Marvin Putnam : “The jury’s decision completely vindicates AEG Live, confirming what we have known from the start -- that although Michael Jackson’s death was a terrible tragedy, it was not a tragedy of AEG Live’s making."
Randy Phillips: "I counted Michael Jackson a creative partner and a friend. We lost one of the world’s greatest musical geniuses, but I am relieved and deeply grateful that the jury recognized that neither I, nor anyone else at AEG Live, played any part in Michael’s tragic death."
Attorneys for Katherine Jackson released the following statement on her behalf:
"AEG has denied for years, and continues to deny, that they hired Dr. Conrad Murray. The jury found unanimously that AEG hired Dr. Murray. AEG has repeated the mantra that this lawsuit was a shakedown. Such a statement is a slap in the face of the entire judicial system that allowed this case to get to a jury. We have said from the beginning that this case was a search for the truth. We found the truth. AEG hired Dr. Conrad Murray, the man who is in jail for killing Michael Jackson. All options regarding the balance of the jury verdict are being considered."
Juror Calvin Smith said he didn’t believe AEG could have done anything about Jackson’s problems.
“If AEG had known what was going on behind closed doors, it would probably have made a difference, but they didn’t," Smith said.
"Michael Jackson was pretty used to getting his own way, he was a big star. He had all these doctors who wanted to be his doctors. And he could pretty much get what he wanted. If anybody said no, well they were out of the mix, and he’d find somebody else. … How could AEG have done anything about it when they were kept in the dark?”
Juror No. 9 Kevin Smith said AEG showed it had no real control over Murray, who was handpicked by Jackson.
“AEG wanted another doctor but Michael said `no,’ ” Smith said. “If he [Jackson] couldn’t admit to his own mother that he was addict to get help, he wasn’t going to get a doctor that would help him.”
Jury foreman speech outside court.
video link : http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/video?id...53&pid=9271439
Foreman: As for the case this was a difficult decision for us to make, it wasn't easy for anyone. After all it took the tragic passing of tremendous father, son and brother for us to be even here. Of course nobody won at that.
We reached to a verdict that we understand that not everyone is going to agree with but the decision was reached after a very careful consideration of five months of testimony, thousands of documents and of course the guidance of the court. It's been an exhausting 5 months and it's been extremely stressful last 3 or 4 days so we would field a few questions.
Question: What made you think that Conrad Murray was competent?
Foreman: You have to read the question, the full question. The court gave us a series of questions to answer and in each question it did not just stop with "is Conrad Murray competent" , it went, it asked "was Conrad Murray competent for the job he was hired to do?". Okay? Conrad Murray was hired to be a general practitioner. Conrad Murray had a license, he graduated from an accredited college and we felt he was competent to do the job of being a general practitioner. Now that does not mean we felt he was ethical. And maybe the word ethical been in the question, it could have been a different outcome but because it was "for the job he was hired to do" that's what we had to focus on.
Question: How many votes have you taken on question 1 and 2?Tell us a little about the process, how it worked?
Foreman: when we first entered the jury room after 5 months of being around each other and not being able to talk about it at all, we just felt like we had to let out some steam so we spent the first several hours letting out steam just talking about things and I think that was important for us to do. We took a vote on question 1 then we started discussing it and question 1 took us a long time and we did not reach that easily, there were several votes taken, mine was changed more than once, in the end we did agree 12 to 0 , that one was unanimous that we felt like Conrad Murray was hired by AEG, some people thought by both but the instructions were if he was hired by both then we had to say yes. So I would say overall on question 1 maybe we took 3 or 4 votes (jurors reply yes).
Question number 2 , you have to look to the wording of question number 2. we took a vote on that and right away we came out 12 to 0 with a no but we started looking at wording of it and realized everyone was not comfortable with that and it was end of yesterday we felt like we needed to come back this morning and discuss it more and that's what we did. We spent the morning clarifying the question in our minds and to each other and again votes changed, I would say at least 3 or 4 times before we were able to come to the final tally and the tally on that vote was 10 to 2 and it takes 9 to 3 to carry.
Question: Did the amount of attention this case has gotten put any pressure ... on your decision at all?
foreman : I will say no but some of my fellow jurors might want to answer that too.
(jurors agreeing that pressure did not influence them, no , absolutely not etc heard).
Question: (asking about question 2) you said it was 12 - 0 to start, which way?
Foreman: for a no answer
Question: Did the full jury understand not only the full question in number 2 and but also it's full effect on the bearing of this case?
Foreman: One of the jurors here, juror 11, after the vote she was very , she said do we understand the ramifications of this answer and we were very through in that respect. Everyone I believe understood the ramifications, and again that's why we went back and revisited it this morning.
Question: Your opinion not about this case but in general about the job Conrad Murray eventually come to do?
Foreman: In the end he was very unethical. He did something he should not have done but again if you read the question it did not refer to... it refer to the job he had to do- what he was hired for.
Juror 9 : If AEG had known what was going on behind closed doors , it would probably made a world of difference but they didn't. Michael Jacksonwas pretty used to getting his own way, he was a big star, he had all these doctors who wanted to be his doctor and he could pretty much get what he wanted and if anybody said "no", well they were out of the mix, he'd find somebody else. And all along we saw the same pattern going on, nobody could go up the stairs and see what was going on up there. and this was after Murray became his doctor and was hired by AEG concurrently. And how AEG could have done anything about it when they were kept in the dark?
Question: Was there any fights during deliberations?
Foreman: There were differing opinions but the conversation never got heated or loud but in case of arguments and getting personal nothing like that ever happened, no
Question: Murray's lawyer was in the courtroom and she let out a gasp when she heard no he wasn't unfit and incompetent. She then told me this was vindication of Conrad Murray. Do you see your verdict as a vindication of Conrad Murray and would you ever hire him as your doctor?
Foreman: Absolutely not. I don't see it as a vindication of Murray and no I would not hire him as my doctor. It's not a vindication again it was the way the question was worded , if the wording of that question was different the outcome could have been different but we had to focus on the wording of the question and go with the jury instructions.
Question: So do you say this was not a vindication of AEG Live either?
Foreman: We went by the jury instructions and the questions we were asked to answer and that's the verdict we came up with.
Question: What were the issues that you struggled with?
Foreman: Well the issue in the first question was obvious, who hired him. there were so many things said that Michael hired him, there were so many things said AEG hired him and that was a battle back and forth.
Question: Do you think the jury instructions put the jury in an awkward position?
Foreman: Not at all
Question: What kind of materials you have reviewed during deliberations? We know you asked for a ruler
Foreman: Those were things for individual jurors to use. But the things we reviewed were, we watched videos, sky news video we watched a couple times, we did see the "This is it", we reviewed a lot of emails, and the other exhibits. The contract. The contract was a biggie.
Question: What was the most difficult thing about this whole process?
Foreman: Each and every person had to answer that. For me it was stressful at the end trying to come up with a decision. I said this inside and I'll say it here, there are really no winners in this. As I said in the opening statement somebody had to die for us to be here. So there's really no winners. So we don't walk away thinking it was a victory for one side or another. It was really a tragic situation so that's probably the most difficult thing. I feel we made the correct decision.
jury foreman on nancy grace
GRACE: With me right now is the jury foreperson, Gregg Bater (ph). Thank you for being with us.
GREGG BARDEN, JURY FOREMAN: Hi.
GRACE: Excuse me, Greg Barden. Thank you, Mr. Barden, for being with us.
BARDEN: Hi, thank you.
GRACE: Well, Mr. Barden, you knew you were on a high profile trial. And you knew whatever the verdict was going to be would be controversial one way or the other.
I agree with the verdict. But I`m very surprised that it was actually rendered. Tell me the jury`s thinking. I mean, to say that Dr. Conrad Murray was fit when you know he`s in jail for a homicide charge for letting Michael Jackson die and pumping him full of propofol? Was the jury at all concerned that Michael Jackson`s family, particularly his father and the others, were sucking Jackson dry, and this was their last chance at money?
BARDEN: You know, that never came into our thought process at all. We really didn`t say that Conrad Murray was fit.
I guess you have to understand they didn`t just throw us in the room and say tell us was AEG liable or not. They gave us a series of guiding questions, and the first five questions we had to answer, which really broke it down for us.
And question two, it doesn`t stop at just saying was Dr. Conrad Murray unfit or incompetent. It goes on to say, was he unfit or incompetent for the work which he was hired to do? He was hired to be a general practitioner for Michael Jackson. And to look at the definition of fit and competent, he -- all his licenses were intact. He had gone to a legitimate school. He had passed all of his doctor board exams. So he was fit and competent to be a general practitioner was the way we felt.
Now, was he unethical? You bet you, because he went beyond what he was supposed to be. So maybe had the word unethical been in there as opposed to unfit, I think the decision could`ve gone the other way.
GRACE: So you believe -- the jury believed that Dr. Conrad Murray, who is sitting behind bars right now for pumping Michael Jackson full of propofol until he died, you believe that doctor is fit to practice medicine?
BARDEN: No. He was fit at the time that he was hired as a general practitioner.
What we know now in hindsight, absolutely not. He was unethical. I certainly wouldn`t hire him as my doctor. But at the time, he was fit. Nobody knew that he was unethical and would pump Michael Jackson full of propofol.
GRACE: One of his doctors. We`re getting a flood of e-mails and twitters about Conrad Murray, how long had he known Michael Jackson? So the bottom line is, he had been Michael Jackson and the Jackson family doctor for over three years.
Out to jury foreperson Greg Barden. Again, thank you for being with us.
You were saying earlier that the jury found Conrad Murray fit to be a doctor. That no one knew he was pumping Jackson full of propofol. Is that the standard in your mind whether people believed he was fit, because they didn`t know what he was doing?
BARDEN: Well, at the time that he was hired, he was fit. He had, like I said, he had the licenses. He was -- had no complaints against him. He certainly had no malpractice lawsuits. You could have checked him out six ways to Sunday and there were no complaints there. So at the time, you know, looking backwards now, of course you realize that when you know he was pumping him full of propofol, you know now that he wasn`t. But at the time, all signs pointed to the fact that --
GRACE: Oh, you`re saying -- wait a minute. I think I get it, Greg. Are you saying that AEG at the time they hired him had no reason to know he was unfit?
BARDEN: Right. And there was -- you know, Nancy, there was not one shred of evidence presented over five months to back up the fact that AEG could have known Conrad Murray was doing that.
Another interview with Jury foreman
video link here: http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/video...-andrea-fujii/
Question: Tell me the thought process behind question 2?
Jury foreman: We took an initial vote right away and it was 12 to 0 and then we started looking at the question and we realized that not everybody was on the same page what the question meant. so we started discussing it and as we discussed it people said "wow I got to change my vote on that" so they changed their vote and we started discussing it further and we got down to 8 to 4 type of thing and 8 to 4 would be hung jury and we did not want that, we wanted to discuss it further so we took the night off , came home and we went back this morning and some of the jurors asked questions and other jurors were able to interject things made us all understand it and all on the same page and what we thought was he was fit and competent to do the job for which he was hired which was to be a general practitioner to Michael Jackson. He was not hired to administer Propofol. If he had been hired to administer Propofol he would have been unfit or incompetent. He had a license, he was a doctor, he felt he was fit to be a general practitioner.
Question: let me understand this. so yesterday you voted and it could have gone the other way.
Jury foreman: no it would have gone the same way. It was 12 to 0 going the same way but then we start discussing and some people went the other way so it was back and forth that's what I'm saying.
Question: when did it start going back and forth?
Jury foreman: This morning when we came back in.
Question: so as of this morning it was a hung jury
Jury Foreman: I wouldn't say that because we had agreed to talk about it. I wouldn't say it was hung. We definitely wasn't at majority at that point.
question: talk about the outrage from some people wearing I love MJ tshirts. You said if the question were cut "if Murray was competent" you would answer a different way but you had to include the full question.
Jury Foreman: The big thing we felt was Murray was unethical. Had the word unethical were in there, it may have went the other way. He was definitely unethical. He did something that he and no doctor should ever done. That was the evidence that was presented abundantly for the 5 months. Nobody administers propofol by themselves outside a hospital. So that was incredibly unethical but again he wasn't hired to do that. He was hired to be a general practitioner because he had a licence, because he graduated from an accredited university, because he had no complaints against him, he had no malpractice lawsuits. He was fit at that time to be a general physician.
As far as the outrage to be honest, I haven't seen it and I hope I don't. I hope people .. we realize this is a verdict not everyone will agree with but we hope that people will understand how we reached that verdict.
Question : Some of the fans were calling you not smart, mean words were being said. How do you guys deal with that?
Jury foreman: I did not hear it to be honest but the way we dealt with it we knew it was going to happen in the jury room. After we announced we had a verdict, we almost had 2 hours to sit there , they did not let us leave or go anywhere and we talked and what we said we gotta realize there are people out there that will love us and there are people out there that will hate us. The problem is that the people that hate us will be the ones out here. They will be the most voiced ones but the 12 people in that room were very confident that we did the job we did and we were very comfortable with the verdict we came to.
Question : can you tell about question one?
Jury foreman: question number one we spent more time on that than we did on question number two because question number one was of course "did AEG hire Murray". My goodness you can go back and forth on that forever I think. We all kinda agreed that there was no written contract but there's also a verbal contract and implied in fact contract. Most of us felt that there was certainly one of those two between AEG and Murray. Myself I was kinda leaning toward it was a duo situation hiring, Michael and AEG hired him. The jury instructions said if you believe both hired him say yes so that's why I said yes on that. That one was a unanimous vote 12 to 0.
Question: Going back and thinking what is your thoughts on this whole experience?
Jury foreman: I really haven't, some of the lawyers have asked us that. To me it will be a matter of... I'm a very busy person, I'd like to stay busy.. so it will be a matter of having kind of step back maybe this weekend and look back at it. As far experience this was my first time. I have never been on a jury before. There were times it was very very interesting, there were times it was very very boring. but it's your duty, it's what you are asked to do ans we showed up and we did it. I don't think many of us knew, I know I did not know when I reported for jury duty I didn't know Michael Jackson issue was coming up. I did not know about it until I walked in and sat down. I am thankful for having the opportunity to do it. (skipping some parts) I won't say enjoyable. I'll say and the whole jury agreed on this there's no winners in this. for us to be there someone had to die. He was a father, he was a son and he was a brother to somebody. And for us to be there he had to die. so there's no winners. we did what we had to do.
Question: were you a Michael Jackson fan? Are you?
Jury Foreman: Going in the trial, no. Of course I knew who he was, I listened to his music, I thought he was a good singer. but a fan, no. I never went to any of his concerts, I probably wouldn't have crossed to street to see him, I would not have gone out of my way to see him. I have an album and I listen to it. If it came on the radio, I'll listen to it.
Coming out of the trial, I would say I am. Because there was so much we heard about him. I believe he was a humanitarian. He cared about people, he cared about earth. This is all evidence were given in court. I believe he was a tremendous person. I don't want to get too much into my own unprofessional opinion but he had a problem. A lot of people in the world have problems. It doesn't make them bad people. I truly believed that he had the best interest of most people around him in heart but he had the problem of the drugs , the painkillers I should say. He never took elicit drugs, that was very.. that was brought up in court. The other problem he had was the spending problem which I think a lot of people are focusing on drugs but he had a spending problem. and he probably wouldn't have to go back and tour if he did not have that problem. I am a Michael Jackson fan. I watched the videos now and I really wish I had seen him in concert.
Question: Do you wish that the jury instructions and questions were written in a different way so that you could have awarded something to the Jackson family?
Jury foreman: No. We were there to do the job and those instructions I believe came from , they were written by the two sides and the judge and it's not for me to question them.
Question: Of the testimony whose sticks out of your mind the most?
Jury foreman: oh my god. 60 people. who sticks out the most? Well there was a guy named Kenny Ortega. He was the show director. everybody loved Kenny Ortega. he was just totally honest, man did not have a mean bone in his body. Kenny Ortega was outstanding and awesome , entire jury agreed upon that. There was a detective from LAPD, Detective Martinez. He was incredibly up front and honest. As a jury you appreciate people you know to be upfront and honest. I honestly feel most - I won't say everyone - most people were I think trying to be honest on stand , you know there are tricky questions and things like that. I think for the most part , most people were trying to be honest. I really felt Debbie Rowe, his ex wife is another one. I kinda feel bad because I leave some people out I feel were honest. Debbie Rowe was very real and very honest and gave us insight.