The call to jury duty for the trial of Derek Chauvin, the white former police officer accused of murdering George Floyd, a Black man, came with 14 pages of questions about race, policing, martial arts and podcasts, reports The New York Times.
Typically, such questionnaires include submissions from both the prosecution and the defense, with the final selections made by the judge. The court has not disclosed how many questionnaires were sent out or returned, nor is it clear whether the submitted answers will ever become public. But lawyers will use these as a starting point when they begin questioning potential jurors.
What do you know about this case from media reports?
The goal is not to find someone who has never heard of George Floyd — anyone who makes that claim may be seen as incompetent or even dishonest. Still, lawyers will be trying to flag people who have been paying really close attention and may have already made up their minds on the case.
What podcasts do you regularly listen to?
The lawyers will be looking for ideological markers, and podcasts offer an almost infinite range of viewpoints from mainstream to niche. Generally speaking, the defense will be looking for political conservatives with pro-law-enforcement views.
Have you ever been restrained or put in a chokehold, for example, by law enforcement or during a self-defense class? ◻ Yes ◻ No If Yes, please explain:
This question gets at a tricky part of jury selection — do you want someone with a particular experience related to the case, or not? Sometimes it can be beneficial, but other times the juror may become overly focused on his or her own past.
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