Judge clears dozens of prospects for Jackson jury

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The first phase of jury selection in the trial of Michael Jackson’s doctor has concluded with the 145 prospective jurors cleared for further questioning in the high profile involuntary manslaughter trial.

In the second day of the jury search, 185 prospective jurors were called, 112 were dismissed because of hardship and 73 filled out questionnaires probing their views of the case. On Thursday 72 prospects were cleared.

Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor decided Friday afternoon that there were sufficient prospective jurors available to go on to the next phase — in-court questioning on Sept. 23.

Lawyers were to begin studying the 30-page questionnaires in which participants also disclose their backgrounds and knowledge of Jackson’s career. Some could be dismissed if they expressed extreme bias.

Dr. Conrad Murray, a Houston cardiologist, has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter in Jackson’s death from an overdose of the anesthetic propofol.