After two full days of jury selection, the opening statement at the second federal trial for disgraced R&B superstar R Kelly is expected to begin Wednesday morning in Chicago.
The oath was administered to 12 jury members and six alternate members late Tuesday night. He is expected to hear evidence and arguments in the next four weeks.
U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber, who questioned more than 100 potential jurors on Monday and Tuesday, dismissed nearly half for “reasonable reason,” typically because he indicated they would not be fair or because jury duty was a will present significant difficulty.
The makeup of the regular jury is: four white women, four black women, two white men and two black men. These include a former lawyer who is now a stay-at-home mother and a library worker who said she knew about the case from the newspaper headlines she keeps on the shelf.
Another female juror, a retired woman with two children as a lawyer, said during interrogation that she had never seen the high-profile documentary “Surviving R Kelly”, but that her brother had told her “If I saw (this ) then I might get kicked” jury.
Several people on the panel said they may have heard of Kelly and the allegations against him before, but let’s be fair. Some also said that they had seen parts of “Surviving Are Kelly”, but they did not form an opinion about Kelly himself.
One of the black women selected for the jury said she thought she would have watched all 12 episodes of the series, but insisted it would not affect her ability to be fair — something Kelly watched from the courtroom gallery. Some audible from supporters inspires ridicule. monday.
The final panel was selected after both Kelly’s prosecutors and lawyers and two of his co-defendants used their standing attacks to further reduce the jury pool.
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Things took a turn for the worse on Tuesday when Kelly’s lead attorney, Jennifer Bonzen, successfully challenged three of the black jurors’ prosecutors’ attacks, alleging they were based entirely on race.
She said prosecutors were displaying a pattern against black jurors that was “quite troubling,” though Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeanice Apanteng said she had reasons unrelated to race to the jurors.
On the other hand, nearly every perpetual strike by a defense involving regular jury makeup was of a white man—12 in total. The defense also proceeded to attack an Asian woman and a black woman. However, prosecutors made no challenge based on that racial breakdown.
Kelly, 55, was charged with child pornography and obstruction of justice in a 2019 indictment alleging that he, along with others, rigged his Cook County trial by paying a teenage girl, whom he has now Was sexually assaulted on an infamous videotape.
Also facing trial are Kelly’s former business manager, Darrell McDavid, and another associate, Milton “June” Brown, who, according to the indictment, bought back sex tapes taken from Kelly’s archive and spent years of alleged sexual abuse. had planned to hide. of young girls.