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A bowling fan, a cop's daughter and a bartender walked into a Minnehaha County courtroom earlier this month.
After an extended welcome from the judge, defense lawyer Jeff Larson engaged them in a discussion to get at the following question: If my client is black, deaf and a lesbian, and is accused of killing and dismembering a woman, can you still give her a fair trial?
Another man said his nephew, a city officer, guarded Wright's house after her arrest and helped search for VanderGiesen's body at the city landfill. All the nephew told him about the case is he liked the food served during the search.
That's particularly troubling in Wright's case, Lieberman said, in which a black woman is accused of killing a white woman. Research has shown jurors tend to treat those defendants more harshly than, say, a case of black on black crime.
Throughout the pretrial proceedings, Wright often has been the only black person in the courtroom. Her lawyers have asked juror prospects about their limited experiences as a minority.
One white woman recalled riding a "colored" elevator by mistake when she lived in Mississippi in the early 1960s. She said she felt very uncomfortable.
"Juries are very interesting because you have groups of strangers talking about very different things from what they're used to talking about," said University of Nevada Las Vegas Criminal Justice Chairman Joel Lieberman, a psychologist who researches jury decision making.
Another said she was raised to believe "it's immoral."In the group setting, it was more often vacations than prejudice that got potential jurors dismissed. The bowling fan, for one, was relieved of his duty because he had plane tickets to his sport's super bowl.
When a dozen prospects arrived in court March 7, Larson asked if they'd be more fearful of passing by a group of black men at night than of a group of men who look like their next door neighbors.
The Mississippi transplant helped acquit an accused killer a decade ago. She said she didn't like the way a police officer interrogated the defendant.
The defendant's multiple minority status, scheduling concerns with a three to four week trial and the potential death penalty made the selection process more involved and personal than most.
With two surveys and two sessions of questioning per juror, the lawyers tried to identify bias and exclude those who might bring it into the courtroom. The lawyer, in the role of teacher, stands before the jury prospects asking questions and getting only head nods and one word answers.
for the kidnapping and murder of 42 year old Darlene Vander Giesen and then order her to die by lethal injection. She would be the first woman to get Adidas Primeknit Fs Review
When asked about homosexuality last week, a few prospective jurors said they didn't understand the desire or said it is morally wrong.
The jury pools also have featured experienced prospects.
In this case, jury selection probably will wrap up Monday. It will have taken 16 days to qualify 59 jurors. From that number, lawyers from each side will cross off names until they get to 12 jurors and three alternates.
"I completely disagree with it," said one man, as Wright's eyes fixed on the hands of an American Sign Language interpreter.
Understandably, more than half of the 800 Minnehaha County drivers and voters summoned to hear the capital murder case against Daphne Wright didn't show up for court.
Lieberman said that in a group setting, it's difficult to get honest answers on sensitive topics. On race in particular, he said, people might not even be aware of the biases they harbor.
to babysit a Sioux Falls cop.
Lawyers' warnings that jurors would have to view photos of the victim's body parts made some prospects Adidas Shoes Neo 1 queasy.
"I love 'CSI' and 'Law Order,' but I don't even watch when I know it's an actor," said one woman, a bookstore manager.
"It's going to be pretty hard to get a juror to say, 'I don't like African Americans.' The social norms for race are so strong," he said. "No one wants to sit in a room and feel like they come off as racist."
the death penalty in South Dakota.
When one tentative hand went up, a few more followed. "Definitely," one woman said, after some prodding.
Biases create shallow jury pool
Prosecutors will ask the chosen few to convict Wright, 43, Adidas Los Angeles Gray
And in turn, the bowling fan, the cop's daughter and the bartender revealed their prejudices before a dozen other potential jurors, the judge, six lawyers, news reporters and the accused killer herself.
The judge kept several who had ties to city police officers who could be called as witnesses. One woman used Adidas Primeknit Black Boots
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