August 30, 2011


First amendment gives the Press the right to publish news, information and opinions without government interference.

Sixth amendment guarantees that the defendant is tried in a court open to the public before an impartial jury.

The full accommodation of these seemingly over-lapping fundamental rights is rather challenging. The responsibility to establish a balance between the defendant’s right to
a fair trial,  the media's right to free speech  and the public's right to an open court lies squarely on the shoulders of the presiding judge: Michael Pastor, in our case.

There are several measurements that a judge could employ to establish the aforementioned balance in his court. Jury sequestration is one of them.


Sequestration is the practice of physically keeping the jury together and totally isolated from outside influences during the trial or deliberation stage, or both. This measure is usually taken only for high profile cases, where the massive media coverage may prejudice the jury's verdict, thus, violating the defendant’s six amendment rights.

In its most extreme form, when not in the courtroom hearing the case, jurors are kept under the constant supervision of a guard at an undisclosed location. Their contact with the outsiders including family is eliminated or curtailed. Any outgoing communication, if any allowed, is monitored to ascertain that their communication doesn’t involve the Trial.

It cost the state of California $3 million to sequester OJ Simpson jury for almost 9 months.

Scott Peterson jury was sequestered only during deliberation period for a week. Mark Geragos, Scott Peterson attorney requested full sequestration during the entire trial. Mr. Geragos stated “This gentleman beside me is fighting with one hand tied behind his back. I'm just trying to level the playing field.” Judge Alfred Delucchi denied the total sequestration request, reasoning that “if I was to tell people you can't see your loved ones for five months, you can't watch television, you can't listen to the radio, you're going to be locked away in a hotel somewhere ... it could have a negative effect on people who could get resentful that they've been locked up." Judge Delucchi remarked that the jurors will be exposed to outside influences regardless and that "the only place this wouldn't happen is if we parked the jury on Mars. We can't do that."

Michael Jackson 2005 Trial was heard by a non-sequestered jury and despite of the intense worldwide coverage of the trial in detriment of Mr. Jackson, jury rendered
a verdict contrary to the media verdict, acquitting him of all 14 counts of charges.


On June 20, 2011, defense counsel Michael Flanagan raised the jury sequestration issue
in the court, stating “we would really like the decision to be made based upon
the evidence that is given in this courtroom and the arguments made inside
this courtroom as opposed to what happens on the Nancy Grace Show

                                                         -Michael Flanagan

Judge Pastor asked the prosecution’s stance on the jury sequestration. Deputy Prosecutor David Walgren responded “the court had addressed the issue previously and advised all parties that the court was not inclined to do a sequestering of the jury 24/7. The People were comfortable with the court’s decision. That’s still our position.”

Judge Pastor then declared “at this juncture, I do not feel in any way, shape or form total sequestration of jury is necessary in this case. To have jurors undergo that kind of extraordinary deprivation, quiet frankly, unhealthy to the administration
of justice. I remain confident that jurors follow the law. They follow orders. I feel confident that the jurors understand their responsibility is to follow the evidence and to decide the case on the evidence and not to be influenced by the extraneous materials”. He then advised the defense team to file a motion for his consideration.

That night, Nancy Grace -notorious for her combative style- fired back:

On August 18, 2011, Conrad Murray defense team filed a motion requesting jury sequestration. “This is an unusual Trial. There is a reasonable expectation that Dr. Murray’s Trial will be the most publicized in history” stated the motion which then went on to compare Conrad Murray case to Casey Anthony trial. “Television pundits such as Nancy Grace use air time to campaign for the conviction of Ms. Anthony. By feeding on the public anger, Grace’s viewership rose to one and half million per night in June Grace engaged in continuous character assassination with regard to Ms Anthony, the woman she condescendingly referred to as tot mom.”

               And then came, in my opinion, highly incendiary and offensive remarks:

Even if the jurors are instructed not to watch any news coverage, it is unrealistic to expect an unsequestered jury to avoid hearing about the case. Therefore, complete sequestration is necessary to eliminate the high risk of jury contamination. Dr. Murray respectfully asks this court for an order sequestering the jury during the entire trial, including jury deliberations” concluded the defense motion.

On August 25, 2011, Judge Michael Pastor denied the motion to sequester the jury.

Deputy District Attorney David Walgren stated that the prosecution didn’t feel the sequestration was necessary.
There has to be a level of trust granted to the jurors
                             ~David Walgren

Sequestered juries have indicated they have felt like inmates and they feel they were being imprisoned. They are monitored 24/7, they have minimal freedom of movement and they can’t even speak to loved ones without being monitored. Many sequestered jury indicated that they found the sequestration so frustrating, so intimidating and so cruel that it actually interfered with their assessment of the evidence and the law. While I raise the issue of cost, that is not the over-riding consideration.  Justice trumps everything" stated judge Michael Pastor.
Ed Chernoff then stated that in Casey Anthony case media pundits offered their interpretation of the evidence and testimonies, acting as a quasi juror.  He then requested that the judge ban the Trial from being televised. “I am suggesting that you consider
in-court cameras, maybe amend it to prevent that particular problem” Chernoff said.
Judge Pastor responded “by problem, do you mean the exercise of first amendment? The first amendment is one of those cherished fundamental constitutional rights in the United States. That includes the right to comment.

Judge Michael Pastor then denied the motion for jury sequestration: I expect that the jurors will follow the high road and that means that they will not be in the receipt of or in contact with information regarding this case. I have tremendous faith in the jury system and in the individual promises of jurors. The defense motion is denied."

In summary, Conrad Murray jury won't be sequestered and the Trial will be televised.


  • Preventing exposure of the jurors to prejudicial publicity
  • Minimizing pressure from public for a particular verdict
  • Ensuring juror safety from harassment during trial
  • Promoting a perception of fairness due to no outside influences


  • It is financially costly to the government
  • If an impartial jury isn’t acquired in the first place then it can’t be maintained by means of sequestering
  • It doesn't undo prejudice based on pretrial media coverage
  • It imposes jurors emotional harm if the sequestration period is long
  • It may be counter to truth-seeking because it:
                  v  Can lead to a non-representative jury because only limited categories
of people are available for a jury that will be sequestered.
v  Can cause jurors to rush to judgment to escape sequestration.
v  Can cause the jurors to identify with the government (as caretaker) or against the government (as the jury’s jailer).

Marcia Clark on jury sequestration

"When jurors are forced to spend day and night with each other, apart from their families and friends, they become a tribe unto themselves. Because they only have each other for company, and because most people prefer harmony to discord, there’s a natural desire to cooperate, to compromise in order to reach agreement. And they have no safe retreat. If they disagree with their fellow jurors, they can’t go home to
a husband, a wife, a friend, where they can regroup and marshal their energies. Make no mistake about it, sequestration is no picnic and I have sympathy and respect for the jurors who put up with that incredible hardship.

We can’t ignore the mental and emotional impact it has on the jurors—an impact that thwarts the whole point of drafting twelve individuals to decide a defendant’s fate" ~Marcia Clark, OJ Simpson prosecutor

Related Link:
Conrad Murray motion for sequestered jury

August 26, 2011


Despite of ardent fan protests and a letter from Michael Jackson Estate Executers,
Global Live Events announced that they are “%100 going ahead”. Yesterday, they announced Ne-Yo as part of their line-up. But would Ne-Yo have agreed to be participate IF he knew that Leonard Rowe is involved in 'Michael Forever Tribute'?

In 2007, LiveNations cancelled Janet Jackson’s Tour. Her dancers had counted on income from the Tour so she reached out to Leonard Rowe asking if he could promote
a 20 concert Tour. “I did not believe that she had the drawing power to tourLeonard Rowe wrote in his book. He tried his best to convince Michael Jackson to tour
as Janet being the opening act but there was no convincing Michael. So Mr. Rowe asked
R Kelly to tour with Janet Jackson. R Kelley agreed. Later, Janet thought that R Kelley would steal the spotlight so she changed her mind about touring with R Kelly. Leonard Rowe proceeding planning just an R Kelley Tour. He booked Ne Yo as an opening act
for R Kelley. Ultimately, both R Kelley and Ne Yo litigated Leonard Rowe.
R Kelley sued Leonard Rowe for nonpayment from the Tour proceedings.
On April 9, 2009, R Kelley was awarded $3.4 million.

On April 16, 2008, R Kelley released a statement, stating "I have complete sympathy
for all of the good people who were swindled by Rowe"
Ne-Yo sued Leonard Rowe for breach of contract. Leonard Rowe had dropped Ne-Yo from the Tour without merit.  On September 4, 2008, Ne-Yo was awarded $700,320
Fast forward to the present day….
Latoya was the lead one” said Chris Hunt, President of Global Live Events regarding Jackson Family members backing for ‘Michael Forever Tribute’. Latoya and her company is very much involved & vested in the tribute. Paul Ring, vice president of
Ja Tail business development, is also "Head of US Operations, Global Live Events"

Global Live Events CEO, Eric Bute directed Latoya's "Home' song

Ja Tail made a minor change in their website recently. The nature of the change is blaringly evident: to conceal Leonard Rowe involment in 'Michael Forever Tribute'. With his unpleasant history with Rowe, Ne-Yo might have had reservations in performing in the tribute had he known the Rowe connection.  So they surreptitiously deleted evidence.

 Can you spot the difference?  

BEFORE  Click here to view

AFTER Click here to view

"La Toya Jackson is very smart and cunning"
           ~DONALD TRUMP

Related Links:

August 24, 2011


Chris Hunt:

Thank you for finally hearing and responding -however lame your proposal is.

"We are %100 going ahead. We will continue to announce names for the line-up.
We are moving forward and now we will try to address issues that have been raised by fans" Global Live Events stated, inviting verified Michael Jackson fanclubs to take part in a conference call on August 30, in which our concerns will be allayed.

We have been Michael Jackson fans and members of fanclubs for our entire lives yet
we are not aware of the "verified fanclub” concept. Do you doubt our fanship? When Mr. Jackson was alive, never once did he limit his communications only to “verified Michael Jackson fanclubs”. We don't hear this utter nonsense from his Estate Executers either. We are ALL verified in the sense that we would walk through fire to make sure that an audacious company doesn’t cheapen Michael Jackson legacy and brand.

We do not want our concerns allayed, we would like them resolved and how can resolution be possible if your very first step towards us is “we are %100 going ahead”?  The so-called tribute is taking place during Conrad Murray Trial. Our most pressing concern is the timing. It is futile to elaborate on why the timing is utterly inappropriate
for any decent human-being should be able to connect the dots.

Your invitation to fans is simply a PR stunt in light of adverse media coverage of your event.  Your assertion of  “we have been listening to the fans” is a bold-faced lie. We started our campaign BECAUSE you refuse to listen to us and consistently delete our comments from your facebook! We learnt from experience and started screen-capping our comments before you delete them. Here is a comment you deleted yesterday:

In a letter dated August 15, 2011, Michael Jackson Estate declared to Global Live Events
"Estate is the only entity that can grant the right to use Michael Jackson’s name, likeness or any of his intellectual property, whether such use is commercial or other purposes. We assume that you do not intend to use any intellectual property controlled by the Estate"
How does your company leap from receiving this communiqué from the Estate Executers
of Michael Jackson to selling tickets to commercialize a brand that is not your property? 

Michael Jackson Estate is the single entity who owns and is responsible to protect the integrity of Michael Jackson brand which we believe you are tainting by an exceedingly questionable event marred with negative publicity. Adding insult to injury, you dub this lackluster event as a Michael Jackson “tribute”.  Estate Executors communicated with you that “in light of confusion surrounding this ‘event’ we are extremely concerned about Michael’s legacy. We believe Global Live should address our concerns….” 

Global Live Events owe Michael Jackson Estate Executers through and through explanation before they proceed. Your failure to seek Estate's approval demonstrates your lack of respect to the very man you are allegedly honoring.  Let me remind you that it is your legal and moral obligation to the Estate Executors to resolve every single issue surrounding the event and have their approval before “%100 going ahead”

We realize that your financial interest indeed outweighs integrity. There is nothing decent about exploiting Mr. Jackson’s death for financial gain, doing so during Conrad Murray Trial and exploiting his young children as an advertising tool. We find the exploitation of Michael's children in your terms and conditions document totally abhorrent. Michael Jackson wrote a song about your ilk titled “money”, will that song be in the tribute line up?

Which brings us to another legal issue to be contended with.

Mr. Jackson worked very hard to build one of the most profitable brands of all time. His brand stands for unsurpassed quality and “magic”.  There is nothing quality or magical about Michael Forever Tribute which is simply a circus show of has-beens or rookies.

You stated that you have the backing of “overwhelming majority” of the Jackson Family. So what? Jackson Family doesn’t own Michael Jackson brand, his Estate does…solely. Jackson family has no authority to broker Michael image, likeness and songs all of which you declared you will exploit.  The Executers clearly communicated to you that you do NOT have their permission to use their intellectual property. Either you intend to violate copyright laws or you are defrauding public by false advertising.  

Unless you show willingness to modify terms surrounding Michael Forever Tribute, including but not limited to the timing & unless a representative of Michael Jackson Estate is present, our answer to your conference call is a resounding NO!

We propose that you proceed with the concert but cease and desist the use of Michael Jackson name, likeness & songs. This is a reasonable compromise.

Most of your attendees are fans of the participating artists. Since you are determined to “go ahead” and we are determined not to let that happen with the current terms, why don't we reach an agreement where everyone wins? Our proposal satisfies all parties:
your bank account, participating artists, their fans, Estate of Michael Jackson & MJ fans.

Best Regards,

Related Links:

August 22, 2011


Chris Hunt and Paul Ring:

Gentlemen, we are writing you once again in regards to the Michael Forever Tribute.

As you know, Michael Jackson worldwide fan community ardently objects and protests the October 2011 tribute. The fans who cherished a very closed-knit relationship with Mr. Jackson would want nothing more than a befitting tribute in his honor…but in due time & organized with utmost care and professionalism.

Under the current circumstances, Michael Forever tribute produces an outcome opposite of what is being marketed. The tribute is simply tasteless, improper, impractical, insensitive and disrespectful. There is no way to resolve the issues we have with this tribute. Since the announcement of this tribute, the fan community has been upset and unable to focus on the upcoming trial. Every day, we wake up hoping for a cancellation and to our dismay, we encounter deafening silence. We've learnt that Michael Forever Tribute facebook is maintained by a ticketing company who doesn't have answers.

Estate Executers had asked you to “address our concerns and those of Michael's loyal fans”. To date, you haven’t communicated with neither the fans nor the Executors of Michael Jackson -you know, the gentelman you are purportedly paying tribute to. If you don’t respect his Estate or his fans then where do you get off monetizing Michael Jackson’s name? You don’t even bother answering simple customer service questions about the event, let alone addressing grave concerns which were made known to you. Yet you proceed to selling tickets nonchalantly. Global Live Events could really benefit from
a crash course on business ethics, integrity, professionalism and customer service. 

You are prolonging an unpleasant situation to gauge if you could garner enough ticket buyers who are fans of the attending artists. Do you think that the negative media coverage is beneficial for your company reputation or ticket sales?

Since you don't have enough regard for Michael Jackson to cancel out of respect for him, since your corporate aspirations weigh heavier than doing what’s morally right, we propose this compromise: Drop Michael's name and proceed with the concert with the artists you already booked, including the Jacksons. We only request that you don’t use or refer to Mr. Jackson’s name in any shape or form and that the participating artists including the Jacksons don't butcher…I mean attempt to sing Mr. Jackson’s songs. We find this to be a reasonable compromise for all.

We present our offer for your consideration and expect preferably an immediate cancellation or a modification. Look forward to your response as practicable as possible. 

Kind Regards,

Related Links:
MJ Fans Against Michael Forever Tribute: facebook group

August 19, 2011


Dear Messrs. Branca & McClain:
Thank you for your prompt reaction in regards to the Michael Forever Tribute.
We realize that unlike fans who react with raw emotion, the Estate executors approach matters with composed diplomacy and that there is a legal chain of actions to be followed. The Fan Community is in total agreement with every concern outlined in the letter from the Estate to the Michael Forever Tribute organizers. And whilst we are confident that the Estate will follow through and take the necessary legal actions in the event that the organizers aren’t compliant, we would like to communicate with you our sentiments in regard to some disconcerting issues relevant to the Michael Forever tribute.
Timing: The Fan Community feels that the timing of this event aims to exploit
the Conrad Murray trial. It is exceedingly insensitive, tasteless and improper.

Caliber of artists: We feel that Michael Forever Tribute isn’t a tribute to honor Michael Jackson. It is merely a concert of various artists but the organizers exploit Michael Jackson’s name to garner interest in the event. The participating artists aren’t selected carefully based on the special connection they may have to Mr. Jackson. Rather, Global Live Events extends invitations to any artist who may agree to participate.  They are scraping the bottom of the barrel. We feel that the haphazard and sloppy organization so far will not produce a fitting tribute. We would like the official Tribute to come in due time, preferably organized by Michael’s children and sanctioned by his Estate.

Questionable intent: We feel that the intention of the tribute isn’t to pay homage to Michael Jackson but to capitalize on his good name. We don’t feel that a mere concert with mosaic of artists thrown together on the 11th hour is a suitable tribute

Aptitude of Global Live Events: The Company was formed on March 29, 2011. As evidenced by their incompetency so far, we feel that the inexperienced organizers will fall short in organizing a deserving tribute to Michael Jackson.

Paul Ring is a Latoya Jackson Employee:

Paul Ring who is dubbed as "Global Live Events Executive" is also Latoya's employee. This screams conflict of interest. Latoya appears to be the force behind this exploitation  of Michael & his children under the guise of a "tribute".

Latoya Jackson 'Starting Over' book, page 340

Global Live Events CEO Eric Bute & Latoya Jackson

Questionable ticketing: We don't get a sense that this tribute is for L.O.V.E.
It is all about money. Fans are required to pledge to charities in addition to the ticket price. Surreptitiously, the organizers use fans’ donations to assert that
the tribute is for a charitable cause. Then why aren’t they donating part of their profits to charities? We don’t even know where the proceedings are going.

Ticketing policy: The organizer declared “If %50 or more of the contracted artists ATTEND OR PERFORM, the concert will take place and NO refunds will be offered”. We believe that the %50 is covered by the Jacksons' appearances and that the announced artists may attend but not necessarily perform. Attending public should receive exactly what the organizers advertised, they shouldn't be short-changed or duped. The promoter aims to cheat the public with fine print. Doing so in Michael's name dishonors Michael's good name & memory.

Gene Simmons:  Global Live Events invited someone who not only made public disparaging remarks about Michael but also his children. We feel that the organizer should have been more diligent in carefully selecting artists. We can forgive Mrs. Jackson; due to her age, perhaps she didn’t know who Kiss is or about Gene Simmons remarks but it's hard to believe that Jackson siblings didn’t know about it. We feel that they proceeded despite of the knowledge.

When we TRIED communicating our concerns about Kiss, our voices fell on
deaf ears. Promoter deleted our comments from its facebook and tweeted a promotional video nonchalantly. It took a letter from the Estate for them to address this issue. They shut out the very people they are trying to sell tickets to.

After dropping Kiss today from their line-up, the organizer released this statement:

“We have listened to Michael's fans and are grateful to have been alerted to these unfortunate statements by Gene Simmons.  Under the circumstances,
we fully agree that even though Kiss is a band Michael admired, we have no choice but to rescind our invitation to them to appear in our tribute”

Whom Global Live Events heard was NOT “Michael’s fans” but a potential lawsuit and the possibility of the Estate Executers throwing a monkey wrench into their event. We are also displeased by their absurd remark that Michael admired Kiss. That is a completely inaccurate nonsense. We do NOT feel right about Global Live Events, we do not trust them, we do not wish to do business with them.

Recent headlines dragged Mr. Jackson’s name in mud so close to the jury selection to the Conrad Murray trial. We feel this may have tainted the potential jury pool. We do not feel that dropping Kiss suffices. The damage is already done. We didn't sense any genuine regret from the statement by Global Live Events.


Most of the attendees are fans of participating artists. Michael Jackson fans are troubled that his name is used to sell this concert. If they desire to proceed, then they should just market it as a concert event without involving MJ's name into it.  

With the upcoming criminal trial, fans would like to focus only on the trial. We find it near impossible to do so because of constant debacles related to this tribute. 

It’s Michael Forever Tribute. His mother, siblings and children are involved. The use of Michael Jackson image and likeness is bound to happen.  We cordially request that the Estate commence the necessary steps to acertain that this Tribute either doesn’t happen or it doesn’t happen as a Michael Jackson tribute.

We hope that you will attend this matter in a timely manner so that the storm in our community may pass & we may focus on the upcoming Conrad Murray trial.

Best Regards,

Related Link:


Dear Messrs. Hunt and Ring: 
We, as Michael Jackson's staunch supporters, refuse to support the Michael Forever Tribute, planned by Global Live Events in October, 2011. Even after the removal of Kiss, we feel that the damage is already done. This colossal mistake could have been avoided, had you exerted the diligence required to organize a befitting tribute. You have proven that you will book just any artist who affirms your invitation. This monumental mistake cannot be forgiven, given the magnitude of the damage it caused so close to the criminal trial. Your apology is too little too late and it does not solve the problems we have with this tribute in general.
Since the initial announcement of the event, fans tried communicating with you
in regards to our very valid concerns, have we not? Instead of acknowledging, hearing and working together with us, you have deleted “selected” comments from your facebook page, forcing us to form our own facebook Group: Fans Against Michael Forever Tribute. It shouldn't have come to this. Any company who conducts business in Michael Jackson's name should better know that Michael and his fans have cherished a close-knit relationship where we were always heard and communicated with. We refuse to be treated this way by you!
You only addressed the Gene Simmons issue after the Estate's letter. Therefore, the contention that you "listened to Michael's fans" is empty words uttered to save face in the media. Global Live Events rescinded their offer to Kiss only to qualm the media and the Estate. Simply put, the Kiss cancellation is merely a product of the negative media coverage which stood to affect ticket sales and your profit. It was not done out of respect to Michael Jackson. You've no respect for Michael.

The timing of this tribute in the middle of Conrad Murray's trial, ticketing arrangements, faraway location, obscurity over what charities will be receiving
the donations, obscurity over who is pocketing the profits, no-guarantee policy of performers.....the issues with this tribute keep piling up, thus, breaking our focus away from the criminal trial. We find this very upsetting. The addition of Gene Simmons, thus, tarnishing Michael Jackson's name was simply the last straw for us. With the damage you caused, it will be us fans having to fix your mistake.
This tribute is doomed to fail. Michael Jackson Estate have communicated with you some of their concerns and for quite sometime now, we the Michael Jackson fanbase has done the same. Let’s not prolong an unpleasant bad situation.

Michael Forever Tribute is not proper at this time for myriad of reasons. We hope we can resolve this matter amicably so that perhaps in the future when a Tribute is planned, you could be part of  the production, with more care and diligence.

Understand that we will not rest until this tribute is cancelled. We do NOT care who from the Jackson family is supporting it. We condemn the exploitation of Michael's children & his mother to legitimatize your tribute!!!

We cordially invite you to announce the cancellation of Michael Forever Tribute.
Kind Regards,
Signed by: