Judge Pastor yesterday ordered Murray’s defense team not to discuss his rulings on the trial with anyone outside the courtroom. Murray apparently told a photographer in Santa Monica that the Judge’s decision not to sequester the jury was “a mistake.” Murray listened as the judge said he wanted to “to admonish counsel and Dr. Murray” adding that the case would “be tried in this courtroom.”Judge Pastor also said that; “It will not be tried on interviews. It will not be tried on the doorstep of this courthouse, or in a mall or in a restaurant or on talk radio or on any other interviews. I want to make it crystal clear, I don’t want the defendant or others to comment whether they agree or disagree with ruling.”
The defense has asked the appellate court to rule on that decision. Judge Pastor ruled last month that sequestration was not needed because he had faith jurors would follow his orders to avoid news reports and commentary about the case. Keeping the jury separated from the rest of the world during the trial would; “make them feel like feel like inmates,” Pastor continued.
“This was, with all due respect, abuse of discretion,” defense lawyers said in their twenty-eight page petition. “Because of the international notoriety of Mr. Jackson, it would be impossible for a juror to browse any news source on television or the Internet, without seeing a boldly printed headline discussing the trial.”
Judge Pastor said Tuesday the “defense is justified in seeking appellate review,” and he expects the appeals panel will expedite its consideration of the petition. “But absent a mandate from the court of appeals staying the proceedings, we are on course,” Pastor said.
Jury selection from several hundred potential jurors is expected to begin on September 8th.