The panel of seven men and five women includes one man who said he briefly met Jackson when he worked at Walt Disney Co in the 1980s when the singer was starring in the “Captain EO” film that was a Disney theme park attraction, reports Reuters. That juror told attorneys he could approach the trial fairly. The jurors have a wide range of professions, including a bookseller, school bus driver, paralegal and professor, according to questionnaires released after the selection.
Half of the panelists selected were Caucasian and five were Hispanic. The panel also includes one African American juror.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor limited the amount of time lawyers for both sides could question potential jurors on Friday, when the first day of direct questioning began. He aimed to seat the panel quickly and stay on track to begin the trial’s opening arguments on Tuesday.
Friday’s proceeding is the culmination of weeks of close scrutiny of the jury pool. Earlier this month 370 potential jurors completed a 30-page questionnaire, beginning the process of narrowing the pool to the 12 people now selected. Murray is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the “Thriller” singer’s death on June 25, 2009, at age 50.