FRANKLYWNOW - Jury Selection Continues in Cal Harris Trial

Jury Selection Continues in Cal Harris Trial

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Friday's pool was slightly larger than yesterday's--about 100 potential jurors reported in the morning, but again potential juror questioning didn't even begin until late afternoon.

Out of that 100 person potential juror pool only 2 were selected to serve Friday--one man and one woman. Like yesterday Judge Bartlett informed jurors that if they have any reason that they cannot serve on the jury for medical reasons or prior obligations, to approach the bench to ask to be excused. After many potential jurors were excused, only 37 were left to begin with questioning.

18 prospective jurors were placed in the box, where they were first questioned by Judge George Bartlett specifically about their personal backgrounds. Bartlett also asked potential jurors if they understand that the burden to prove Cal Harris' guilt is on the prosecution, and it is not Mr.Harris' responsibility or his defense counsels to to prove his innocence.

Assisting District Attorney Kirk Martin in this case for the prosecution is Paul Kline. He explained to jurors the importance of understanding that the prosecution does not have to prove this case to a mathematical certainty, rather the standard of proof is beyond a reasonable doubt.

He also asked prospective jurors if they would be able to deliver a verdict of "guilty" even though the investigation never produced Michele Harris' body.
He also asked almost every potential juror if they would be able to look Mr. Harris in the eyes and deliver a verdict of guilty if they find after seeing all of the evidence that he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Defense Attorney Bruce Barket then had his chance to question potential jurors--focusing on the fact that this trial needs jurors who will not view evidence in a slanted fashion based on their own personal biases.

He also asked prospective jurors if any of them have dealt with the issues of divorce, telling jurors that they would have to put those issues aside and consider the facts presented, specifically the question of whether or not Mr. Harris intentionally killed his wife.

He also stressed that the purpose of this trial is not to solve what happened to Michele Harris. He asked jurors if they would be able to deliver a verdict without the closure of knowing what happened to her.

And an update that we got earlier as well about cameras in the courtroom. Now Judge Bartlett originally ruled that cameras were going to be allowed in the courtroom for opening arguments, closing statements, and rendering of the verdict. Harris' defense counsel challenged that decision and an appellate court has issued what's called a stay--meaning a suspension. Until a decision is reached on that motion, which may not be until after the trial, cameras will not be allowed in the courtroom. we will keep you updated on that information as we receive it.
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