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June 14, 2005

We Speculate, You Decide [John from WuzzaDem]

Shepard Smith
Welcome to Fox News, Shepard Smith here with you in Studio B, and today, my friends, is the day. After three and one-half months of testimony and more than thirty hours of deliberation, the jurors in the Michael Jackson case have reached a verdict. Any moment now, the court clerk will inform Jackson, and indeed the world, of his fate.

Joining me here in the studio is Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano. Judge, what is your prediction? Jackson is facing ten counts - guilty or not guilty?

Andrew Napolitano
Shep, you never know how these things are going to turn out, but if I had to make a prediction I would say there's a good chance that we're going to see multiple guilty verdicts, possibly some not guilty verdicts, or vice versa. It could go either way...Unless we see guilty or not guilty verdicts across the board...Hard to say.

Shepard Smith
Let's bring in Fox News legal correspondent Stan Goldman - Stan, you've spent many a day in the courtroom during this trial, you've seen the expressions on the faces of these jurors...

Andrew Napolitano
Shep, I hate to interrupt, but I want to correct something I said earlier in the show.

Shepard Smith
What is it judge?

Andrew Napolitano
Well, I said earlier that I thought there might be multiple guilty verdicts and maybe some not guilty verdicts. I meant to say that the other way around.

Stan Goldman
Yes, but you did throw in that "vice-versa" at the end, so I think you're covered there.

Andrew Napolitano
The salient point here is that we really don't know.

Stan Goldman
I've been watching this trial closely from the beginning, and I'd have to say there's a 50/50 chance here.

Andrew Napolitano
50/50 chance he'll be found guilty or innocent?

Stan Goldman
Either one or the other.

Shepard Smith
Gentlemen, I'm hearing from my producer that the judge is now reviewing the verdict forms, what could that mean for Jackson, Judge?

Andrew Napolitano
He's required to do that Shepard, but the fact that he's following standard procedure tells me that this verdict is really up in the air at this point.

Stan Goldman
Shep, it's beginning to look like we really won't know what the verdict is until it's read.

Shepard Smith
Truer words have never been spoken, my friend. Just a second - I'm getting word now that every single juror has their eyes glued to the judge, not one of them is looking even in the general direction of Michael Jackson.

Stan Goldman
Shepard, if there's one thing I've learned in all my years in the courts, it's that jurors do not like to make eye contact with a defendant when they're returning a guilty verdict. This could be very bad for Jackson.

Andrew Napolitano
On the other hand, Shepard, it's entirely possible that these jurors have returned a not guilty verdict, and they are simply trying to maintain an appearance of impartiality. This could be a very good sign for Michael Jackson.

Stan Goldman
It could be a very good sign.

Shepard Smith
Now I'm told that the verdict forms are in the hands of the court clerk, so it appears that we are just seconds away from the conclusion of this, one of the most highly publicized trials in the history of the American court system.

Andrew Napolitano
Shepard, the fact that this judge read through ten separate verdict forms in a matter of just a few minutes could be an indication that every one of those forms read either guilty or not guilty.

Shepard Smith
It appears that the verdict is being read as we speak. Let's go to a live shot of the crowd outside the courthouse and see if we can get some indication of how this is turning out for Jackson and his attorneys. Stan Goldman, I can see a lot of people jumping up and down, I'm not sure if that is out of frustration, or possibly anger, or if there's some kind of celebration going on.

Stan Goldman
Shepard, even if we knew for sure whether these people are happy or unhappy about this verdict, we must bear in mind that this crowd is made up of both supporters of Jackson and people who are hoping for a conviction.

Shepard Smith
I hadn't thought of that, Stan. I can see that some of them are holding signs, but I can't read the writing on those signs, so it looks like we're still in the dark here.

Andrew Napolitano
Shepard, even if you could read the signs, you'd still have to determine whether these "jumping" people were angry or happy. Depending on which it is, this could be either very good or very bad for Jackson.

Stan Goldman
If they're Jackson supporters it this could be a very good sign for Jackson.

Andrew Napolitano
Wait, do you mean it could be good if they're Jackson supporters and they're jumping up and down?

Stan Goldman
Exactly, judge.

Shepard Smith
What if they’re jumping up and down because they're angry?

Stan Goldman
Right, that would be good for Jackson.

Andrew Napolitano
Don't you mean that would be bad for Jackson?

Stan Goldman
What - if they had signs?

Andrew Napolitano
No, not just if they had signs, if they're Jackson supporters.

Shepard Smith
Hold on just a second. I thought you meant it would be good for Jackson if they had signs and were jumping up and down because they were happy about the verdict.

Andrew Napolitano
Not if they were hoping for a guilty verdict.

Stan Goldman
Why would Jackson supporters be hoping for a guilty verdict?

Andrew Napolitano
I didn't say Jackson supporters would be hoping for a guilty verdict!

Shepard Smith
Judge, I can see a woman in the crowd releasing doves, what could that possibly mean?

Andrew Napolitano
How the hell should I know? Stan, you just said that it would be a good sign for Jackson if his supporters were jumping up and down out of happiness after hearing the verdict.

Stan Goldman
So what's your problem? That makes perfect sense.

Andrew Napolitano
That does make sense. Wait, that's not what you said, you said...

Shepard Smith
Would you two put a sock in it! I'm trying to figure out how this verdict came out.

Hard break, Shepard.

Shepard Smith
All right, we have to take a break here and pay a few bills, folks, hopefully we'll make some headway on this verdict question by the time we're back. What the hell is your problem, Stan?

Stan Goldman
My problem? I'm not the one.....

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