Blaisdell Center set for Kealoha trial

Local News

The trial of the former police chief and his wife, a former deputy prosecutor, is set to begin outside of the courthouse.      

Jury selection for the Kealohas and three Honolulu police officers is scheduled for Monday at the Blaisdell Center.

Experts say this is unprecedented, to have jury selection done outside of the courtroom because of such a large jury pool. That process alone will take more than a week. 
 
The Blaisdell Exhibition Hall’s Pikake Room is already set up for the more than 400 prospective jurors expected.

Monday morning at 8:30 is when they will start to arrive. The venue was chosen because federal court cannot hold that many people at one time. 

Blaisdell also offers more parking. Once they’re seated, they’ll then fill out a questionnaire. The questionnaires are 12 pages long and prospective jurors are expected to finish them in about 45 minutes.

On Tuesday, the attorneys for both sides will consult with each other after reviewing the questionnaires. They will then start eliminating those who they agree should not serve in the jury and put together a list.

Federal Judge Michael Seabright will get the list on Wednesday morning and attorneys will meet with him in the afternoon to iron out the details. Thursday is an off day.

Come Friday, the jurors will be grouped 45 at a time and the first group will be in federal court where Judge Seabright will then ask them questions submitted by the attorneys.

The next 45 will go through the same thing on Monday, and possibly another group on Tuesday. 

The judge says that at the earliest, opening arguments could happen on Tuesday.
       
We asked the city if the Blaisdell is doing anything on the Monday when 400 plus people are coming, to make sure there’s enough parking and to ease traffic. 

A spokesman says the parking concessionaire will add an extra lane coming into the garage to handle the traffic. The daily and monthly users of the parking garage will be directed to the upper levels so there should be plenty of parking available in the lower level. Other drivers are advised to avoid the King Street entrance of the Blaisdell.

Security is another issue because prospective jurors will have to be checked by federal marshals. It’s not clear how long that can take with so many people going in at the same time.

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