Ruling clears way for start of Jackson trial

By LINDA DEUTSCH | September 7, 2011 | 3:25 PM EDT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An appeals court has refused to order the jury sequestered in the trial of Michael Jackson's doctor, Conrad Murray, clearing the way for jury selection to begin Thursday.

The California Second District Court of Appeals also declined Wednesday to delay the trial while the issue is argued. The court found that Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor did not abuse his discretion.

Pastor has said he trusts jurors to obey his orders to ignore publicity in the high-profile involuntary manslaughter case and declined to have them sequestered.

In a separate ruling, Pastor allowed a prosecution expert's use of a study of the drug that killed the pop star. Defense lawyers say Jackson overdosed by drinking on propofol. Prosecutors say that was impossible. The drug is normally given intravenously.