Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Cutts Jury .. can it be selected?

It's a daunting task to say the least:

Try finding 12 people who:
  1. know nothing (or very little) about the Jessie Marie Davis murder even though it dominated the local and national news for weeks
  2. are willing to consider the death penalty
  3. don't have preconceived feelings about those who commit infidelity
  4. can consider murder charges against a police officer while setting aside any positive or negative thoughts they have about cops
  5. can set aside their racial prejudices to include feelings about interracial dating

Now, if you can find those 12 people, are they really the people you want deciding a person's fate? And what would that dozen look like?

I've set up a blog poll to gauge your feelings about which area is most important when selecting jurors. Don't feel like you need to vote quickly; give it some thought and then weigh in on why you voted the way you did.

I look forward to your thoughts.

1 comment:

vanillacokehead said...

If I were involved in the process of selecting jurors for this trial, I'd just assume from the beginning that they've heard about the case. One would have to have been under a rock not to.

The first thing (by far) I'd screen potential jurors for is their views on race and interracial relationships.

Second, I would look for attitudes on the death penalty. Third, I'd look for how potential jurors regard people in law enforcement. Then I'd look at attitudes towards infidelity.

In a related question, I've pondered the merit or lack thereof of moving the trial out of Canton.

In this case, I don't think a change of venue would help. This case has had massive press nationwide and especially in Ohio. I do give props to the police and prosecutors for doing a great job keeping a lid on the details surrounding the case.

At this point, I think the trial should just stay put. I think it would hurt the defense if the trial is moved outside of Canton; people outside of NE Ohio tend to be more conservative in terms of views of race and the death penalty. I think it would hurt the prosecution to move the trial to Cleveland, Akron, or Youngstown; I think juries might be more sympathetic to Bobby Cutts, Jr. in those areas.

Do I think a fair and impartial jury can be selected? Yes, I do. The judge and attorneys will have to go through a lot of people to get one; but I think they can get 12 people who can try this case.