Throughout the metro area, there’s a class of people living in despair, hoping, praying that they aren’t one of the select few sentenced to 18 weeks of hard time on the Kwame Kilpatrick jury.
Yes, finally, after years of drama, including a civil trial, hundreds of text messages, a never-to-be-satisfied restitution order, two prison stays, a book, and more charges than the San Fermin Festival, jury selection in Kilpatrick’s public corruption trial has begun in front of U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds. [In case you’ve forgotten what Kilpatrick is accused of this time around, the indictment can be found here.]
And with the beginning of the trial, we welcome back all of our old friends from past Kwame trials, such luminaries as Adoph Mongo, who offered this nugget of analysis to Robert Snell of The Detroit News:
“Race is 90 percent of this trial,” local political consultant Adolph Mongo said. “Race will overshadow anything and everything that comes out in the first week or two of this trial.”
Evidence, shmevidence. Who can argue with that?
Snell’s article focuses on the racial component of jury selection, which was an issue in the Bobby Ferguson case. Snell notes that the prosecutions of Sam Riddle and Bobby Ferguson,f or corruption and bid rigging, were derailed by a single juror, in both cases an African-American woman.
In the Freep, Tresa Baldas takes a different view, looking at the possibility of something that may or may not actually exist: the stealth juror, defined as a person who will lie to get on the jury because they have a bone to pick with either side, or just because they want to be famous. This makes complete sense. I mean, remember that juror from the O.J. Simpson trial, or the Casey Anthony trial? Yeah, me neither. Perhaps they should warn of the “stealth attorney” because they are the ones that tend to become famous from big trials. The lesson, Stealth Juror, is that book you’re thinking of writing? No one cares. Kwame himself wrote a book. It’s being used to balance uneven tables at bookstores across the state.
Baldas wrote that sniffing out hidden agendas can be tough:
The prospective jurors already have filled out questionnaires, and their answers have cleared the initial bias hurdle with both sides.
Experts note that uncovering any hidden biases is the tricky part, and jurors with hidden agendas could sneak their way onto the panel.
Hence the term “hidden agenda.”
The Freep also had a list of 10 felons/friends of Kilpatrick who are expected to testify against him.
I’ll tell you. I can’t wait … for it to be over.