Jury Selection Begins in Jackson Doc Trial - NBC 7 San Diego

Jury Selection Begins in Jackson Doc Trial

Potential jurors from a group of about 160 people will be selected to fill out a questionnaire in the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray



    Now that a state appeals court upheld an L.A. Superior Court judge's decision not to sequester the jury, the process of finding 12 jurors can begin in the trial against Michael Jackson's doctor. (Published Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011)

    Potential jurors in the trial of Michael Jackson's personal physician are likely to face a wide range of questions regarding  their experience with prescription drugs, doctors, celebrities, news outlets, law enforcement and their DVD collections.

    Document: April 2011 Jury Questionnaire

    A lengthy questionnaire will be part of the jury selection process, which began Friday morning in a downtown LA courtroom with a group of about 160 people. Dr. Conrad Murray is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the June 2009 death of the pop star.

    Murray performed his fellowship at Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, according to his online biography. 

    After an initial screening Thursday, people who are able to serve on the jury will then fill out a questionnaire. An earlier version of the document is available here, but the latest version has not been made public.

    Judge Michale Pastor is looking to find about 100 people to fill out what he has called an "exhaustive and exhausting" questionnaire.

    "It's critical," said NBC legal analyst Royal Oakes of the questionnaire. "You have to try to read minds and get past jurors. It's up to the prosecution and defense to decide whether someone hates Michael Jackson and who really might have been an obssessed fan."

    It took three days to find an eligible pool of jurors earlier this year. In May, the judge dismissed them when he agreed to delay Murray's trial to provide attorneys with time to prepare.

    In April, the court provided a questionnaire that asked a wide range of questions, including several about the Jackson family and respondents' perceptions of one of the world's most popular entertainers. For example, Question No. 97: Have you ever considered yourself a fan of Michael Jackson or the Jackson family? No. 99 is a related followup: Did you ever watch "This Is It."

    Other questions were about pop culture, prescription drugs, law enforcement and the people involved in the case. During his remarks to potential jurors Thursday, Judge Michael Pastor specifically warned jurors they will have to avoid online and social media discussions about the case.

    Attorneys will consider responses for several days before direct questioning of potential jurors begins on Sept. 23. Analysts expect the case to last about four to six weeks.

    Jackson died on June 25, 2009. Murray is accused of administering a lethal dose of the drug propofol and other sedatives. Defense attorneys have said Murray did not give the singer anything that should have killed him.

    Murray faces up to four years and the loss of his medical license if convicted.