SANFORD, Fla. – The big headline Wednesday morning was learning from Judge Debra Nelson a bit more about how jury selection will proceed moving forward.
Up until Wednesday, potential jurors have been called into the courtroom one by one for questioning by attorneys on both sides on the narrow focus of pre-trial publicity. They've wanted to know how much the potential jurors already know about the case.
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Part of the aim is to ferret out any blatant biases. Can they filter out what they've already heard and just focus on what is presented in the courtroom as evidence? Or have they already made up their minds?
Amir Ladan, a Orlando-based criminal defense attorney, former felony prosecutor and University of Miami Law graduate, said what we have seen so far is unique, slow-moving, tedious but important given the high-profile nature of this case.
By restricting the conversations thus far to just pre-trial publicity, attorneys are able to tackle the issue that would most likely cause one side or another to strike a potential juror.
Nelson said after they reach 30 people, they will all be brought into the courtroom and asked broader questions.
That means for the first time the potential jurors in this case will be able to hear each other's response.
Ladan said that could change the dynamics and relieve some tension. People tend to feel more relaxed when they realize they are not alone in the process and especially if someone is speaking candidly.
Ladan said a topic that is sure to arise in that group setting is gun rights.