Judge clears dozens of prospects for Jackson jury




LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The first phase of jury selection in the trial of Michael Jackson's doctor has concluded with 145 prospective jurors cleared for further questioning and the judge releasing the blank 30-page questionnaire they filled out.

Among the 113 questions asked of prospects was whether they ever considered themselves fans of Jackson or his family, whether they own any books or magazines about the King of Pop, and whether they have followed news coverage of the case against Dr. Conrad Murray.

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

Lawyers will begin studying the 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.