DETROIT (WWJ) – After a full week of day-long court sessions, one phase of the jury selection process in Kwame Kilpatrick’s and three co-defendants federal corruption case is almost done.
After Friday, 55 people have been picked to move on to the next pool of 66 potential jurors. At times, the process has been slow because potential jurors were questioned as if they themselves were on trial.
WWJ Legal Analyst Charlie Langton gives his take on the jury selection process:
“The process for selecting a jury took way longer than expected, I don’t think anybody is going to care once we actually start testimony,” said Langton. “You need a fair jury – we’ve got to spend the time it takes to get a fair jury and everyone has got to have his or her say to select the jury that’s going to be fair in this case.”
“This is a relatively working class potential jury pool – we have an elevator company trouble-shooter, we have a warehouse manager, we have a shipping clerk and these are people that are for the large part influenced by the media to some extent, but they’re not really up on major current events,” he said.
Langton said he was surprised that most if not all potential jurors has a negative opinion of Kwame Kilpatrick and are fairly specific about Kilpatrick’s storied past; the text messages, they know that he has resigned from office, they know some of the scandals he has been involved in and yet they say for the most part they can be fair in this case.
Of the 55 potential jurors that made it through, 12 are black, 1 native American and one woman from Lebanon.
The jury selection process continues on Tuesday.