A judge questions would-be jurors as jury selection begins in earnest Monday at the Chicago trial of the man accused of murdering singer and Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother and nephew. Selecting 12 jurors and six alternates able to set aside sympathy for the Hollywood star and assess guilt only according to evidence presented in court against William Balfour could pose a major challenge.
It’s expected to take two or three days to make final selections from among 150 prospective jurors. In a last step, each side can use pre-emptive strikes, usually around 10, to dismiss people from the jury pool without having to offer any reason. Judge Charles Burns will aim to weed out anyone who might be swayed by the 30-year-old Hudson’s celebrity, though he’s unlikely to automatically exclude Hudson fans if they can convince him their biases won’t affect their deliberations. Attorneys won’t necessarily share the judge’s goal, seeking, instead, to keep jurors likely to favor their arguments. READ FULL STORY