Libby Trial Jury Selection Strategery
Fitzgerald has a reputation for not fussing overmuch about jury selection, other than to be sure he has people who can make a fair and independent judgment.
The Libby strategy may be interesting. I've heard a couple of things from looseheadprop. First, whereas most defendants don't want a juror who has a strong and abiding faith in authority figures, since that would favor the prosecution, in this case, the prosecution is in some sense the underdog, not the authority.
Libby would love to get someone from the 12% of the country's true believers who think the surge is a good idea, deferring to the administration as the authority. Libby may also want one or two hard core true believers who would hold out to provide jury nullification in the event of a consensus to convict.
Team Irving filed a motion this morning to try to ask jurors about their exposure to particular news accounts about this case, or Fitzgerald's press conference. Fitz argues this is a way for the defense to purposely expose potential jurors with information about this case of their choosing. This is being wrangled in court out of the presence of the jurors as I type this. UPDATE: I haven't seen this get sorted out yet, but Walton seems inclined to find a way to allow Team Irving to find a way to ask its questions.
Class and race are not supposed to enter into jury selection, but they always do somehow, and we'll see what peremptory challenges surface from either side and how well Walton guards the border on these issues.
Questioning of specific jurors is now beginning. Team Irving is asking further questions about their views on the war or the decision to go to war, if they have any problem with it or strong opinions, or just general attitudes about the Bush administration or VP Cheney. Fitzgerald says this has already been covered in the opening voir dire review, and is repetitive in individual questioning, and actually beyond the scope of direct questions about the ability to be fair. Defense is arguing people sometimes miss their checked boxes, and that this is no ordinary case and we need to probe for anti-administration biases.
Walton's audio is really bad right now, but he's saying he will allow some latitude. The Libby people are also asking memory questions, repeating some of what was in the initial phase of voir dire, basically, do you think people can forget stuff?
Questioning of individual jurors is proceeding, very slowly, because there are a lot of questions and probing, mostly by the defense. At this rate, jury selection will take many, many days.