Jury Chosen for Ira Isaacs Trial

LOS ANGELES - It took just under two more hours Tuesday afternoon, and the last third of the jury pool of 150 Middle District of California citizens, to arrive at the jury that will try "shock artist" Ira Isaacs for interstate transportation of obscene videos.

The final count was eight men and six women, as diverse as a 72-year-old retiree from Panorama City, a 42-year-old mechanical engineer from Whittier, a 52-year-old lobbyist from Fullerton, a 27-year-old cosmetic surgery assistant from Culver City, a 22-year-old student from San Juan Capistrano, and a 27-year-old from West L.A. who works with the Motion Picture Association of America, the group that rates mainstream movies.

All of them, and their eight fellow panel members, had agreed that they could sit through the four-and-a-half hours of bestiality and scatological movies sold by Isaacs that form the basis of the prosecution, consider them impartially, apply the law as Judge Alex Kozinski gives it to them, and render a verdict as to whether some or all of the productions violate the Miller test for obscenity.

After the jury was excused for the day, Judge Kozinski outlined the course of the trial, beginning with opening statements starting at 9:30 tomorrow morning.

The judge got a stipulation from both sides that he could inform the jury that there are no factual disputes between the parties; that Isaacs does not deny that he transported all, and imported at least one, of the movies in question, and that he sold them through his Websites.

The judge also said that it was his intention to "pre-instruct" the jury on the three prongs of the Miller test prior to their watching the films, so they would have an idea what facets of the presentations they should be looking for. However, when prosecutor Ken Whitted asked the judge for a copy of what he would read to the jury, Kozinski stated that he preferred to speak "off the cuff" in order to put the jury at ease, but that if he said something with which Whitted didn't agree, that he was free to object to any portion of the judge's summary.

The movie showing will begin tomorrow afternoon in Judge Kozinski's courtroom in Pasadena, which has a video display system that the judge prefers, and the judge indicated that it might also be necessary for the jury to return to Pasadena Thursday morning to finish viewing the footage, after which they would journey back downtown where testimony would continue.

Even with the trial in recess on Friday, however, the judge predicted that the testimony would conclude and the jury would begin deliberations late Monday afternoon.