Trial of Michael Jackson's Doctor: Impartial Jury Elusive

Article Placeholder Image
By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on April 14, 2011 6:47 AM

The trial of Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson's doctor, is underway in a Los Angeles courtroom, with attorneys slowly working their way through jury selection.

Murray, who is charged with involuntary manslaughter for negligently supplying the King of Pop with Propofol, is already facing an uphill battle. After the first round of questioning, it's clear that an impartial jury may not be possible.

Out of a pool of hundreds of jurors, over half responded to a questionnaire stating that they are not available for a two month period, reports USA Today. Even worse? Only three of the hundreds said that they know nothing about Conrad Murray--not even that he was Michael Jackson's doctor.

The questionnaire provided to potential jurors asked 117 questions about each person's news intake, how much they know about Jackson's private and public lives, his family, and his financial affairs.

These are pretty standard questions for a jury. The goal is to ascertain just how much the media (especially bloggers) has influenced their opinions in a way that may cause bias. Conrad Murray would not get a fair trial if every juror were a TMZ-reading Michael Jackson fan.

Given the extent to which Michael Jackson's life and death have been publicized, it's going to be very difficult to find jurors disconnected from that portion of pop culture. Hypothetically, jury selection could go on for months until attorneys and the judge are satisfied.

And if they never find an impartial jury? Constitutionally, that means Conrad Murray can't stand trial.

Related Resources: