Entries in Jury Selection (2)


Jury Selection Begins in Michael Jackson Doctor Manslaughter Case

David McNew-Pool/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- It's been two years since Michael Jackson died, and on Thursday, the manslaughter trial of his personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray, got underway beginning with jury selection.  The Los Angeles Times reports that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael E. Pastor opened trial proceedings by polling the 160 potential jurors about their awareness of Murray, Jackson and their feelings about law enforcement.  Jurors were also asked to confirm their availability to serve through Oct. 28.  Opening statements are slated to start Sept. 27, according to a court press release.

The Times also reported that jurors were advised to avoid all outside media about the trial and refrain reading about or posting about the case online at the risk of jail time or fines for contempt of court.  Though jurors will not be sequestered, Pastor determined that they would be transported daily to and from the court from a secret location and not allowed to leave the court during the day.

Prosecutors allege that Murray is criminally responsible for Jackson's death because he administered the surgical anesthetic, propofol, to the singer -- which prosecutors say is inappropriate for use outside of a surgical setting -- and then left the singer unattended.  Murray has pleaded not guilty.  If convicted of involuntary manslaughter, Murray could be sentenced to up to four years in prison, according to the Times.

According to People magazine, Murray's attorneys allege that Jackson drank propofol "like milk" and may have self-administered the fatal dose.

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Jury Selection in Conrad Murray Case Begins Thursday

David McNew-Pool/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Conrad Murray, the doctor charged in the 2009 death of Michael Jackson, will appear in a Los Angeles court on Thursday as the process of selecting a jury for his trial begins.  A judge will question prospective jurors.

ABC News legal analyst Royal Oakes says both sides have a tough task ahead of them because it will be difficult to find 12 people who don't have a strong opinion either way on the legendary King of Pop.  As for what's in store for the prospective jurors, Oakes says the defense may ask them if "they have experience with family members being hooked on drugs -- a preview of the doctor's likely argument that Jackson's drug dependency complicated his reaction to medications given by Conrad Murray."

Opening statements in Murray's trial will not be heard until at least May 9.  He's accused of giving Michael a lethal dose of the powerful anesthetic propofol prior to the singer's death in June of 2009.  Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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