R. Kelly Acquitted

Those who follow crime in the news may be interested in the verdict that has finally been rendered in the drawn-out and highly publicized prosecution of R. Kelly:

A jury acquitted R. Kelly on all counts of child pornography after less than a day of deliberations Friday, ending an ordeal for the R&B superstar that began when he was charged six years ago.

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    "reasonable doubt"... (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by mike in dc on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 03:09:43 PM EST
    ...was probably achieved in the minds of the jury. There were some inconsistencies in the witnesses' testimony, and the tape itself was not of a high quality, from what I understand. I suspect he'd be found civilly liable under the lesser "more likely than not" standard of civil trials.

    If I heard it correctly, (none / 0) (#7)
    by Rhouse on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 03:13:24 PM EST
    one of the big factors in the verdict was a mole on the body of the man in the video that R. Kelly supposedly doesn't have in real life.

    If his name was.... (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 03:11:19 PM EST
    Joe Kelly with no money, why do I think the outcome would have been different?

    Oh well...it is what it is....I hope he stays out of trouble.

    I'm not sure... (none / 0) (#36)
    by Jerrymcl89 on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 05:52:39 PM EST
    ... this case would have been brought if he wasn't a celebrity. So it kind of cuts both ways.

    Good point.... (none / 0) (#51)
    by kdog on Sat Jun 14, 2008 at 08:52:02 AM EST
    Riches may be a blessing when you're in hot water, but celebrity is a curse, no doubt.

    this is exactly why (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 03:57:46 PM EST
    we should keep the names of the accused private.  He has been acquitted yet several posting here are already crying travesty of justice yet were not privvy to evidence or arguments at the trial.  I have no idea as to his guilt or innocence nor do I believe much of what the msm sells.  Our cj system locks up a heck of a lot of innocents as is evidenced by the innocence project (before arguing the percentages consider that they are only free because dna evidence is a factor, which is not a factor in a very high percentage of convictions, eye witness testimony is and it blows) and i would rather 1000 guilty go free than one innocent be wrongly punished.  Now those who have an opinion as to his guilt will rally on about how he got away with something, irrespective of their lack of participation in the trial process..

    I like that idea.... (none / 0) (#30)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 04:54:30 PM EST
    too often an accusation is enough to ruin somebody.  I don't know how we could make it jive with freedom of the press though, and the idea of secretive private trials is kinda creepy.

    I know I'm a nut because I breathe a little sigh of relief when a guilty person goes free once in awhile...unfortunately though it's usually some rich slob with killer lawyers, or at least in the cases we hear about.


    The problem with these cases (none / 0) (#31)
    by Alec82 on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 04:58:52 PM EST
    ...is that the stain will not go away.  Whether you're acquitted or you serve your time.  

     Once you've been accused, you're a bit of a social pariah.  And once convicted, the collateral consequences of the registries guarantee it.


    Lucky SOB (4.00 / 1) (#2)
    by stefystef on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 03:03:57 PM EST
    Seriously.  R Kelly has been ducking and dodging for years with messing with young girls (and boys too, but you didn't hear that from me).

    Remember the beautiful singer, Aaliyah, who died in a plane crash a few years ago?  He hooked up with her when she was only 13-14 years old.  They were even "married" but that was taken care of by her parents.

    I think he was acquitted because this case took too long to come to court.  And too many witnesses playing around with testimony.

    Oh well.  That's American justice for you.

    if he is innocent, good. if not, then (4.00 / 1) (#8)
    by hellothere on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 03:31:30 PM EST
    a person who does these things will do them again and most probably be caught.

    eh... (3.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Alec82 on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 03:50:52 PM EST
    ...there's not much evidence that sex offenders are uncontrollable recidivists.  Drug users, yes.  Although I believe he has been plagued by these rumors for years.  

     I was actually shocked by the verdict, mostly because I assumed that a video would be rock solid evidence of his culpability.  

     That it wasn't is either a testament to the strength of his defense team, his factual innocence or terrible judgment on the part of the prosecutor.  


    actually you are wrong. (none / 0) (#34)
    by hellothere on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 05:22:03 PM EST
    per ohio study 2001 (Dept or Rehabilitation an Corrections) for prisoners with sexual offenses.

    with programs it is 33.9%

    with no program it is 55.3%

    now those that get away with it, i would seriously doubt they would be in the 33.9%.


    Justice Department Stats (none / 0) (#37)
    by Alec82 on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 06:10:24 PM EST
    are available here.

     For sex offenders released in 1994, re-arrest rate for another sex offense was under 6% within three years of release.  Even assuming undercounting, it wouldn't reach the 10% mark, from what I could gather.  The picture that is painted is pretty nuanced (and I don't know where your figures came from), but they're not uniquely recidivists.  

     I am pretty sure there are studies showing that recidivism among drug offenders for drug crimes is higher than that.  


    yup and i gave you department of (none / 0) (#38)
    by hellothere on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 07:25:42 PM EST
    corrections for ohio and they are just as good and accurate. you can say tomato and i say toMAto.

    to state the obvious (none / 0) (#39)
    by dws3665 on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 07:29:05 PM EST
    This is a very complicated issue. I work with victims of sexual assault for a living, and occasionally with offenders. The recidivism rates, and the effectiveness of treatment, depend highly on the kind of offenses they commit. Incestuous child sexual abusers, for example, even though they commit what some consider to be the most unforgivable kinds of crimes, have a decent prognosis in terms of recidivism, provided they get competent treatment. Violent rapists of strangers, on the other hand, have a much less optimistic prognosis, independent of treatment.

    I am not happy at all about the R Kelly verdict; I am not familiar with the specifics of the evidence in the case, though, so perhaps the prosecution just couldn't meet its burden. My personal opinion, however, is that Mr. Kelly should stay the &*!# away from teenage (and younger) girls. The stories about his particular interests in them are too numerous to be dismissed as gossip.


    the rate of return to prison is connected (none / 0) (#45)
    by hellothere on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 09:42:35 PM EST
    to the degree of help both inside and outside of prison. that isn't the whole answer for sure. there has to be a desire to change. and that is hard to do, change i mean. the actual rate of drop out in aa for example is often 9 out of 10. of course many return but often they don't it back. of course, you can't really compare the two, but it does reflect that change requires structure and real desire along with work.

    arrest rates (none / 0) (#40)
    by dws3665 on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 07:30:39 PM EST
    are a problematic statistic and not reflective of actually committing another offense. getting arrested for child sexual abuse, for example, is next to impossible in many jurisdictions unless the offense is captured on film and witnessed by nuns. Too many prosecutors won't pursue these cases.

    I don't doubt... (none / 0) (#41)
    by Alec82 on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 07:53:42 PM EST
    ...that they are somewhat problematic.  All re-arrest rates are.  But in my experience working on these cases most have been first time offenders, and the stats do not reveal that there is a lot of recidivist stranger danger to worry about.  On the other hand most of my experience is federal, not state, and the dynamics are very different for jurisdictional reasons.

     In CA, prosecutors have no problem pursuing these cases.  Politically they're win win.  

     As for Mr. Kelly, I know almost nothing about the case.  But if there was a video either the DA should lose her job or there were huge problems with that video.  Furthermore, as I have noted elsewhere, kind of surprised the DOJ did not jump on this case. Which means that there were problems, undoubtedly.  


    No. (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 08:53:51 PM EST
    in my experience working on these cases most have been first time offenders
    At best, in your experience working on these cases most have been first time arrestees.

    You have no idea how many times they may have offended and did not get arrested previous to your involvement.


    First-time offenders... (none / 0) (#47)
    by Alec82 on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 09:49:03 PM EST
    ...are by definition being prosecuted for the first time (a bit of a simplification, but that is the terminology we commonly use).  I could certainly speculate about prior undiscovered, uncharged conduct, but that is just speculation.

     And I am not going to build arguments based on speculation.  Speculation leads to overreaction, the registries and residency restrictions.  We made a mistake going down that road in the first place with sex offenders, IMO, and we should not do it again for any other offenses, either.  


    No. Legalese is not an acceptable excuse (none / 0) (#48)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Jun 14, 2008 at 12:51:45 AM EST
    for intentionally misleading statements.

    In plain English, a first time offender is someone who never did the offense before.

    I will accept that most of the offenders you see have never been arrested before for sexual offenses.

    That in no way equates to most of the offenders you see have never offended before, which is what most readers would take away from your comments.

    Do not attempt to prevaricate in this way on TL. We've seen too many of your type before.


    Excuse me? (none / 0) (#49)
    by Alec82 on Sat Jun 14, 2008 at 01:09:13 AM EST
    That is the standard way the term "first time offender" is employed.  And TL, the politics of crime, is hardly a pro-prosecution site that would invite speculation that everyone arrested for a crime must be a recidivist.  

     My "type" indeed. What, people trained in the law? Shocking that one would find them on a site.  Political liberals?  Pro-defendant types?

     My statement was not intentionally misleading in any way and I take exception to that.


    Sorry, the phrase you used - (none / 0) (#50)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Jun 14, 2008 at 02:28:08 AM EST
    "first time offenders" - would lead many/most readers of this site to come away with "he's saying that it's a fact that these guys got convicted the first time they offended" when in reality it appears you're actually saying that "these guys have never been convicted before for these offenses."

    The two are not equal, that is my point.

    I don't understand why you refuse to acknowledge that, unless you knew very well that your comments would be read that way.

    fwiw, that you would suggest that my point was that "everyone arrested for a crime must be a recidivist" is something I take exception to.


    Jury (none / 0) (#1)
    by sarissa on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 03:03:52 PM EST

    composition (none / 0) (#3)
    by Alec82 on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 03:06:12 PM EST
    Nine men, three women.  Eight white, four black.  

    Federal prosecution? (none / 0) (#4)
    by Alec82 on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 03:08:03 PM EST
    I noticed a few months back (when I started paying attention to this case) that this was a state prosecution.  But manufacturing child pornography is a major federal offense as well.  

     Of course, it may say something about the strength of the case that the DOJ did not pick it up.

    the mole? (none / 0) (#9)
    by diogenes on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 03:35:54 PM EST
    People have moles removed, if it was on the video (of "poor quality?) and R Kelly doesn't have it now.  
    One set of laws for rich people, one set for poor people.  That's the inequality, not this black/white red herring.

    There's a couple sets I think.... (none / 0) (#10)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 03:42:11 PM EST
    One for rich people, one for poor white people, one for poor minorities.

    I'm broke as a joke, but I'll get a break in court my broke as a joke black or hispanic friends might not get.


    I assume you're assuming (none / 0) (#12)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 03:50:15 PM EST
    you'll be standing of front of a "white" judge?

    well in cook cty illinois (none / 0) (#14)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 03:52:35 PM EST
    approximately 13% of judges are black and 2% hispanic, so the odds are pretty prevalent that they will not be black or hispanic...

    That many?! I can't find any stats for (none / 0) (#19)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 04:11:25 PM EST
    LA or Long Island...

    search by county that is the best way (none / 0) (#23)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 04:24:32 PM EST
    13% is pretty consistent with the total population of african americans in the country but not cook county, 2% is not even close to the 17% nationally or here in cook county

    i can't find squat fpr la either (none / 0) (#26)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 04:47:35 PM EST
    try this (none / 0) (#28)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 04:52:09 PM EST
    The face of justice

    Tuesday, March 6, 2007

    WALK INTO any California courthouse, and one thing is plain. The judges on the bench don't reflect the state's diverse make-up.

    In a state that is a majority non-white, nearly three-quarters of some 1,600 judges are white males.

    Changing this fact won't be easy. It will take time, political commitment and steady work. Last year, the state took a constructive step forward: Some 50 new judges were approved to speed up legal work in a jammed judicial system. In exchange, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who appoints all judges, promised Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez to push harder in diversifying appointments.

    Now comes a report from the state Judicial Council, which oversees the courts, giving a racial and gender profile of the bench. There's a long way to go in diversifying the system.

    The size of the gap depends on the numbers used. The governor once measured his success by comparing his picks with minority numbers in the overwhelmingly white and male State Bar. By this standard, he has done a credible job: the percentage of Latino judges is ahead of the percentage of Latino lawyers. It's also ahead for black judges.

    But the overall results are exceedingly low. In a state that's 32 percent Latino, only 6.3 percent of the judges are from this group. Blacks, who are 8 percent of the state, make up only 4.4 percent of the judges.

    The solution, according to Chris Arriola of California La Raza Lawyers and other critics, is better recruiting among the still-sizable pool of minority members of the bar. He's encouraged that Schwarzenegger has named Sharon Majors-Lewis, who is black, as his judicial appointments secretary.

    The governor has made a credible start, but he needs to push harder to fill the bench with a truer reflection of California's population.


    sorry here is the link that went with it (none / 0) (#29)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 04:52:54 PM EST
    Thanks. (none / 0) (#32)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 05:02:01 PM EST
    It usually isn't... (none / 0) (#15)
    by Alec82 on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 03:55:12 PM EST
    ...the race of the judge that is the deciding factor.  The decision to prosecute, police focus, etc.  

     Actually, what is intriguing about this case is that child pornography offenses (and admittedly this was an unusual and rare case, compared to most pornography cases) are usually committed by white males.  At least, the majority of the federal prosecutions I saw were.  

     Which is a joke I share with people.  At least with the overzealousness on this issue we're helping to correct a racial imbalance brought on by the drug war, which coincidentally was often sold as "saving the children."  Ugh.


    Interesting. (none / 0) (#17)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 04:09:01 PM EST
    child pornography offenses (and admittedly this was an unusual and rare case, compared to most pornography cases) are usually committed by white males.
    I wonder if the cases you see are an accurate reflection of offender demographics, or that whites are caught more often?

    I have no idea (none / 0) (#22)
    by Alec82 on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 04:24:23 PM EST
    There doesn't seem to be any racial imbalance (that I am aware of) in offenders who rape women or have sex with children.  But there does appear to be an imbalance in child pornography defendants.  A breakdown is available here.

     88.9% of child pornography prosecutions in federal court in 2006 involved white male defendants.  Next highest was Hispanic at 6.6%, then African-American, at 3.2%.  


    The US is about 74% "white," (none / 0) (#24)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 04:39:55 PM EST
    yet 88.9% of the child porn prosecutions are of whites. Someone call the ACLU!

    That is my assumption.... (none / 0) (#27)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 04:47:48 PM EST
    I've been in front of a few in my life...all white, mostly male.

    Probably other factors too...I'm a smaller guy, clean up for court pretty good, no tats or anything, yes sir no sir...I look harmless:)


    Yes, I've noticed in my few times (none / 0) (#33)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 05:03:43 PM EST
    before a judge that a respectful attitude, haircut, shirt and tie go a long way.

    That bugs me though.... (none / 0) (#52)
    by kdog on Sat Jun 14, 2008 at 08:56:50 AM EST
    how appearances can be a factor in determining the outcome.

    I've played the game for my own selfish benefit...but that sh*t bugs me man...putting on the monkey suit and pretending to show a respect for the proceedings that you don't have.


    You're so anti! ;-) (none / 0) (#53)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Jun 14, 2008 at 11:51:38 AM EST
    he has a mole (none / 0) (#11)
    by Jlvngstn on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 03:49:36 PM EST
    and it was not always visible on the tape.  He would have had to have surgery to add the mole to his back.

    So, R Kelly HAS a large mole--and the guy in the (none / 0) (#18)
    by jawbone on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 04:10:17 PM EST
    video did NOT have a mole? That seems pretty convincing.

    Why was this case brought if the visual evidence was contradicted by the physical state of the defendant's body?"

    Seems strange to me.... Seems like someone was unfairly prosecuted?

    PS: I know next to nothing about this case. Just that the mole thing seems, what, despositive? Is that the right word?

    I can't help it (none / 0) (#21)
    by CST on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 04:23:30 PM EST
    I think of Dave Chappelle every time I think of R. Kelly.  That music video almost made me pee myself like R. Kelly apparently didn't.

    Yeah, me too... (none / 0) (#35)
    by JustJennifer on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 05:30:53 PM EST
    Dave Chappelle version of R Kelly is all I ever think about when I hear his name too.  That was hilarious.

    I have no idea if he was guilty or not - my instincts say he probably was.  He has a history with very young girls.  I hope he learned his lesson but it wouldn't surprise me to hear he has gotten in trouble over something like this in the future.


    If you are interested in this tough subject (none / 0) (#42)
    by DFLer on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 07:54:08 PM EST
    There's a deep series in the Mpls. Star Tribune about dealing with sex offenders - a 3 part series, with lots of extra information,studies and reports. If you are interested in the myriad of difficulties re the law and rights etc., you should check this out and all the side articles.

    Locked in Limbo...intro

    Minnesota has civilly committed 554 men and one woman to the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP), designed to treat paroled sex offenders until they are no longer dangerous. The 2003 killing of Dru Sjodin [by a paroled sex offender] triggered a surge of commitments. But the system's spiraling cost and lack of measurable success are causing growing unease. Twenty four offenders have died, but no one has been permanently released.

    R. Kelly is Guilty (none / 0) (#43)
    by Niffari on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 08:51:19 PM EST
    Everyone knows it, even the jury. The only question for jurors was if the girl was actually Kelly's goddaughter. IMO, the prosecution made a tactical mistake by not calling the girl to testify. We know she would have said it wasn't her but the testimony would have provided the jurors with a flesh-and-blood person who would look very like the girl in the video.

    As others have noted, R. Kelly has a long history of legal trouble involving sex and underage girls. He has paid out the equivalent of $700,000 to at least 3 other girls who accused him of having sex with them as minor teens.

    thinking about the jury here! (none / 0) (#46)
    by hellothere on Fri Jun 13, 2008 at 09:46:14 PM EST
    i was in a jury pool and the case facing us was a rape trial. one of the questions was could i convict on she said/he said. i couldn't do it and was excused. i couldn't send someone to jail for a long time based on someone's sayso even though i might think she really was a victim. but that's me and juries are made up of any number of folks with different views.