LOS ANGELES – The ability of a jury of one’s peers to deliver a fair verdict in today’s media climate has once more been called into question, this time by the defense team of Dr. Conrad Murray, who is currently facing an involuntary manslaughter charge for allegedly not taking very good care of Michael Jackson while acting as his personal physician.
In the wake of the recent Casey Anthony trial, Murray’s lawyers expressed concern that the minds of jurors could be polluted by some television programs, specifically that of HLN’s Nancy Grace, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“I just think there is an overwhelming likelihood of contamination of the court’s control of evidence,” Murray’s lawyer, J. Michael Flanagan, reportedly said to Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor.
Grace fired back Wednesday during her show, reports CNN, saying:
“The doctor charged in the death of music superstar Michael Jackson, killing him allegedly with a powerful propofol anesthesia, wants the jury sequestered, from me! From US! Claiming watching ‘Nancy Grace’ will prevent a fair trial; that the jury will be biased. So I guess that makes us, umm … the good guys!”
During the Anthony trial, Grace used her nightly program to express her sincere belief that Anthony, whom she dubbed “tot mom,” was guilty of murdering her toddler-daughter. Anthony was ultimately found not guilty.
This fact had no impact on the Murray courtroom discussions, however, and Murray’s defense team still requested the jury be sequestered to avoid Grace’s show, reasoning that simply telling the jury not to watch the program was unrealistic, reports TMZ.
The judge agreed they could file a motion to sequester the jury but that it would be expensive, excessive and tough on the jurors.
Other arguments about what might or might not be included in the upcoming trial, which after many delays is scheduled to kick off Sept. 8, included footage from Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” rehearsals.
Prosecutors say the footage should be admissible while the defense contends it is irrelevant, leaving the judge no choice but to view the many hours of raw footage at Sony Pictures Studios and come to a decision on the matter.