updated 1/12/2004 3:09:42 PM ET 2004-01-12T20:09:42

A lot of you have been writing in and asking about this term. 

For example, can Michael Jackson really get a jury of his peers?  The answer is -- it's not a term to be taken literally.  It does not mean that anyone is entitled to a jury of people just like him or her.  It doesn‘t mean that if the defendant is white, he‘s entitled to a primarily white jury.

All one is entitled to is a fair jury.  A jury that represents the community where the crime was committed and a jury that can remain open minded about the evidence.  In both the Kobe Bryant and Michael Jackson cases, a lot of you have been asking about how few African Americans live in the counties where those cases were charged.  Now that may be a reason why their lawyers might want to move the cases, but there‘s no legal claim to that effect.  If that were true, then women defendants could demand communities with more women, Jews could demand communities with more Jews.  The law presumes that jurors are jurors and as long as they can fairly evaluate the case no matter what race, gender or religion, you get jurors from the community where the crime occurred, period.

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