Saturday, February 26, 2005

That was fast! MJ jury selected

CNN and other news sources expressed some surprise that less than a week was necessary to cull 12 jurors and 8 alternates from the jury pool. Most people, myself included, thought it would take a few weeks to question prospective jurors, especially because their questionnaire answers revealed that many knew of Jackson and prior charges against him. California courts tend to take their time in questioning, and allow attorneys to participate in questioning, unlike some other jurisdictions like mine (Delaware) that have very speedy jury selections.

A few tidbits about the jurors from CNN:

Lawyers finished selecting the four-man, eight-woman jury Wednesday. The oldest juror is a 79-year-old woman; the youngest, a 20-year-old man. Another eight alternate jurors -- four men and four women, ranging from 19 to 81 -- were chosen Thursday afternoon. One of the alternates, a 52-year-old woman, said she had a friend who worked for Jackson but did not specify in what capacity. Another, a 36-year-old UPS driver, said he had made deliveries to Jackson's Neverland ranch and had taken his children to events there at least once.The oldest, a widow, has served on two juries in drunken driving cases, both of which resulted in convictions.

Everyone mentions the race and ethnicity of the jurors; see this account from the LA Times:

The 12-member panel, selected Wednesday after just three days of questioning, consists of three or four Latinos and a woman of Asian background, with the remainder being white. Attorneys for Jackson, who is African American, objected when two black women were rejected as prospective jurors. The alternates are four men and four women ranging in age from 19 to 81. Six are white. The others are an African American man and a Latina.

And from CNN:

The youngest, a self-described "delivery boy," is the only African-American among the total panel of 20. Less than 2 percent of the population of Santa Barbara County is African-American.

I like this LA Times quote from an alternate juror:

A 64-year-old Army retiree who expressed admiration for Jackson's dancing: "I'm not so much into his music, but I sure like his moves," he said.


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