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Exhibition Drawing Justice: The Art of Courtroom Illustration

Bill Robles. [Michael Jackson], June 15, 2005. Porous point pen and India ink on translucent paper. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (112.00.00)
LC-DIG-ppmsca-51160 © Bill Robles
Gift of Tom Girardi

Trial of Michael Jackson

In 2005, Michael Jackson faced trial in Santa Monica, California, on charges of molesting a teenager. He was found not guilty. After the trial Jackson said, "I haven't been betrayed or deceived by children. Adults have let me down." Artist Bill Robles found drawing at the trial a challenge—he endured the "Melville diet" named after Judge Rodney Melville who scheduled only three ten-minute breaks and no lunch. Robles had barely enough time to meet the network news truck to film his drawings before returning inside to draw again.