This comes after hundreds of potential jurors filled out questionnaires.
Action News learned that based on written answers, both the prosecutors and the defense attorneys agreed on 196 potential jurors coming back in September for additional questioning. Both sides also agreed to toss out 243 others.
It seemed like there were about 10 key questions that kept hundreds of jurors from being called back.
Quotes like “Kwame Kilpatrick is a crook” made it clear to the judge and the legal teams that hundreds of potential jurors can’t set aside their opinions when it comes to the Kilpatrick Corruption trial.
Tuesday was to decide the fate of the 38 on the “maybe” list.
After Judge Nancy Edmunds heard arguments, she decided to dismiss several jurors, including Juror 650 who wrote “Kwame Kilpatrick is a crook” and Juror 695 who wrote of the ex-mayor
“I believe the mayor started the downfall of the city.”
Also not returning is Juror 427 who wrote “They are not the most honest defendants” and that Bernard Kilpatrick “should have raised a better man.”
And Juror 392, who wrote “corruption begins at the top” when asked about the ex-mayor’s father, was also dismissed.
But several others on the “maybe list” will return for further questioning, including Juror 410 who wrote
“Detroit needs to find honest mayors that can rebuild the city.”
Also coming back is Juror 426 who wrote “the former mayor is known across the country as being corrupt and a liar.”
Juror 524, who said of Bernard Kilpatrick “he is like his son,” will also remain in the pool. As will Juror 489 who is unemployed and wants to serve for the $40 dollars/day jurors are paid.
“The key to all of this is that the person is willing to decide the case on only what happens in the courtroom,” said Action News legal analyst Anthony Chambers. “A lot of people have opinions, some of the opinions are negative, however many people believe they can overcome those negative opinions and still be fair.”
“If a juror has info that’s within their mind, and their mindset, and they can’t put it aside, and the lawyer can’t even address that issue, it becomes unfair to both the prosecution and the defense,” said Chambers.
Despite fears that an impartial jury could not be seated, Chambers says there are plenty of jurors to choose from.
When it was all over today, 252 potential jurors were on the “no” list and will not serve.
Of the jurors who were tossed out of the pool – most were for hardship reasons or because they expressed strong views of the defendants.
On the lengthy questionnaire, questions 90-100 seemed to be brought up the most in court today as reasons to tell jurors to stay home.
Those questions focus on media exposure of the case and whether jurors think the members of the alleged “Kilpatrick Enterprise” are guilty.
218 potential jurors are on the “yes” list with seven others remaining in the “maybe” column. About 80 on the “yes” list will be the first to come back for more questioning next month.
The ex-mayor turned up in court wearing eyeglasses and a bow tie.
His long-time friend Bobby Ferguson and father Bernard were also present, but the fourth defendant Victor Mercado was excused from today’s hearing. Mercado was head of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department in the Kilpatrick administration.
All four men face a long list of charges including bribery, racketeering and extortion.