MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - When it comes to the Mohamed Noor trial set to begin next month, jury selection and handling will be crucial.
“Selecting a jury is a very delicate process,” said Steve Meshbesher, a criminal defense attorney.
Meshbesher knows the challenges of finding an unbiased jury to sit on a high profile trial that plays out in the news media.
Meshbesher represented Byron Smith five years ago when Smith was convicted of first degree murder in the shooting deaths of a pair of teenage cousins who broke into his Little Falls, Minn. home.
“The previous knowledge from the media is not helpful. This shouldn’t be tried in the media. And you don’t want them to know something about the case because they read something about it or saw on TV because that’s too superficial.”
In just over two weeks, on April 1, attorneys in Mohamed Noor’s murder trial will begin questioning prospective jurors on the 19th floor of the Hennepin County Government Center.
There is no telling how big the jury will be, but it’s fair to assume they will come from all over Hennepin County.
We know, from court fillings, that the judge is hoping to keep the names of those jurors anonymous.
Court filings suggest the judge is seeking to keep the names of those jurors anonymous.
Also, they’ll be asked to fill out a 17-page questionnaire about their prior knowledge of the 2017 shooting death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond and their ability to serve on a trial some predict might last a month.
“I think you are looking for people to balance each other from all levels of society,” said Meshbesher.
In the end, the jury will have to sift through multiple charges ranging from second degree murder to manslaughter.
Friday, a final flurry of motions from both sides were filed. The defense doesn’t want prosecutors mentioning Noor’s failure to have his body-worn camera turned on at the time of the shooting.
The state is trying to get a fly through animation of the south Minneapolis scene admitted as evidence, too, showing the jury investigative measurements and potential bullet trajectories.