Jury Selection to Begin in Jackson Doc Trial

Appeals court upholds judge's decision not to sequester the jury

Jury selection in the trial for Michael Jackson's doctor will begin Thursday when about 100 potential jurors arrive at a downtown LA courthouse to fill out a questionnaire.

Murray Case Timeline | Jury Questionnaire

Defense attorneys filed an appeals court filing late Friday afternoon, citing that L.A. Superior Court Judge Michael E. Pastor abused his discretion in not sequestering the jury. They asked for an "immediate stay" in the case.

The trial is, however, expected to be one of the most publicized since the O.J. Simpson trial. NBC4 Legal Analyst Royal Oakes said the argument to sequester a jury is a tough one because of enormous costs associated with doing so.

"The idea is that the cable TV news frenzy is going to be so severe it might influence the jury," said Oakes. "But if you're going to start with that assumption, then you're going to have to sequester everyone on a high-profile trial and that's just not going to happen."

"You're not going to be able to find someone who's completely impartial. You're not going to be able to find someone who doesn't know about this case, because it's just so big," according to Jury Consultant David Cannon, PhD.

But what you can do, says Cannon, is look for attitudes potential jurors already possess.

"Attitudes toward celebrities. Do celebrities get special treatment? Do they get special treatment from physicians," asks Cannon. "One thing that's really important with this is attitudes towards drug abuse."

On Thursday, prospective jurors will face what the judge called an "exhaustive and exhausting" questionnaire, which Oakes said will contain defense and prosecution questions about attitudes toward Michael Jackson.

The tabloid Star magazine reports Dr. Murray will take the stand in his own defense.

Opening statements are set to begin on September 27.

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