Will today be a Three Buzzer day?
Jurors in the Conrad Murray involuntary manslaughter trial are back in court today to continue their deliberations on whether the cardiologist was criminally negligent in contributing to the death of Michael Jackson. When they do finally reach that verdict, the jury will tap a buzzer three times to signal to the court that they're prepared to deliver the big news.
The seven men and five women began deliberating Friday, then called it a day after seven hours of debate failed to yield a verdict.
They returned to the Los Angeles County courthouse to start up deliberations again at 11:30 a.m. ET. Security clear the courtroom each time jurors come or go from the jury room as an extra level of protection aimed at keeping their activities private from onlookers or media during this critical time.
From the time those three buzzes are sounded from the jury room, there will be a maximum two-hour window before the verdict is read to allow everyone involved to navigate L.A. traffic and make their way to the courthouse. It's expected Judge Michael Pastor will go ahead and ask the jury to read their verdict as soon as everyone arrives though, and not use up that full two-hours if he doesn't have to.
It will be a short trip for Michael Jackson's family, who are reportedly staying at a nearby hotel and will head to court as soon as the jury announces they've reached a verdict.
If convicted, Dr. Murray faces a maximum of four years behind bars. However, a new California law sends all those found guilty of a non-violent felony to jail, not prison. And as attorney Ann Fitz has pointed out to us, between jail overcrowding and time already served, it's very possible Dr. Murray may only serve a few months in lock-up if he's found guilty.