LOS ANGELES (AP) — Lawyers in the case against Michael Jackson’s doctor want to know if prospective jurors were fans of the pop star, how much they know about his death, and how familiar they are with 27 different prescription drugs he may have taken.
A 29-page questionnaire with those and other questions was released Thursday after prospects who said they could serve on the two-month trial of Dr. Conrad Murray finished answering its 117 questions.
Candidates were asked if they had ever seen Jackson or his family members in person, whether they own his records or DVDs, attended his concerts or saw his posthumous concert movie, “This is It,” and if so why they watched it.
In one section, prospects were asked if they knew any of the more than 100 potential witnesses. Included on the list were Jackson’s three children — Prince, Paris and Blanket — as well as his parents, brothers and sisters.
Large chunks of the questions involved familiarity with drugs and exposure to media coverage of the case, including Internet and social media postings. Jury prospects also were asked if they had ever posted blog entries about the case.
In a section headlined, “Attitudes about celebrities and people in the news,” they were asked, “Do you think that people of wealth or fame are treated differently in the court system?”
Notably, there was no mention in the questionnaire of Jackson’s highly publicized acquittal after his child molestation trial in 2005
Murray has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter. He is accused of gross negligence for administering the anesthetic propofol and other sedatives to Jackson before he died.
The trial is likely to focus on his competence based partially on his reactions after Jackson stopped breathing on June 25, 2009.
Jury prospects were asked, “Do you have any positive or negative feelings or opinions about Conrad Murray or Michael Jackson?”
Lawyers also wanted to know if they had ever taken prescription drugs, including propofol, and a long list of sedatives and mood altering drugs.
The lawyers also wanted to know if they had friends or family members who were ever addicted to prescription drugs, and if they themselves had been in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program.
In addition, prospects had to disclose if they were ever involved in an emergency medical situation and whether that would prejudice them in deciding the case.
The answers of prospective jurors will be released when they are questioned in person beginning May 4.
In another development, Murray’s lawyers filed six motions to exclude from testimony “sexually scandalous information” regarding Murray’s patronage of a strip club in Los Angeles, the women he met there, and the amounts of money he spent,
“This evidence has no rational bearing on any issue in this matter and is presented merely to harass and discredit Dr. Murray,” one motion states.
Three of Murray’s mistresses testified at a preliminary hearing earlier this year.
The motions also sought to exclude from evidence autopsy photos of Jackson.
“Dr. Murray is on trial accused of having caused the death of international superstar king of pop Michael Jackson,” another motion states. “As if that fact alone is not inflammatory enough, the prosecution seeks to further inflame the passions of the jury by introducing autopsy photographs of Mr. Jackson.”
The motions submitted by attorney Nareg Gourjian also asked to exclude evidence involving Murray’s child support payments, lawsuits over his financial affairs, and his relationships with women.
Prosecutors filed a motion late in the day asking to admit as evidence audio recordings of Murray’s statements to police detectives during a lengthy interview two days after Jackson’s death.
Prosecutors David Walgren and Deborah Brazil said Murray’s statements “clearly are admissions.”
Judge Michael Pastor set a hearing for April 21 to deal with the motions.
Associated Press Entertainment Writer Anthony McCartney contributed to this report.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.