Jacksons v AEG Timeline Legal

Murray lawyers want jury sequestered

By | Published on Thursday 21 July 2011

Conrad Murray

Lawyers for Dr Conrad Murray, the medic accused of killing Michael Jackson through negligence, want the jury in his upcoming manslaughter trial to be locked in a small, dark room for the duration of the court case. Well, sort of.

Murray’s defence team have suggested to Judge Michael Pastor that the jury in this case should be sequestered, so kept away from the outside world between court sessions, to ensure the doctor gets a fair trial. They fear that media coverage will be biased against their client, and specifically mention that they don’t want jurors to see the nightly news show on CNN spin off HLN hosted by legal commentator and former prosecutor Nancy Grace.

Judge Pastor said he wasn’t inclined to support the defence team’s proposal, partly because of the strain it puts on jurors, and partly because of the costs involved, because the court would have to house the sequestered jurors in hotels. However, he has said that Team Murray can submit a formal proposal and he will give it consideration.

Elsewhere, Pastor also has to consider how much backstage footage from the rehearsals of Jackson’s doomed ‘This Is It’ live show should be shown in court. As previously reported, both the prosecution and defence have been watching hours of video recorded by AEG Live, and now in the hands of Sony Pictures, who used some of the footage to make the ‘This Is It’ movie.

Although it was the defence team who were most keen to have access to the footage, which they hoped would show Jackson was in poor health prior to his death, it’s now the prosecution that want to show a significant amount of the footage to jurors. According to reports, the prosecution reckon there’s about twelve hours of relevant content, while the defence say only four hours should be shown. Pastor is due to visit Sony’s studios himself to view some of the footage before making a decision.

The main Murray trial is due to kick off in September.