- Associated Press - Friday, September 9, 2011

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The search for jurors in the trial of the doctor charged in Michael Jackson’s death enters a second day Friday with signs of the case’s notoriety already evident.

If Thursday’s session is any indication, the group will know exactly why they have been summoned by the time a judge, prosecutors, and Dr. Conrad Murray and his attorneys enter a jury assembly room.

All of the 187 prospective jurors who reported on Thursday raised their hands when Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor asked whether they knew anything about the involuntary manslaughter case against Murray. By the afternoon, more than half had been dismissed because they could not devote the amount of time needed to hear the case, which will focus on the Houston-based cardiologist’s actions in the final hours of Jackson’s life.

On Friday, court officials will question a new group of dozens of potential jurors about their availability to serve on the involuntary manslaughter case, which is expected to last roughly five weeks.

Authorities contend Murray gave Jackson a lethal dose of the anesthetic propofol in the bedroom of the singer’s rented mansion, but the physician has denied any wrongdoing. If convicted he faces a sentence ranging from probation to four years in prison and would lose his medical license.

So far, 72 people have filled out a 30-page questionnaire that will be used to determine their knowledge and opinions about the case. Pastor is hoping to have a pool of 100 jurors who aren’t disqualified because of their answers.

The judge gave potential jurors a flavor of what their life will be like if they are picked to serve on the case, telling them he opted against sequestering them but that they would have to meet at a secret location each day and will kept out of public areas of the courthouse. He also warned they would have to refrain from reading about the case and altering their online habits.

“I certainly realize that for some of us, especially those who have grown up in the Internet age, searching the Internet is as easy as breathing,” Pastor said. “If you want to Google, Google away. Surf the Net, but not about anything to do with this case.”


AP Special Correspondent Linda Deutsch contributed to this report.


Anthony McCartney can be reached at https://twitter.com/celebritydocket

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