Jury selection for the Kealoha trial continued at federal court Friday. And this was a chance to hear from potential jurors on whether they can still be fair even after all the pretrial publicity.
At this stage, attorneys aren’t just paying attention to what potential jurors say but how they say them. Their body language is also being scrutinized.
The first group of 45 potential jurors was in federal court today answering questions on how much they know about the case accusing the Kealohas of framing a relative for stealing their mailbox.
Most of them know something about it and have an opinion or bias. But the key answer to determine if they stay on is if they can say for sure that they can set aside that bias during the trial.
“Ultimately when you hear a lot of people expressing their opinion they still have to be able to say that they can set all that aside and just look at the evidence that’s in the case,” said legal expert Doug Chin.
He adds that attorneys for both sides are also paying close attention to more than just what the jurors are saying.
“As they’re watching jurors and how they respond to things, their body language and their tone as they answer questions. Because a lot of that will give a really good signal in terms of how people are gonna end up voting or how they think about something,” said Chin.
And as the jury pool shrinks even more next week, Chin says attorneys will already be keeping a close watch on good candidates for foreperson.
“Who in this group is gonna be a leader that might be able to influence other people? Or who among this group is going to be someone who understands the law? Not that they’re a lawyer, but they’re logical enough to take the jury instructions and explain it to everybody else,” said Chin.
Jury selection is expected to last at least through Wednesday.