Whether or not Dr. Conrad Murray committed a crime in the death of Michael Jackson is going to trial over in California this month, and right now the parties and the judge are involved in the jury selection process.
Like the Casey Anthony trial earlier this year, state prosecutors will have the burden of establishing beyond a reasonable doubt; here, the key issue is whether or not the doctor is criminally responsible for the death of Michael Jackson. Dr. Murray is charged under California state law with involuntary manslaughter and he could face 4 years in prison and the loss of his medical license if convicted. (Read the complaint in full online here.)
For more information on the crime of "involuntary manslaughter" as it will be given to the jury in the formal jury instructions, go here for details and also consider the following:
However, evidence of imperfect self-defense may support a finding of involuntary manslaughter, where the evidence demonstrates the absence of (as opposed to the negation of) the elements of malice. (People v. Blakeley (2000) 23 Cal.4th 82, 91 [96 Cal.Rptr.2d 451, 999 P.2d 675] [discussing dissenting opinion of Mosk, J.].) In such a situation, the court should also instruct the jury in involuntary manslaughter.
Given the outcome of the Anthony case, and the scrutiny that those jurors still undergo today both in the international media and from the American public at large, it's no surprise that the California case has focused upon who jury selection -- however, this questionnaire is considered by many to be unusually piercing in its investigation into the individuals that will take on the role of juror. Don't expect to see this kind of thing the next time that you're called for jury duty.
Who would have created this questionnaire? It would be approved by the judge after conferring with the prosecution and defense. They, in turn, will probably have conferred with their jury selection consultants on the issues to be addressed in the questioning. It's 30 pages long and filled with lots and lots of interesting queries (read it here):
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