Posts Tagged Yanez transcripts

Jeronimo Yanez Trial: Answers to Substantive Questions

Biased Jurors, Withholding Evidence, Lack of Transcripts, Jury Questions. The outrage continues over the verdict of Not Guilty on all counts against Jeronimo Yanez in the shooting death of Philando Castile.  Since the verdict, there has been a great of deal of controversy made out of several factors, including the perceived bias of jurors, the fact that Yanez’s interview with the BCA was not played during the trial, and the denial by the Court of a couple of jury requests.  We address these one by one below. Juror Bias Much has been made of the profiles of each of the jurors in this matters.   The post-trial investigation is becoming increasingly invasive.  Before addressing some of this, it is worth briefly describing how a jury is selected. How is a “jury pool” selected? If you have ever been summoned to a courthouse for often dreaded “jury duty”, your name is in the very large potential “jury pool” of the state of Minnesota.   The Justice system knows very little about a juror in this pool.  Jury pools are generated randomly from information available to the justice system that is most likely to reflect the most recent and accurate information available regarding a person’s age, residency, and citizenship status.  Essentially, it is taken from driver’s license registrations, Minnesota ID card registrations, and voter registrations. At any given time, there may be several trials about to begin in Ramsey County.  How many people are summoned is often a function of how many matters are set for trial or the potential for a trial to have particularly sensitive issues that may disqualify certain people. Certainly jury selection in the Yanez matter had the potential to be lengthy and contentious.  We have seen anywhere from 30-60 people placed into a potential jury pool for a case. A very preliminary questionnaire often accompanies the summons for jury duty, or it is handed to the juror when they arrive.   This initial questionnaire is very thin and usually provides some general identifying information and ensures the person is not disqualified as a matter of law from serving as a juror.  To even qualify to sit as a juror in Minnesota, a person must be A United States citizen; A resident of the county; At least 18 years old; Fluent in English Not suffer any physical or mental impairment which would prevent them from being a juror.  (Blindness, total hearing loss, inability to speak, mental incapacity such that one’s cognition and ability to remember or reason is impaired, have all been deemed grounds for a person to be excused outright from a jury). Not a convicted felon.  However, if a person is no longer on probation or parole and their civil rights have been restored (such as would be required to restore voting rights or firearm rights), one may sit as a juror. A person who has not served as a state or federal juror in the past four years.  (This criteria is often overlooked by courts… Read more {+}