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It`s that time for juror selection in the case against William Balfour, Jennifer Hudson`s sisters estranged husband. If you don`t recall, he is accused of murdering Jennifer`s mother, brother and nephew in 2008.
If you`ve ever served on a juror those on trial have the right to a fair jury. By that it means there should be no sway on either side. This extends to those in the juror box, the judges, the lawyers, etc. There should be no knowing the person(s) on trial, whether by association, first person or through a friend of a friend. If you do know a person, that has to be expressed in court and the lawyers will discuss with the judge as to if they feel certain potential jurors should be dismissed. Questions are also asked regarding topics that are going to be expressed in court. For instance, if a police officer is to take the stand questions regarding your opinion of police officers, etc, is questioned because they don`t want prejudiced jurors on the sidelines. Jurors are meant to be impartial and are meant to listen to the entire case before coming to a determination of a persons innocence or guilt.
Now this area becomes grayed when any individual involved is a celebrity. Whether we like it or not, we as human beings pass judgment. For example, we like certain celebrities for different reasons (they may be linked up with your favorite charity), they may have gone to the same school as you, etc, etc. It`s especially difficult to find individuals serving in the district and surrounding districts that have a blind eye when it comes to celebrities and/or their gossip. How does this all relate to the case at hand? Well, if you happen to be a J-Hud fan and you feel terrible about her loss and hope whoever did this horrific thing rots. Since the finger is being pointed at William Balfour (who is accused of murdering the 3 family members) you would, whether it`s consciously or subconsciously assume he is guilty before hearing all the evidence. Granted, he may very WELL be guilty, but you as a juror are there to be impartial and make your decision after you`ve heard ALL evidence (even if that takes weeks-months).
Now the potential jurors in this case are being asked <strong> 66 questions - 9 of which have been released to the press</strong>. Some of the questions being asked are as the following:
- Do you know who Jennifer Hudson is?
- Are you affiliated with any organization Jennifer may be associated with? (Weight Watchers -- and right there I`d be axed out of the potentials list)
- Do you watch American Idol? Have you watched American Idol?
- Did you watch the movie Dreamgirls?
- Have you read Jennifer Hudson`s book?
- Have you seen Jennifer Hudson perform live?
Other questions asked are directly related to the individuals person. Education, employment, family, military service, etc. All of these questions are being asked because since Jennifer is famous, they want to make sure they dont get a panel worth of her fans who want this man to roast on a stake before the facts are presented. Another aspect is Jennifer may be called onto the stand as a witness.
As in any case, there are always loop holes and there are always individuals who even if they are sworn in, will lie and say X, Y, Z just to be on a jury, or have hopes just to get their eyes on a celebrity. But in the end the state will draw together their jury pool and the trial will happen. Only time will tell as to what the state will draw as a conviction.
Have you ever been selected for jury duty AND been a juror?
How would you react to being selected for a case and it just happens to be a high-profile celebrity case?
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