Friday, October 13, 2006

Jury selection will be private

Today Judge Fred Gibler ruled that the jury selection for Idaho v Joseph Edward Duncan, III will be closed to the public and the media.

"I find the right to a fair trial and an impartial jury outweighs the right of the press to cover voir dire," Gibler said of the method for selecting jurors.
Judge Gibler ruled for a private jury selection mainly out of concern that people called for jury duty would witness the answers of those being questioned before them, and they would then finagle their own answers to "fit the bill."

There are also some pretty personal questions asked of potential jurors, and I could imagine a good portion of those people being uncomfortable and/or plain untruthful in answering them if the media is recording every word. In this case, potential jurors will also be asked very touchy questions about any sexual abuse they may have suffered. While their answers will not be broadcast on national television, the transcripts of jury selection will be made available to the media and the unwashed public after a jury has been seated.

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