Friday, September 2, 2011

#Cusworth jurors face strict scrutiny.(Video)

Jurors will be scrutinized before they‘re selected to hear the Neil Snelson trial.
Eighteen years of publicity about the murder of Jennifer Cusworth could taint a juror‘s view of the case. To ensure there‘s no bias, each jury candidate will undergo two levels of screening before he or she is chosen as one of the 12 jurors to hear evidence.

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Alison Beames will ask each prospective juror a series of questions to test the candidate‘s impartiality. If one passes, Crown counsel Iain Currie and defence lawyer Wade Jenson can accept or reject the candidate.

Once two jurors are selected, they‘ll become the initial "triers" of impartiality themselves, said Currie. They‘ll evaluate the other jury candidates one by one. Those they approve will undergo the same scrutiny by the two lawyers until 12 are chosen.

The trial got underway at the Kelowna Law Courts on Monday. Lawyers will spend the first two weeks arguing which evidence the jury can hear.
Jury selection is set for Sept. 12. The trial is scheduled for four weeks from then.

Snelson, 45, is charged with murdering Cusworth, 19, after a party in Kelowna in October 1993.