The search begins for 18 Los Angeles County citizens who will eventually diliberate Dr. Conrad Murray's fate begins today. Lawyers are said to be looking for people who can put aside what they've heard about Michael Jackson's death so that they can make a fair judgment in the case:
In all, up to 450 potential jurors will report to the courthouse in downtown Los Angeles between Thursday and Monday for the selection process in the trial of Dr. Conrad Murray. Murray, who faces trial on an involuntary manslaughter charge, will be introduced to 160 potential jurors who will then answer 30 pages of questions to determine if they are qualified to be on the jury.
The last roadblock to the start of Murray's trial came Wednesday when a California appeals court rejected the defense's petition for a delay so that the issue of jury sequestration could be reconsidered.
Murray's lawyer's had argued that Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor had abused his discretion by rejecting a request that the jury be kept in a hotel for the duration of the trial.
They compared the upcoming trial to the recent coverage of the Casey Anthony murder trial in Florida and said Murray could not get a fair trial if the jury was not isolated from what they expect will be non-stop media coverage.
"Petition is denied in the absence in a showing of abuse of discretion," the brief appeals ruling said.
While the 12 jurors and six alternates will be allowed to return home after court each day, the five weeks or more of testimony can take a toll on their finances and families. Pastor's first task is to decide who in the pool of potential jurors likely would not endure the duration of the trial.
Opening statements in the trial, which will be televised, are expected to be delivered on September 27.
Read more at CNN.