CRIME

Jury reaches verdict in Michael Jackson trial

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Details about their lives were culled from lengthy written questionnaires obtained by The Associated Press. Their identities have been kept secret and even lawyers in the case know them only by their jury numbers.

In six weeks together the jurors have displayed uncommon attentiveness to the task at hand. Several, including alternates, have taken notes and kept lists of evidence. Once, when the judge was at a loss to find the number of an exhibit, a member of the jury spoke up and told him.

There were no drooping eyelids or distracted glances. When a scientific expert was conducting experiments on the floor of the courtroom, panelists stood up in the jury box to get a better view.

Their attention to evidence and witnesses has impressed Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor, who commended them for their commitment, punctuality in getting to court and willingness to give up their personal lives to serve.

When the trial went longer than Pastor had predicted, he apologized, but the jurors seemed unperturbed.

Every night, when he gave them an admonition to avoid the news, the Internet and other sources of information about the trial, they listened as if it was the first time they had heard it and they nodded in agreement.
Many of the panelists have a familiarity with prescription drugs; most of them said they trust their doctors and several believe that celebrities receive a different kind of justice than average people.

Some have learned about the justice system from TV, watching such shows as "Law and Order" and "CSI." Others watched broadcasts of real-life, high-profile trials including the Casey Anthony case and the O.J. Simpson trial.

One woman, an accounting manager, remembered that during the Simpson trial, "a TV was brought to the office for everyone to follow it." A man in his 30s said he followed that trial in school as an educational experience.

While not sequestered, the jurors have had a rare opportunity to bond because they were kept together for lunch and transported together between a secret parking lot and the courthouse. In order to avoid exposure to events outside the courtroom, the judge had lunch catered for them every day.

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