O.J. Simpson jury selection enters home stretch

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- The jury panel for O.J. Simpson's kidnapping-robbery case may be chosen late today or early Friday.

A judge in Las Vegas dismissed the idea that the jury selection was going to take weeks. He said "The end is near, folks!"

The judge had asked lawyers and prospective jurors to put in 10-hour days to select the jury. By late yesterday, 27 prospects had cleared for the panel, and the judge wants 40 cleared before moving forward. Twelve of those prospects, and six alternates, will be chosen for the final panel.

Most prospective jurors have said they disagree with the 1995 verdict to acquit Simpson on charges of murdering his ex-wife and her friend. But many say they still believe they can fairly consider the former football star's new case.

Simpson is charged with kidnapping and armed robbery after allegedly stealing items from two sports memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room last year.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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