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Murray's defence team appeals sequestration refusal

Lawyers for Michael Jackson's medic have launched an emergency appeal in a bid to overturn a judge's refusal to sequester jury members during Dr. Conrad Murray's upcoming manslaughter trial.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor ruled against sequestration last month (25Aug11), insisting he was confident jurors will avoid media coverage of the high-profile case.

But Murray's defence team challenged the decision on Friday (02Sep11) with a last-minute petition, arguing jurors should be kept in a hotel during the trial to avoid being inundated with publicity.

Attorneys Nareg Gourjian and Edward Chernoff claim the extensive news reports will be seen everywhere, from the gym to supermarkets, bars and coffee shops.

The filing, obtained by the Associated Press, reads, "News organisations have planned sets overlooking the courthouse as if they were preparing for the Rose Bowl...

"There is sincere danger that a well-meaning juror will be more impressed with an 'expert' on television than one presented by the parties at trial."

Gourjian and Chernoff also asked to delay jury selection, due to begin on Thursday (08Sep11), until officials at the Second District Court of Appeals make a decision about the petition.

Murray stands accused of giving the King of Pop an overdose of anaesthetic before his death in 2009. He has pleaded not guilty to a charge of involuntary manslaughter.