R. Kelly Jury Just Glad To Never See The Tape Again

Jun 16th, 2008 // 4 Comments

While post-trial commentary has sweated R. Kelly’s fame, the Little Man defense, and other colorful parts of the recently concluded circus, jurors in the six-years-in-the-running child pornography trial claim that the reasonable doubt (or “grayness,” as one juror described it) that resulted in their “not guilty” verdict revolved around the identity of the girl in the video, not as to whether Chuck and Keith had grafted Kelly’s head onto another fellow’s watersports so Stephanie “Sparkle” Edwards and her minions could tarnish Kells’ good name. Had the alleged victim or her parents corroborated her identity in the video, or had three family members not testified for the defense, the case may have had a very different outcome, mole or no mole.

“The key problem was the identity of the female,” juror #23 said. “Her absence was a major lack.”

“The family was too divided,” said juror #9, who in the preliminary votes had voted for a guilty verdict. “So you had to discount the family testimony either way.”

This didn’t mean that the jurors bought all the defense arguments wholesale. The missing mole, for instance, was a non-issue, they said. They didn’t want to examine the video any further, either.

“I’ve seen that video way too many times,” juror #21 said. “The first time was too many.”

It’s also worth noting that the jury was not made aware of facts like R.’s annulled marriage to a then-underage Aaliyah or the cash settlements he’s made with others who’ve accused of statutory rape. Ironically, R. Kelly may have had a harder time if the jury did. consist of his fans, as his fans would have seen Chappelle’s Show, read the other allegations, and known just how egregious the man’s pathologies are. But unless a DA can actually find an underage participant willing to testify in court, it’s unlikely we’ll see another case like this for Kelly again.

R. Kelly Jurors Agreed Singer Was On The Sex Tape [MTV]

  1. Chris Molanphy

    It’s also worth noting that the jury was not made aware of facts like R.’s annulled marriage to a then-underage Aaliyah or the cash settlements he’s made with others who’ve accused of statutory rape.

    This to me is the crux of the whole thing, as Josh Levin pointed out in his solid Slate wrap-up piece on Friday. It’s pretty typical of a judge to prohibit prosecution from biasing a jury with historical information that isn’t connected to solid priors, so I can’t blame him for throwing all that old stuff out — but man, does that leave the jury starved for context. If even one shred of Robert’s past had made it into the courtroom, I think guilty-leaning jurors like No. 9 could probably have swayed the rest.

  2. righteousmaelstrom

    Given what happened with that jury (Going batshit over not getting a beer and a hamburger in a timely fashion/Sending a note to the judge pleading to be removed), it’s not much a surprise the verdict went the way it did.

  3. Chris N.

    The whole thing pisses me off. Zing!

  4. BakerStreetSaxSolo

    I entirely agree the vote would have swung if the jury had been made aware of that previous information. I know it’s a legal principle that an accused is tried on the basis of the actual incident-at-hand and not on his overall character or history, but I would’ve argued tooth-and-nail that that information was relevant as it displayed a consistent course of action pointing to a prediliction. I don’t know what the prosecution did in Chicago but I’m sure that would’ve been allowed in other jurisdictions.

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