One potential juror already sick of Kelly trial?

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There was no crowd waiting on the court steps for R. Kelly this morning as he arrived wearing a grey suit and silver tie. After the noise and excitement of Friday, the court has begun the serious business of picking a jury.

The process of selecting 12 jurors and four alternates from the pool of 150 potential jurors is expected to take a week - far longer than the two to three hours needed in most trials in Cook County.

At least one juror seems already seems to have had enough.

Ten potential jurors, selected in a lottery, were supposed to attend this morning to be questioned by the attorneys for both sides, but only nine showed up.

The jury questionnaires have been sealed by the judge, so we don't yet know exactly what the jurors have been asked. But questionnaires usually ask whether the potential jurors know anyone associated with the case, or have read about it in the media. The defense has tried to have the trial delayed, arguing that the jury pool has been "irrevocably poisoned" by a series of Sun-Times scoops.

But in high profile trials like this, journalists are often chastened to learn just how many potential jurors have never read, heard or watched any reports of the case. This time, despite his enormous fame, R. Kelly may also find himself in the unusual position of coming face to face with people who have no idea who he is.

Another interesting thing to look for will be to see how many potential jurors acknowledge having already seen the sex tape at the center of the case. It has been widely distributed on the internet and has been sold on street corners for years. But if Kelly is convicted (meaning the prosecution has proved that the girl on the tape is underage), possession of the tape could be a criminal offense in itself.

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R. Kelly on trial

The story of the allegations against R. Kelly started here in the Sun-Times. Almost six years later, it's now finally reached a trial.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Kim Janssen published on May 12, 2008 9:41 AM.

Roll up, Roll up! was the previous entry in this blog.

First two potential jurors screened is the next entry in this blog.

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