With just days left before Tuesday’s opening arguments in the Conrad Murray case, attorneys spent Thursday reviewing questionnaires filled out by potential jurors.
Potential jurors whose answers indicated a bias in the much publicized involuntary manslaughter case were eliminated.
Attorneys are hoping to narrow down the current pool of 145 jurors before beginning in-person interviews, which are scheduled for Friday.
NBC News Legal Analyst Royal Oakes said the prosecution will be looking for jurors who think to themselves, “Michael Jackson was incredible. It’s horrible that someone killed him and I want someone to pay.”
Oakes says the defense will want less sympathetic jurors, someone who thinks Jackson “is not worthy of respect” and that the pop star was “probably a criminal.”
When the face to face questioning of jurors begins Friday, Judge Michael Pastor expects the lawyers to keep their questioning short and to rely on the information gained by the questionnaires.
Given that all of the potential jurors are familiar with the case, the defense has expressed concern that the media will influence jurors, citing the pro-conviction commentary of Nancy Grace during the Casey Anthony trial as an example.
Oakes believes the defense would want to avoid any fan of Grace and her show, because the juror would likely want to “hang any defendant.”
Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson on June 25, 2009.