"His demeanor is that of an innocent person. But then again, so was O.J.’s"
——Johnnie Cochran, Puff Daddy's defense attorney


Rapper Brings A Bible And A Legal Dream Team To Court
Jury selection for Sean "Puffy" Combs' trial on weapons possession charges got underway in New York today amid doubts that an unprejudiced panel could be assembled.

The rapper brought in not only a top-flight legal team—consisting of famed defense attorney Johnnie Cochran and Benjamin Brafman—but a dog-eared copy of the New Testament also.

The rapper held the miniature Bible in his hand as Supreme Court Judge Charles Solomon began questioning potential jurors amid a media hubbub.

When they first entered the court, the 260 prospective jurors had no idea who the defendant was, but it didn't take long for some of them to find out. Only a small percentage recognized Combs, but those that did were clearly excited about being there.

The judge quickly dismissed all potential panelists unable to serve because of work, personal obligation or because they knew someone involved with the case. By the end of the day today, Solomon had dismissed about 110 of the jurors, whittling the pool down to about 150. Those that remain will be questioned about being exposed to media coverage of the case, which could make putting together a full 12-person jury difficult. The judge will begin individual questioning of pool members tomorrow to determine whether they have already formed any opinions about the case or the defendants.

If convicted of the charges, Combs could spend 15 years in prison—a lifetime without conjugal visits from galpal Jennifer Lopez.

Before sending potential jurors home, Solomon warned them not to discuss the case and to avoid press coverage. Attorney Cochran and Brafmanare also under a gag order not to speak about the case, but they spoke briefly outside the courtroom.

Cochran said: "His demeanor is that of an innocent person. But then again, so was O.J.'s"

Added Brafman: "All we want is a level playing field for Mr. Combs."