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Raw video of Michael Jackson's last days will not be shown to jury

By Alan Duke, CNN
Michael Jackson rehearses in Los Angeles on June 23, 2009, two days before his death.
Michael Jackson rehearses in Los Angeles on June 23, 2009, two days before his death.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The judge says viewing raw video was "a waste of my time"
  • Conrad Murray's lawyers hoped the video would show Jackson was ill before his death
  • Murray's involuntary manslaughter trial starts in September
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Los Angeles (CNN) -- Raw video clips of Michael Jackson's last rehearsals will not be shown in the involuntary manslaughter trial of the late pop singer's personal physician, the judge ruled Monday.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor spent several hours at Sony Pictures Studio on Friday reviewing about a dozen hours of video that prosecutors or defense lawyers proposed for the jury to see.

"It was a waste of my time," Pastor said.

It was not immediately clear if the prosecution would still be allowed to show parts of the "This Is It" documentary about Jackson's preparations for his London comeback shows.

Defense lawyers had suggested clips "left on the cutting room" floor by the documentary editors might show that Jackson was in failing health in the days before his June 25, 2009, death.

"It's quite the contrary," Pastor said.

Lawyers for each side spent two weeks this month viewing more than 100 hours of video, narrowing down what they thought was relevant to the case. The prosecution selected 12 hours of video, while the defense identified four.

Defense lawyer Michael Flanagan said after a hearing last Wednesday that the video showed him that Jackson was "very talented, that he's pretty good; even on his bad days, he's good."

The defense was looking for clues in the video to show that Jackson was in ill health in his final days, but Flanagan said it was not detectable in his performance video. Jackson also did not appear to be depressed in his final days, he said.

The defense will argue that none of the "This Is It" video is relevant to the criminal trial and would be "a big waste of time."

"It shows him onstage performing," Flanagan said. "I don't know why that's relevant as to what happened the night that he died when he couldn't sleep."

Jackson's death was from an overdose of the surgical anesthetic propofol combined with other drugs, the Los Angeles coroner ruled.

Murray, whom Jackson hired to care for him as he prepared for his comeback concerts in London, allegedly administered the fatal dose.

Jury selection in the trial is set to begin on September 8 in a Los Angeles County courtroom, with opening statements later in the month.

CNN's Michael Cary contributed to this report.

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