*The first steps toward the trial of Michael Jackson’s doctor on involuntary manslaughter charges are taking place as 320 prospective jurors gather at a Los Angeles courtroom for the first phase of the screening process, reports the AP.
Houston based cardiologist Conrad Murray is accused of gross negligence in giving Jackson a lethal dose of the drug propofol and other sedatives.
In-person questioning of jury prospects and opening statements won’t happen until May but the judge agreed to start the process Thursday with written questionnaires in order to meet the statutory requirement of giving Murray a speedy trial. Once the forms are distributed and filled out, the trial will be deemed to have begun.
While the judge has decided to allow cameras in court for testimony they will not be allowed during jury selection.
Pastor’s first job is to screen the prospects on whether they can afford to spend two months on the trial. Many who can serve will be public employees or employees of corporations who are paid for jury duty. Typical juries for long trials also include retirees who don’t have job pressures.
Those who pass the time qualification will be given a questionnaire with about 125 questions. The inquiry is likely to cover their knowledge of the case, their tastes in music, their relationships with their own doctors, their knowledge of prescription drugs and whether they have predetermined views about the guilt or innocence of Murray.