Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Meyer Wants 27 Jurors Tossed for Bias Prior to Jury Selection

In a final pre-trial motion hearing this morning, Scott Jensen's attorney Stephen Meyer moved to strike 27 jurors based on answers to the juror questionnaire.

Jury selection was slated to begin at nine, but was delayed by the last-minute hearing.

Meyer said the jurors he wanted stricken "indicated they hold either Republicans in complete contempt or distrust or believe all politicians are liars."

Meyer said one juror wrote in the questionnaire that Assembly Speaker "John Gard was a blank-blank-blank."

"I remember that," replied Judge Steven Ebert, but he said he was going to allow the jurors to remain in the pool for now.

The attorneys will try to whittle down the jury pool today. In all, 135 Dane County residents were summoned for duty. Three dropped out last week due to illness or travel plans, and seven more didn't show up this morning, according to the jury clerk.

Ebert has indicated to court officials that if jury selection goes smoothly, opening arguments could occur this afternoon. According to court officials late yesterday, Ebert says he does not expect jury selection to last all day and that he plans to start opening statements soon after he has a jury, as early as this afternoon.

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