What is known about jurors in kidnap-plot trials?

A foster care director and a manager of a plastics plants are among the twelve jurors and four alternates who heard testimony during the trial four men charged with plotting to kidnap the Michigan Governor. Gretchen Whitmer in 2020

What is known about jurors in kidnap-plot trials?

U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker, Grand Rapids, restricted the access of jurors to attorneys and their written questionnaires as a security measure. Jurors, who are identified in court by assigned numbers, discussed their backgrounds during public jury selection.

Here are some examples of the opinions and jurors:

WHAT JOB DO THE JURORS HAVE?

Some did not mention their professions. Juror No. 163 was one of those who mentioned his profession. Juror 163, who is a compliance officer for casinos. Juror No. 227 is a project manger at a printing firm. Juror No. Juror No.

Juror No. 2 is the foster care director. 211, and the IT employee is No. 211, the IT employee is No. 201.

HAD JURORS REPORTED THE CASE?

All of the participants said that they had at least heard something . Although knowledge of the case was not an automatic disqualification for those who claimed they don't obsessively watch the news, it did increase the likelihood that they would make it onto the jury.

When asked if he watches the news, the IT worker replied, "I ignore it." Juror No. Juror No. 14 stated to the judge that she does not follow the news. Juror No. Juror No.169 described herself as a news junkie, but said she mainly reads headlines.

One potential juror stated that he had closely followed the case and added, "I believe they're guilty." Another person said that he heard his coworkers rooting for the defendants.

HOW ABOUT THEIR POLITICS?

Jurors who stated that they did not have strong opinions or feelings about Whitmer were more likely than others to be inpaneled.

Juror No. Juror 14 stated to the judge that she "doesn’t get into politics." Juror No. 14 said to the judge she "doesn't get into politics," while Juror No. 161 stated that her husband was more opinionated on politics than she, but she could "put him on the mute" during the trial.

After expressing disapproval of Whitmer, several members of the pool were fired. One woman, who described herself to be a fan of Whitmer, was also dismissed. One man who stated he did not "trust the government" was also fired.

The 50+ juror candidates came from , a 22-county area in western Michigan that is predominantly rural, Republican, and conservative.

Judge didn't question candidates about former President Donald Trump. They are accused of plotting their plot as Whitmer was exchanging taunts over pandemic restrictions with Trump. Later, she claimed that Trump was complicit with the Jan. 6 Capitol Attack.

WHAT IS THE STORY ABOUT GUNS

Jonker asked potential jurors whether they had guns to see if any were biased against firearms. Photos of defendants who have legally owned guns are part of some trial evidence.

Nearly all of the 20 potential jurors he asked had guns.

Juror No. Juror No. One of those who claimed he had multiple weapons included an assault-type rifle was the plastics plant manager.

WHAT IS THE STORY ABOUT JURY DEMOGRAPHICS

Ten jurors were women. Six jurors are men. The court refused to reveal information about their race. The majority of the court district is white.

CAN ANYTHING BE READ INTO JUROR DEMEANORS

Sometimes jurors appeared to be fully engaged and taking detailed notes. However, when the details of testimony became difficult to follow, jurors often sank into their chairs and put their notebooks down.

Jonker gave a pep talk to jurors Monday who were having trouble staying engaged on Monday.

He said that the trial could become "... tedious" due to the amount of detail. He said that both defense and prosecution counsel were "bricks-and-mortar" and that later it would be clear where details fit in their competing narratives.

The defendants are facing the jurors. After their lawyers stated that the sight of the restraints could cause jurors to believe they are dangerous, the judge ordered bunting to be placed on the defense tables.

WHAT HAS THE JUDGE TOLD JURORS ELSE?

During jury selection, the juror stated that this was not a "run of the mill" case and that it would take extra effort and more time to ensure the trial is "done fairly."

One pool member, a professional glass blower shook his head at the suggestion that the trial might last six weeks. He was fired. Another long-haul truck driver complained that he was losing $2,000 by simply reporting for jury duty.

A FAILURE TO DISMISS ANY ONE AFTER THE TRIAL BEGAN

Juror No. Juror No.143 was the only juror to express excitement about being on the jury. He was fired two weeks after he began testimony. The judge stated that he had a stomach bug and was now out of commission. Juror No. 162 was dismissed earlier. 162 was called in sick and dismissed. There are still four alternates.


 

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