The 12-strong panel have been given power to reduce the charges…
The jury in the Michael Jackson trial is expected to be sent out today (June 3) after both sides have finished their closing arguments.
After three months, the singer’s trial on child abuse charges is coming to an end after hearing testimonies from 130 witnesses.
But in a surprise twist, the judge has given the jury permission to reduce one of the charges if they feel unable to reach a verdict.
According to BBC News, Judge Rodney Melville instructed the jury that in reaching a verdict, they had another option. If they decide that Michael Jackson gave accuser Gavin Arvizo alcohol but did not abuse him, they can convict him on a lesser charge with a penalty of up to a year in prison.
The judge said that the jury must reach a verdict without “pity or prejudice” toward the singer. “You have heard all of the evidence and you will hear the arguments of attorneys,” he said.
If found guilty on all ten charges – all of which he denies – the singer could face up to two decades behind bars.
Closing arguments from the prosecution and defence began yesterday and, if they finish today, the jury will begin their deliberations, during which they will work for six hours a day behind closed doors.