More Jury Action – Backstrikes
Posted by thedarwinexception on May 17, 2011
Out of the 17 potential jurors who were seated during the week long process of picking jurors, six were stuck this morning, bringing the total potential panel down to eleven. The prosecution and defense each have 5 strikes left, although, of course, they can petition the judge for more peremptory challenges, and the judge may well grant the request, given the amount of charges that Casey Anthony is facing.
Already there is cause for a defense appeal, given the odd way that Judge Perry is conducting jury selection. Although there are no hard and fast rules as to how jury selection should be conducted, it is always an area that is ripe for appeal, and Judge Perry’s veering outside the realm of “usual” is bound to have the appellate lawyers already writing briefs. He seems to be making up a lot of it as he goes along, and changing the rules daily. “I’ll seat 8 alternates…” “Well, maybe not eight, but we’ll get what we get…” “I’ll swear them when we get 12….or 15….or at 5:00……”
And the “swearing in” point is rather important, because when the jury is sworn in is exactly when double jeopardy attaches. I’m sure Judge Perry just wants to get the jury sworn and sequestered, before there is any more potential tainting that can occur, but it would be a shame if the jury is sworn and then some procedural error takes place with the swearing in of the alternates and the whole case goes to hell in a hand basket.