9 jurors seated, 5 more to go, and State is out of peremptory strikes
Welcome to our coverage of the Kim Potter manslaughter trial over the April 11, 2021, shooting death of Duante Wright in a suburb of Minneapolis, when then-police officer Potter accidentally used her Glock 17 pistol in place of her intended Taser.
Today the court under Judge Regina Chu continues with the third day of jury selection, after seating nine jurors so far. The trial requires a total of 14 jurors seated–12 to deliberate a verdict, and two alternates.
It is also notable that yesterday the State exhausted its three peremptory strikes, while the defense has three of five strikes remaining. Given the pace of voir dire, Judge Chu has suggested to counsel the possibility of starting the trial prior to the scheduled December 8 date.
Chu also made clear that she will need a full day free prior to opening statements to finalize the jury instructions–this is a critical issue for the case, as the State is arguing for a jury instruction on recklessness that does not require the deliberate creation of an unjustified risk of death followed by intentionally ignoring that risk, both of which are normal conditions for the criminal recklessness underlying the manslaughter charges against Potter. Without this downgraded form of recklessness, it would seem unlikely the State can achieve a conviction on these charges on these facts. The defense, of course, is arguing to hold the State to the proper definition of recklessness.
That his critical question to the trial remains unsettled at this late date is a travesty, and reminiscent of Judge Schroeder’s failure to dismiss the gun possession charge against Kyle Rittenhouse until the day of jury instruction, when that charge was the key to the State’s efforts to argue provocation and thus take self-defense off the table as a legal defense.
For some more detailed background on this event and court proceedings to date, see these earlier posts:
Until next time:
You carry a gun so you’re hard to kill.
Know the law so you’re hard to convict.
Attorney Andrew F. Branca
Law of Self Defense LLC
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