Monday, February 20, 2006

Jensen Trial Starts Tomorrow

GOP Rep. Scott Jensen, the last of the major "caucus scandal" figures still standing, will begin his trial tomorrow at 9 a.m. in Dane County Court with jury selection.

Jensen's attorney, Stephen Meyer, told WisPolitics late last week that the chances of the former Assembly Speaker reaching a plea agreement before trials are "none."

Reached late this afternoon, Dane Co. DA Brian Blanchard told WisPolitics he expected the trial to proceed as scheduled, and declined to comment on whether there have been plea negotiations.

But one Madison lawyer following the case suggested a Jensen plea would be possible after the trial got underway. ``Possible. Especially when he sees the jury that gets impaneled,'' the attorney said.

The 10-page juror questionnaire includes queries about community and political involvement, and whether jurors have been paying attention to pretrial publicity.

One question asks whether the prospective juror has been a member of Common Cause, the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, or The People's Legislature. Another asks whether the juror has made a contribution to a political candidate.

The questionnaire also included the defense and prosecution witness lists, and asks jurors about connections to them.

If jury selection goes as planned, opening statements could begin as early as tomorrow afternoon.

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