Entertainment behind the scenes
Judging Britney, without bias
The trial of Britney Spears on a relatively minor charge of driving without a California license finally got under way on Thursday.
But finding an unbiased jury in a case in which virtually everyone in Los Angeles knows, or knows of, the 26 year-old pop star took almost as long as the trial itself is expected to last.
The process began on Wednesday and Spears’ lawyer J. Michael Flanagan said some jurors probably had confused ideas about the case against Spears.
“Half the people think she’s been charged with driving under the influence or drunk driving, drugs, and all this kind of stuff,” Flanagan told reporters. “People think they know about this case but they don’t, really.”
One teacher in the pool of potential panelists said in court that she disliked “rich, spoiled girls,” and would have a hard time being unbiased toward Spears.
Asked if any of them knew Spears personally, another woman said she knew the singer’s manager, and was quickly dismissed from the jury.
Flanagan said the trial itself was expected to take only a few hours. Spears herself has stayed away from the trial, exercising her right not to appear, because the case against her is a misdemeanor instead of a more serious felony case.
(Writing by Alex Dobuzinskis)