Media, Jury Experts Make Impact on Start of Simpson Trial Judge Still Wrestles with Glut of Media Coverage as Jury Selection for Costly, Sensational Trial Begins Series: Experts Say Intense Media Coverage Will Ensure O.J. Simpson One of the Fairest Trials in US History or One of the Least Fair Due to a Lack of Impartial Jurors., DAN GROSHONG/REUTERS

By Daniel B. Wood, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, September 26, 1994 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Media, Jury Experts Make Impact on Start of Simpson Trial Judge Still Wrestles with Glut of Media Coverage as Jury Selection for Costly, Sensational Trial Begins Series: Experts Say Intense Media Coverage Will Ensure O.J. Simpson One of the Fairest Trials in US History or One of the Least Fair Due to a Lack of Impartial Jurors., DAN GROSHONG/REUTERS


Daniel B. Wood, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


FINALLY ... The Trial itself.

Jury selection scheduled to begin today in the O. J. Simpson case marks the long-awaited formal opening to the double-murder episode's actual trial stage, for which every legal proceeding to this point has been merely preparatory.

To meet federal and state requirements granting the right of a "speedy trial," juror interviews must begin 60 days after Mr. Simpson's July 22 arraignment. Today marks that deadline plus a one-week extension agreed to by defense attorneys.

Ironically, the 18 satellite uplinks poised to deliver coverage to Everytown, USA and beyond - more than for World Cup soccer - will not be allowed to broadcast pictures of the jury selection. To protect prospective jurors' rights to privacy, one designated pool reporter, Linda Deutsch of Associated Press, will be allowed inside to report visual descriptions.

Live audio will be piped to a press room where all other reporters can take notes but are strictly forbidden to carry or use tape-recorders. Large role of judge

While Judge Lance Ito reviews written questionnaires filled out by juror candidates, following up with verbal questioning, both defense and prosecution teams will help winnow a reported beginning pool of 1,000 down to 12 jurors and six alternates.

Judge Ito is also expected to complete unfinished business from last week's pre-trial proceedings, ruling on several defense motions to suppress evidence.

He may also rule on whether the jury will be sequestered during the trial and will hold a hearing to determine whether one or more electronic media will be barred from covering the trial live.

"{Judge} Ito has been angered by media shenanigans outside the courtroom," says Laurie Levinson, law professor at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. "But it is unlikely that he will vent that anger by taking cameras from inside ... they are the one good way to offset bad reporting."

At some point before opening arguments in the case are heard, Ito will also conduct hearings to determine the admissibility of DNA evidence.

Now that the media and public have a chance to reflect beyond the murders themselves - and the summer's tabloid barrage of subplots on police chases, mystery weapons, athletes and beautiful women - what can serious citizens actually look for as proceedings unfold?

"The world is being treated to a full-blown, no-holds-barred, no-stone-unturned examination of what the Sixth Amendment right to a trial by jury means under the US Constitution," says Myrna Raeder vice chair of the American Bar Association's Committee on Federal rules of Evidence and Criminal Procedure.

"From trial proceedings to forensics, you are going to see into every nook and cranny of the American justice system, strength and weaknesses alike.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Media, Jury Experts Make Impact on Start of Simpson Trial Judge Still Wrestles with Glut of Media Coverage as Jury Selection for Costly, Sensational Trial Begins Series: Experts Say Intense Media Coverage Will Ensure O.J. Simpson One of the Fairest Trials in US History or One of the Least Fair Due to a Lack of Impartial Jurors., DAN GROSHONG/REUTERS
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?