Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

How on Earth Do You Pick a Jury for a Trump Trial?

NYMag Intelligencer via MSN: “Jury selection,” a grizzled New York criminal defense lawyer once snarled at me, “is the whole ball game.” This was during one of my first trials as a prosecutor; I was maybe 31 or 32 years old, and the other guy had been practicing since before I was born. I didn’t see it back then — Well, sure, jury selection is important, but really, it’s all about the facts and the law! — but now I know that the old battle-ax was entirely correct. The jury decides; they’re just a bunch of normal human beings, and if you’ve got a good jury, you’re good to go. If you don’t, you’re cooked. Jury selection in the first-ever trial of a former president begins in ten days, and while it’ll be difficult, it’ll get done. The end result likely will please prosecutors with the Manhattan DA’s office. The goal of jury selection, according to the leather-bound law books, is to select 12 ordinary civilians who can put aside their personal beliefs and decide the case dispassionately based solely on the evidence presented in the courtroom. That’s the overarching institutional principle, and it’s fine and lovely. But now, let’s get real: For the lawyers, the aim is to obliterate anyone who might be inclined against their side and to load the jury with as many sympathizers as possible. This isn’t some casual game of pickleball. This is warfare. The challenge here is that we’ve never seen a criminal defendant who inspires more polarized views than Donald Trump. People either worship the man or despise him — in Manhattan, it’s mostly the latter — and there’s little in between. The trick for the lawyers will be to suss out which jurors fall into which camp..”

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.