Michael Jackson on Trial: Day One
January 31, 2005

Prosecutors are one step closer to presenting their case against Michael Jackson today, and "Extra" is teaming up with "Celebrity Justice" for day one of the new trial of the century.

Dressed in his customary courtroom whites, a confident Michael Jackson was greeted by hundreds of cheering fans Monday morning. After a simple wave, Jackson strutted briskly into the courtroom, ready to begin his fight for freedom.

Inside, the first order of business was picking a jury. Here's what we've learned: there were 750 people in the initial jury pool and it could take up to one month to choose a jury. One of the biggest challenges could be finding people who can stay the length of the trial, which some estimate could take six months.

Meanwhile, away from court, the Michael Jackson camp is fighting another war -- over public opinion. Jackson released a videotaped message on the Internet, saying he believed he could get a fair trial and predicting he would be acquitted. "I have great faith in our justice system," Jackson said in the video.

Jackson's parents, Katherine and Joe, gave an exclusive interview, which aired on CBS's "Early Show," and the sparks flew when Joe was asked why Michael is more popular overseas than in America. "You don't want me to answer that, do you?" Joe said to his wife. "No, Joe, just shut up," Katherine responded. But that didn't stop Joe: "I'm going to cut to the chase on this one, it is racism."

Michael Jackson will now spend the next half a year trying to convince 12 strangers that he doesn't deserve a life behind bars. Stay with "Extra" for breaking news in the new trial of the century, as we harness the resources of two shows for one powerful punch inside the Michael Jackson trial.


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