Untainted Jury in James Holmes case

How will the State of Colorado be able to select an untainted jury in the James Holmes case, assuming his case goes to jury trial? Who hasn’t heard of the Aurora shootings in the state, let alone the country? And does the state pull its jurors from the voter registration rolls? If that’s the case, I’d think they would be dealing with a slightly more educated (as in, they read papers, watch the news) group as opposed to a bunch of hillbillies who only go to town twice a year and aren’t registered.

How do they do it in any high profile case?
I assume people who want to be chosen just lie.

Why do you think everyone is tainted? There won’t be any argument about the facts of the case worth mentioning. The only call the jury will be involved in is whether he was insane, and if it’s done in that state, what the sentence is if convicted. It won’t be impossible to find a jury that says they will act impartially, and the likely possible outcomes won’t prove otherwise.

Lie about what?

Lie about whether they’ve heard much about the case or come to any conclusions about it.
They might also have to say whether they’re willing to consider the death penalty. I would lie about that if I wanted to be chosen.

What is tainted? I’ve only been exposed to a few high-profile cases such as this one that I would think everyone in the state has read plenty of reports on, my other experience involves only cases that they assume everyone in a particular county has been exposed to, so it’s simple enough to just boot the case over to the next county. I believe there will be no trial, he’ll just plead insane and be locked away in an asylum. But if there were a trial, how would they find jurors that had suffered no media exposure to the case? That’s the big deal around here, if someone is high-profile enough that the court asserts everyone in the county is familiar with the defendant, the offense and whatnot, they just boot it to the next county. So what about someone like Holmes? Booting it to the next county will not make much, if any difference in the jury pool.

Why? Everybody will be assumed to have heard about the killing spree. Someone who says they haven’t is going to be disbelieved unless they were in a coma. And there’s no way to know that someone has come to conclusions about it unless they’ve made some statements about that already. If I were a defense attorney I’d be having my secretary checking these jurors face book pages (I can’t do it myself because I’m not on facebook). But otherwise, just like in any other trial, you can only guess about whether someone has come to a conclusion or not. And if people say they would give him the death penalty, but are lying and won’t, then that has nothing to do with the notoriety of this case.

What? No you don’t just guess. You ask. And they might lie. But you still ask.

Well no, but it’s something they might lie about because they want to be a juror on a high profile case, whereas they might not bother to lie about it with a normal case because there’s no glamor or book deal in that.

He plead guilty last week and will serve life in prison without parole. There will be no trial.

Even if this particular mass killer won’t be going to trial, I still think it’s an issue worthy of discussion.

Yeah, there’s not a person in the *country *who hasn’t heard about this by now–even little old ladies without tv will have read about it in the paper, or heard it from friends/family. The fact that a guy in Colorado murdered a bunch of people in a movie theatre isn’t going to be disputed at all, so that’s not a criterion the attorneys would use for dismissal. Questions that might actually come up during *voir dire *(I imagine, IANAL) would be: Did you know anybody affected by these killings? Would you vote to acquit a murderer if you thought they were clinically insane at the time? Do you support the death penalty under any circumstances?

Heh, obviously there will be people who’ve not heard of this, I’m seeing a jury of fur-trappers and fishermen whose radios broke down - who else? The jury selection thing in the US interests me because it’s not done like that in the UK.

That was Jared Loughner, of the mass shooting where Gabby Giffords was shot. James Holmes is the movie theatre shooter. I don’t think he’s been asked to enter a plea yet.


I don’t think it matters if the jurors have heard of the shootings, since just about everyone has. The prosecution or defense would probably disqualify them if they’ve been following the news closely and have come to conclusions about Holmes’ guilt or innocence. The case isn’t going to be about whether or not he did it; it’ll be about whether he’s responsible or not responsible because of mental illness. The lawyers just have to find 12 or 15 people who haven’t followed the case that much and haven’t made up their mind about that issue. That doesn’t seem impossible to me.

Well yes. I meant that you ask and you are guessing whether they are being truthful or not.

That’s possible, but it’s still nothing uniquely identifiable with this crime. That could happen with the murder of a single person done in a private place by someone acting rationally otherwise.

How in the world can you hear about something and not make an initial judgment? Wouldn’t they be more interested in seeing how open minded you are–how willing you’d be to change your mind?