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Michael Jackson: Jury selection begins today in doctor's trial

September 8, 2011 |  7:21 am

Jury will not be sequestered in Conrad Murray trial

Prospective panelists are due in a downtown courthouse Thursday morning as jury selection is scheduled to begin in the trial of Michael Jackson's personal physician.

An appellate court on on Wednesday decided not to wade into the issue of how jurors will be kept away from intense media coverage of the case. Without commenting, the appeals court upheld the ruling of the trial court judge who said round-the-clock isolation was unnecessary, prohibitively expensive and stressful for jurors. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor said he had faith in jurors' ability to follow instructions about avoiding media coverage.

Prospective jurors will be asked to fill out a lengthy questionnaire that the judge has called “exhaustive and exhausting.” The questionnaire has been sealed by the judge.

The trial is expected to begin in the last week in September.

Murray faces a maximum of four years in prison if convicted of involuntary manslaughter. He is accused of causing Jackson’s death by overdose on a surgical anesthetic.

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-- Harriet Ryan and Victoria Kim

Photo: Dr. Conrad Murray makes an appearance in Los Angeles County Superior Court last year. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

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