As most of you have probably already heard, Michael Jackson was acquitted of all charges today, much to the surprise of pundits and prosecutors. Apparently the accuser's mother was just too opportunistic and unconvincing for jurors to accept, and the rest of the case just fell down like dominos. If she wasn't credible then the conspiracy claims fall apart, and her sons testimony looks suspect as well, and the rest of the case was mostly rumor and innuendo.
Of course, one of the great strengths of our legal system is that Jackson was protected by the principle of 'reasonable doubt'. He might well not be innocent, but the prosecution didn't present a strong enough case to prove it to the satisfaction of a jury, so he gets the benefit of the doubt. And it has to have been some major doubt, because everything about Jackson cries out for punishment in the eyes of most normal, rational Americans who might find their way onto a jury. We should all be thankful for this, because it means that no matter what we do, there's always a chance that fate and a jury of our peers will give us the benefit of the doubt too.
Free though he may be in the eyes of the law, Jackson still faces the merciless judgement of the court of public opinion. In the eyes of most people he still remains the freak which he has chosen to make himself through his pursuit of self-gratification through an alternative lifestyle which few of us can begin to comprehend. He faces financial problems, public suspicion, and a career which is likely to have been destroyed by the combination of his negative reputation and his apparent loss of whatever muse made his early work palatable. He still has considerable assets and will likely be selling some of them off in the near future to pay his lawyers.