Jury selection for Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens' trial begins

Posted at 6:04 AM, May 10, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-10 08:18:57-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jury selection for Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ invasion of privacy trial begins Thursday. 

Jury selection, an important process in any trial, is even more so in this case and could potentially be more difficult.

Thursday and Friday, two pools of about 80 potential jurors will meet at the St. Louis courthouse. They will be asked a general questionnaire. 

"In a case like this, it is going to be difficult because everyone has a political affiliation, even if you are not a member of a party, you still are going to have leanings one way or the other. For Gov. Greitens, all he has to do is have one person say he or she was not convinced by what the prosecution presented. The prosecution has to have everybody," trial attorney Daniel Allen said. 

Allen said in this case, in which the defendant is a sitting governor, it can be difficult to weed out those who have a political bias, so the jury selection process has become somewhat of a strategy. 

"There are a whole group of attorneys and psychologists that are paid lots of money that sit and help attorneys pick jury pools. By the way the individual carries themselves, the way they sit, the way they look, the way they dress, things of that nature," Allen said. 

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Jurors will be asked specific questions such as “Who did you vote for in the recent gubernatorial election?” and “Are you a Republican?” in the Voire Dire process. 

Allen said it’s important to keep the fact that Gov. Greitens’ legal team only needs one person to think he’s not guilty in mind, and the burden is on the prosecution to convince the entire jury of the his alleged wrongdoing. 

"Any defendant would want a mix. Remember, what does it take for the defense to win? The defense wants one person to say the prosecution has not won. So, I wouldn't want to have a firewall for a lack of better terms. Everybody being a white male, a firewall of everyone being white females, or African American females. I want a mix, because I want my message to resonate to at least somebody that the prosecution’s message was not received." 

Gov. Greitens’ trial is scheduled to start Monday. Depending on the jury process, it could be delayed.