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160 potential jurors screened for Michael Jackson case

September 8, 2011 | 10:17 am

Jury selection is underway in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom for the involuntary manslaughter trial of Michael Jackson's personal physician. 

About 160 potential jurors were being screened for hardship to serve on the trial for Dr. Conrad Murray, which is expected to last for five or six weeks.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor on Thursday cautioned members of the public, one of whom showed up wearing a T-shirt with the pop star's image, to refrain from expressing their feelings about the case in the presence of jurors.

"Don't react or in any way attempt to influence the jury in this case," he said.

An appellate court on Wednesday affirmed Pastor's decision not to sequester the jury. Pastor said round-the-clock isolation was unnecessary, prohibitively expensive and stressful for jurors. He said he had faith in jurors' ability to follow instructions about avoiding media coverage. 


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-- Victoria Kim

Photo: Conrad Murray supporter Willie L. Hampton, left, and activist Najee Ali discuss their differing views outside Superior Court. Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times