Second day of jury selection in Capital Gazette mass shooting case ends with at least 70 qualified jurors – CBS Baltimore



ANNAPOLIS, Maryland (WJZ) – Lawyers on Thursday returned their caseload to Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, as the court attempts to reduce the number of jurors from around 300 to 12 jurors with deputies.

Criminal defense attorney Latoya Francis-Williams, who is not associated with the case, said this phase was crucial.

READ MORE: Selection of the jury in the case of the mass shooting of the Capital Gazette

“In a high-profile case, you want to get it right. The reality is everyone wants closure, everyone wants finality, and if the process isn’t right, nine times out of ten we’re going to do it again, ”said Francis-Williams.

Most jurors knew something about the 2018 mass shooting at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis.

There were three current and former journalists in the room. One of the potential jurors works for NPR and this news agency did a series on victims, but that potential juror did not work on the story.

Other potential jurors knew one of the victims. A woman told the court that Wendi Winters visited her years ago when the potential juror suffered a personal tragedy.

Another man told court that a friend’s daughter was murdered in the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. When asked if he could be impartial, he replied to the judge, “I would like to say that I have the mental capacity not to think about these incidents, but these experiences are quite traumatic and they would weigh on me.

Francis-Williams recalls that jurors are human.

“A juror is supposed to ignore information that has not been admitted, so if we have potential jurors who cannot put this aside, if we have potential jurors who would be really distracted by their emotions and feelings, then they wouldn’t make a fair, they wouldn’t make a good juror, ”said Francis-Williams.

The accused has pleaded guilty to the murder of Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiassen, John Mcnamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters, but the court will have to determine whether he is criminally responsible.

One woman said bluntly to the judge, “I think you are responsible for the actions you take and should suffer the consequences and not be fooled about them.

Several people were excused from their jury duty Thursday for various reasons. Late Thursday, the court announced there were more than 70 qualified jurors.

The hope is that the number will be reduced to 12 jurors with alternates on Friday.


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