NV vs. Simpson – Jury Selection
Posted by thedarwinexception on September 9, 2008
So jury selection has begin in the OJ Simpson case. And God bless the state of Nevada for allowing cameras into the courtroom during this normally “behind closed doors” process.
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last year (as apparently some Nevadian’s (?) Navadan’s (?)) have been doing for the last 15), OJ is in court, on trial, for the third time in the last 2 decades. This time he is accused of a host of charges including Kidnapping, Armed Robbery, Assault with a deadly weapon, and various other crimes which, if he is found guilty of even one or two of them, will net him life in prison. He has a co-defendant for this incarnation – one Charles Stuart. He started out with a host of co-defendants, most of whom the DA made sweetheart deals with to have them testify against their “big fish”, OJ, who was the one perpetrator never actually accused of having a weapon on the night in question. Go figure.
But we expect the main witnesses against OJ Simpson to be the people who were in that tiny Las Vegas hotel room last September, either as “enforcers” of OJ’s, come to steal back the sports memorabilia that was allegedly stolen from OJ to begin with – or “victims” of the robbery, who were only there to sell their prized OJ, Pete Rose and Joe Montana crap. The witnesses make for a motley crew – pimps, thieves, stalkers and arsonists – one will be coming to court to testify in an orange jumpsuit escorted by armed guards – and he’s one of the victims in the case.
So far jury selection has been….interesting. Maybe it’s just me, but I tend to disbelieve anyone who gets up there and says “OJ?? Never heard of him! He was tried before? For What?” I mean, how many caves are there in Nevada – and exactly how many people actually live in them? Of course, not all potential jurors disavow any knowledge of OJ- one juror today – number 57 – was dismissed because she actually said “I think there’s a smidgeon in the back of my mind that might allow me to convict him because I think he got away with murder.” Goodbye Number 57.
The majority of jurors so far, though, have professed “limited knowledge” of the prior case and even more “limited knowledge” of the civil proceedings. Many didn’t even know what the outcome of the civil trial had been. Most fascinating to me is how some of them filled out their umpteen page questionnaire. The questions ranged anywhere from “Who is your favorite celebrity?” to “Do you watch CSI?” to “Has anyone in your family or circle of friends ever been the victim of a crime?” to “Do you think police have a tendency to lie on the stand?” And it seems like with each potential juror the lawyers are going through the questionnaire answer by answer to make sure not only that the person was truthful and honest, but that there isn’t anything to be expounded upon behind an innocuous “yes” or “no” answer. Yesterday one juror broke down into sobs as he related how his father had been robbed and beaten while delivering pizzas.
In the end the court will pick 40 jurors. These are the ones that will be empanelled and that the lawyers will pick from to be the jury and the alternates. Hopefully this process will be done and over with in the next day or so.