Trial Day 1: Monday, 06 February 2017

Jury Selection…

Jury selection began today. Six defendants and five attorneys (Todd Engel proceeds pro se) questioned potential jurors on a wide range of issues related to the case. Jurors were promptly eliminated indicating that if the second pool moves as quickly as the first, opening arguments could begin as early as Wednesday.

The Government’s questions…

The Government asked jurors if they had any strong feelings for or against law enforcement. Jurors were questioned as to whether or not they would have any issue finding a defendant guilty related to using a weapon in a crime of violence.

Tanasi’s questions on Stewart’s behalf…

Richard Tanasi asked the jurors how they felt about firearms in general and if men in camouflage that look like militia would impede their impartiality. He also asked jurors if they had any palpable fear of firearms in general.

Marchese’s questions on behalf of Parker…

Jess Marchese inquired about jurors feelings on the 2nd Amendment and asked how they felt about the Constitution in general. He also asked jurors what their source of news was and if they recognized the existence of media bias.

Leventhal’s questions on Drexler’s behalf…

Todd Leventhal questioned jurors about their feelings on public marches and protests. He further went on to ask if jurors had any strong feelings about people attending these gatherings while in possession of firearms.

Engel’s questions…

Todd Engel inquired about jurors feelings on open carry. He attempted to discuss the definition of violence (with objection from the Government) and asked a series of questions about Prohibition and Voting Rights to bring the jury around to evaluating whether or not they believe that the Government could make a mistake.

Perez’s questions on Lovelien’s behalf…

Shawn Perez asked how many jurors watched CNN. He then proceeded to ask how many jurors had an issue with someone carrying a loaded firearm at a protest. At least one juror expressed concern over this and made the statement that pointing a firearm is an entirely different issue than just carrying one. So far, this juror remains in the pool. Perez talked extensively about Facebook, what it means to re-post something, and made sure that jurors understood how Facebook can be used to represent something that may not actually be true. Perez finished by mentioning Madonna’s statement at a women’s rights rally where she said she wanted to “blow up the White House” as an example of how people can say things that may not be fully indicative of their actual intent.

Jackson’s questions on Burleson’s behalf…

Terrence Jackson inquired about where jurors regularly sought their source of daily news.

Summary…

Defense attorneys asked that four specific jurors be removed, the Court granted one. Marchese brought up conditions of the prison, touching on lack of availability for meetings, lack of technology to view discovery, and defendants languishing in intake. The US Marshals stated that a classifying officer would be at the prison the next day. Chief Judge Navarro initially indicated that defendants should already be through discovery evidence but Engel argued that his status as pro se (self-representation) weighed in his favor to have continued access to discovery. Navarro indicated that accommodations could be made for attorney-client meetings.

The day began with 55 jurors and finished with 25. Another group will come in tomorrow and go through the same questioning.

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