Jury selection starts Monday in NY Trump criminal case

NEW YORK (AP) — Of the 1.4 million adults who live in Manhattan, a dozen are soon to become the first Americans to sit in judgment of a former president charged with a crime.

Jury selection is set to start Monday in former President Donald Trump’s hush money case — the first trial among four criminal prosecutions of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. The proceedings present a historic challenge for the court, the lawyers and the everyday citizens who find themselves in the jury pool.

“There is no question that picking a jury in a case involving someone as familiar to everyone as former President Trump poses unique problems,” one of the trial prosecutors, Joshua Steinglass, said during a hearing.

Those problems include finding people who can be impartial about one of the most polarizing figures in American life and detecting any bias among prospective jurors without invading the privacy of the ballot box.

There’s also the risk that people may try to game their way onto the jury to serve a personal agenda. Or they may be reluctant to decide a case against a politician who has used his social media megaphone to tear into court decisions that go against him and has tens of millions of fervent supporters.

Still, if jury selection will be tricky, it’s not impossible, says John Jay College of Criminal Justice psychology professor Margaret Bull Kovera.

“There are people who will look at the law, look at the evidence that’s shown and make a decision,” says Kovera, whose research includes the psychology of juries. “And the job of the judge and the attorneys right now is to figure out who those people are.”


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