10 women, 6 men empaneled as jury, trial begins tomorrow at Noonrop
A jury of 10 women and 6 men were chosen today for the first degree murder trial of 47-year-old Michael Dunn, charged in the shooting death of 17-year-old Jordan Davis. Twelve of these sixteen will sit as primary jurors, and another four as alternates, but it was not yet clear as of this writing which jurors would be placed in which group.
Unlike the case in the Zimmerman trial, jury selection was not televised. Local reporters were finally granted a video feed into the selection proceedings yesterday afternoon, continuing through today, but this feed was not made available for real-time broadcast.
Because of the lack of broadcast video and audio, most of the information regarding the selection process became publicly known only through the tweets of reporters on the scene. Accordingly, the kind of rich detail and insight available regarding the jurors in the Zimmerman trial is not readily accessible here, at least not until local reporters incorporate such details into their coverage of the selection process.
Beginning with the trial proper tomorrow, scheduled to begin at Noon, it is expected that a live audio and video feed will be broadcast from the court room, albeit juror identities will remain concealed. We’ll be covering the trial in real time, as we did in the Zimmerman trial.
Interestingly, it appears that State Prosecutor Angela Corey will take the lead for the entirety of this trial. It was Corey who led the State’s portion of voir dire over the past two days. Assistant State Attorney John Guy, familiar from the Zimmerman trial, has played a substantive role in pre-trial procedures, but appears to have been allocated the back seat in this prosecution.
The 16 selected jurors are being released to go home this evening. They return to court at 8AM tomorrow, after which they will remain sequestered for the duration of the trial, although they will be allowed visitors this Sunday if the trial has not yet concluded by then. Holding court on Saturday was an option explicitly raised by Judge Healey at the close of today, although a decision has not yet been made.
In separate news, State prosecutors have said that when the contentious jailhouse recordings are finally released to the media, they will be redacted of various racist statements alleged to have been made by Dunn. Why such comments would fall under any exception to Florida’s public records law is utterly unclear, as they do not involve privacy or confidential information. Further complaints from the media on this point are to be anticipated.
Keep your eyes here at Legal Insurrection for more details as they develop.
Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.