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Jury Consultant: Picking Jurors In Derek Chauvin Trial Will Be 'Herculean Task'

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Jury selection in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin should get underway on Monday.

Judge Peter Cahill has allowed three weeks to pick jurors -- an unusually long time because of the high-profile nature of the case.

The court will pick 12 jurors and four alternates. And the goal will be to find people who have not already made up their minds about a case and a video that literally has been seen around the world.

The 16-page jury questionnaire asks open-ended questions like, "What do you know about the case from media reports?", leaving a full page for people to write their answer.

Defense attorneys had asked that, because of the pre-trial publicity, the case be moved out of the Twin Cities metro area. The judge said no, in part because these days with internet access and 24/7 streaming news services, there is not a place in the state or country where most people have not heard about George Floyd's death.

On WCCO Sunday Morning, Mark Calzaretta, a jury consultant with Magna Legal Services, talked about how hard it's going to be to pick a jury.

"That's going to be a Herculean task in a case like this, trying to weed out people that don't have prior knowledge or feelings about this case," he said. "I think that's just going to be really, really difficult."

"You hope that people are honest," he added.

Jurors will not be identified by name during the jury selection process or during the trial. Their names will be made public after the trial. Jurors will be sequestered during their deliberations, which means they will be brought to a hotel at night. That is to ensure the integrity of those deliberations.

You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning with Esme Murphy and Mike Augustyniak every Sunday at 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.


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