MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — We are getting our first look at the questionnaire potential jurors in the George Floyd trial have been sent and asked to fill out.
The trial of four former Minneapolis police officers charged in Floyd’s death is expected to start in March.
The juror questionnaire was sent to some people living in Hennepin County. It asks what the potential juror knows about Floyd’s death, and if the person has participated in demonstrations or has regular contact with law enforcement.
Roy Futterman, Ph.D. is a psychologist and jury consultant with DOAR. His job is to help a side pick a jury, and has worked on high-profile criminal and civil cases. He is not associated with the Floyd case.
“What you’re trying to do is get people to speak very freely privately, rather than in open court, hoping they will speak more freely and hoping that they will say things that will expose problems for your side,” Futterman said.
He calls the questionnaire thorough, and points to questions relevant to this case.
“There are a lot of very specific questions about things like chokeholds, whether you’ve had personal training in forensics or police work,” Futterman said.
He notes the prosecution will look for someone who is on the side of social justice and wary of police, while the defense would look for people who are conservative and appreciate law and order.
“They’re going to be many, many scores of people from the get-go that, ‘I can’t do it,’ overly bias one way or another,” Futterman said.
He does say it’s unusual to send a questionnaire out this early. It typically happens on the eve of a trial.
“It may be that each side will have a lot of information about potential jurors before they go in,” Futterman said.
According to the questionnaire, jury selection is expected to begin March 8 and could last three weeks. The trial would start after that and is estimated to last three to four weeks, which would take us into mid to late-April.
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