestation of minors. June chandler's testimony of the accused reaction to being separated from the boy at night also somehow triggers suspicious thoughts about the defendant's charges.

Therefore, it is possible that the accused is guilty of the crime. Nonetheless, the evidence brought before the court did not seem satisfactory and reliable as the defense team later proved to the court. The evidence presented before the seemed mere fabrications by the celebrity's rivals who wanted to blackmail him in order to get his money. This was confirmed by the confession of the Jordan Chandler, now an adult, after the pop star's death, which it was the father's ploy to siphon money from the singer and bring down his career. Jordan said that he had to confess it because then that the celebrity was gone (Dimond, 2005).

On the other hand, the defense had a chance to present their case and interrogate the prosecution witnesses regarding the allegations against the defendant. The defense, led by attorney Mark Geragos, challenged the prosecution claiming that the evidence presented in court was unreliable and insufficient to pin down the defendant. In his investigation, the defense attorney discovered that Chandler's father had fabricated the story and forced the son to lie against the defendant. He further said that the main reason for the father's accusations was a way of blackmailing the defendant in order to get as much money as he could and destroy his career. To further prove its point, the defense presented documented tapes of the boy's father talking about his ploy against the defendant (Dimond, 2005).

Furthermore, the defense explained that the accusation against their client was false as he was an alibi (Breitbart & Ebner, 2004). The dates of crime and the defendant's whereabouts greatly contradicted; hence proving the prosecution wrong in their judgment. The defense also maintained that the defendant had a good relationship with the children and their families because his intentions were purely to help them financially.

The defendant also dismissed the allegations as false, saying that the boy's father wanted to blackmail him. He also admitted having tipped the father's boy so as to give him a break out of weariness brought about by the frequent court cases (Henning, 2009). This proved the prosecution wrong of its alleagtionso0f buying the family's silence. The defense also maintained that the defendant was guilty as the investigations done by the government agencies did not find any criminal cases by the defendant.

Although the accusations and evidence seemed almost credible, the accused was never jailed because the evidence was not satisfactory. Sleeping with the boy did not necessarily mean that the accused had molested him. The defendant appeared innocent of the charges since his intentions were purely philanthropic. In fact, the accused admitted that he could break his wrist before he molests a child (Henning, 2009). The boy's confessions about the father's ploy to blackmail him later proved the defendant innocent though the confessions were made after his death.