Jury selection is underway in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Dr. Conrad Murray, the man accused of killing Michael Jackson, and judging by the first day of the process, this may take awhile: Given Jackson's status as arguably the most famous artist in the world at the time of his death, both the prosecution and the defense are going to have trouble finding enough impartial people to fill a jury box. Of a group of 160 prospective jurors, only 60 made it through the first cut and were given a 27-page questionnaire, Reuters reports. The process is expected to continue today with another 160 prospective jurors. The judge hopes to have an adequate pool of less than 100 potential jurors for the prosecution and defense to question by May 4th.
The problem facing both sides is finding a juror that's somehow impartial to Jackson. Forget about someone who's never even heard of Jackson -- you need to be really backwoods to have never heard of the King of Pop, and those people probably aren't fit to sit on a jury -- the defense and prosecution will probably settle for someone who owns Thriller but not Off the Wall. Even if a potential juror is apathetic to Jackson's music, the King of Pop had such an equally controversial and charitable reign that it'll prove near impossible to find a juror to come in with no misconceptions about Jackson. He's either the soft-spoken guy with incredible dance moves who opened the gates of Neverland to sickly children, or that creepy guy with the ever-whitening skin who made kids drink "Jesus Juice" and shared his bed. Everyone has an opinion on Jackson, except for hopefully 12 people in the Los Angeles area.
Considering that Michael Jackson's child molestation trial was able to wrangle a dozen warm bodies, we think Dr. Conrad Murray's involuntarily manslaughter trial will, eventually, dig out its 12 jurors plus emergency alternates by its July 1st start date. The one question is, though, will it happen before Murray runs out of money to pay his lawyers?
- Michael Jackson
- Conrad Murray