Eight jurors have been seated (5 men, 3 women). Defense is saying they are confident that selection will finish tomorrow. If I’m deciphering Joe Lopez’s tweets correctly, the defense used two of their allotted 10 peremptory challenges.
Jon Seidel reports that lawyers are done questioning potential jurors for the day. Peterson gets 15 minutes to talk things over with lawyers.
Dinner has been brought in. Selection continues.
Still no jurors selected. Court is going to run late so attorneys can take care of more selection. Eight candidates were allowed to go home and return tomorrow.
Attorney Joe Lopez says “a lot” of juror candidates watched Drew Peterson: Untouchable.
Less than half of today’s 40 juror candidates have been questioned so far.
Concerns that jury candidates are discussing their questioning. Media cleared from courtroom while judge admonishes potential jurors.
Judge Burmila is back on the bench. Tells juror candidates this case “isn’t a show you have seen on TV”.
Breaking for a short lunch.
Reports are that defense attys are asking the most questions, re: family members, education, experience with the law. Jury candidates are saying they can be fair to Peterson and have avoided media coverage, by turning off tv/radio, leaving the room when news about Peterson came on.
Juror candidates now seated in courtroom for selection process.
Hearing has ended. Judge told prosecutors he’ll let Peterson object to hearsay evidence as it is presented. This means he will not be barring any of the hearsay statements before trial and that we will most likely not be seeing any further delays/appeals. [Download audio MP4] Now jury selection can start.
Media allowed into courtroom.
Attorney Joe Lopez arrives at courthouse.
Some of the defense team is giving sound bites to the media near the back entrance of courthouse. Jury questionnaire is still sealed but Attorney Greenberg quips that “No Nancy Grace fans” will be chosen by the defense. [Download audio MP4]
Potential jurors begin to arrive at the courthouse in Joliet.
The long wait for a group of potential jurors assembled to hear the Drew Peterson murder case is finally over.
The group was assembled almost three years ago when then presiding Judge Stephen White (now retired) called 240 potential jurors into his courtroom in groups of 60 to fill out questionnaires. Since then the trial has been delayed by numerous motions and a long stint in Appellate Court and Illinois Supreme Court, but this same group (or what is left at this time) will be the starting point for assembling the 12 men and women (plus alternates) who’ll be seated when Peterson’s trial for the murder of Kathleen Savio begins next week.
As usual, we’ll have our eyes and ears open and post updates throughout the day. Check back throughout the day for the latest news and don’t forget to check the comment thread.
On a side note, we are proud to observe that Justice Café has been researched extensively by the news media for the last few weeks. We’ve seen CNN, TBS, CBS, and NBC (as well as local news media) on the stats for hours at a time researching the blog posts, documents, FAQ and the photos we’ve compiled over the years.
HLN/InSession producers have been in touch with us requesting interviews and an offer of camera time. Neither Rescueapet nor myself feel comfortable with doing that but after repeated requests Rescue has agreed to do a phone interview with In Session which should air tomorrow afternoon. We’ll let you know the exact time when we find out more.