Friday, September 9, 2011
The first phase of jury selection for the trial of Michael Jackson's doctor has been completed in Los Angeles.
145 people have been chosen to go forward to the next stage which involves completing a detailed 30-page questionnaire about their views on the King of Pop. The questionnaire asks the potential jurors to share their feelings about Michael Jackson, his music and the media coverage of his death. Had they seen the film This is It, which is based on concert rehearsal footage taken in the days before the singer died. Were they familiar with the names of certain drugs, including the one that is said to have killed Michael Jackson. The questionnaire also includes a long list of names - people who may be called as witnesses during the trial. It includes the singer's three children, his parents,brothers and sisters. The potential jurors are asked to say whether they're acquainted with anyone on the list. It's highly unusual for such an extensive list of questions to be used in the selection of a jury, but this is an extremely high profile case. Every potential juror said they knew something about it. They're also asked to say whether they believe celebrities receive special treatment in the criminal justice system. The potential jurors will return to court later this month, when they'll be questioned in person by the lawyers and the judge. Dr Conrad Murray is charged with involuntary manslaughter and has pleaded not guilty.