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Gaming Guru

Melissa Arseniuk
 

Jury selection resumes for second day in Simpson case

9 September 2008

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- The search for impartial jurors continued today as the second day of jury selection for O.J. Simpson's upcoming criminal trial got underway.

Judge Jackie Glass is charged with the task of finding 18 unbiased individuals to form a 12-member jury with six alternates. The task is expected not to be an easy one, given the former NFL star's previous high-profile murder trial and subsequent civil suit.

Simpson has been dogged by legal and personal troubles since he first was charged with the 1994 murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Robert Goldman. Simpson was acquitted of murder following a lengthy and public trial, but a civil court later ruled he was responsible for the deaths and fined him $33.5 million dollars in damages.

Simpson's notoriety is a concern for Glass, Simpson's lawyers, Yale Galanter and Gabriel Grasso, and Robert Lucherini, who represents Simpson's former golfing buddy and co-defendent, Clarence "C.J." Stewart.

Glass was careful Monday to ask potential jurors if they had any opinions or personal predispositions that might affect their ability to be fair and unbiased members of a jury.

The judge threw out a motion from Simpson's legal team Monday before jury selection began that requested all jurors be asked if they thought Simpson was a murderer.

The move illustrated Simpson's defense team's concern that members of the jury might think Simpson is a murderer, which could inhibit his chances of a fair trial. They worry jurors who believe Simpson killed his ex-wife and Goldman would use their position in this trial to punish him for what they believe he did in 1994.

Lucherini said he shares those fears and is worried Simpson's tarnished image will affect the jury's opinion of his client.

He has requested that Stewart be tried separately from Simpson. Glass has rejected the suggestion multiple times, and last week the Nevada Supreme Court denied the request.

As Lucherini questions possible jurors, he stresses how while his client and Simpson face the same 12 charges, they are different people who should not be tarred with the same brush.

Jury selection continues today and is expected to continue through the end of the week.