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Judge releases jury questionnaire for Trump’s hush money trial

By 37ci3 Apr9,2024

The judge who oversees the former president Donald Trump‘s Hush money case approved the New York jury selection questionnaire and instructions for prospective jurors at trial. will start next week.

One letter On Monday, Judge Juan Merchan presented lawyers in the case with a 42-question jury questionnaire on a range of topics. The form does not ask about party affiliation, political contributions or voting history.

Merchan pushed back against an argument by Trump’s attorneys that the political affiliations of potential jurors and whether they like the former president were important to jury selection, saying: “Contrary to defense counsel’s arguments, the purpose of jury selection is no to determine whether a prospective juror likes one of the parties.”

“Such questions are irrelevant because they do not go to the prospective juror’s qualifications,” the judge wrote. “The bottom line is that the prospective juror can assure us that he or she will set aside any personal feelings or prejudices and make a decision based on the evidence and the law.”

The form asks potential jurors numerous questions, including:

  • About their neighborhoods, occupations, employers (current and former), marital status, hobbies and interests, and relationships with others who have been victims of crime or, alternatively, worked in places such as the FBI, prosecutors, or criminal law
  • They may not follow a judge’s instructions or pass judgment because of “political, moral, intellectual or religious beliefs or opinions.”
  • Whether they have read any of Mark Pomerantz’s or Michael Cohen’s books about the alleged crimes and/or the investigation leading up to the hush-hush case, and whether what they read or heard via audiobook “affects your ability to be fair or impartial” is a juror in this case.
  • Before discussing whether a personal, family, or close friend has engaged in certain activities that reflect political support for Trump or “Any Anti-Trump Group or Organization” and/or Extremist Movements, personal, family, or personal contact with Trump or the Trump Organization or about the connections of a close friend
  • Whether they practice “a religion that would prevent you from sitting on a jury any weekday or night of the week.”
  • In terms of media consumption, what they read, watch and listen to, followed by The New York Times, New York Post and Wall Street Journal, as well as CNN, Fox News, MSNBC and Newsmax, and a list of options to check out include social networks. Media platforms like Facebook, X, Tik Tok and Truth Social

In his letter, Merchan suggested that the issue of political affiliation “could easily be learned from the answers to other questions,” but cautioned lawyers in the case “not to seek to extend the degree of interference beyond what is relevant and already approved.”

Trump’s lawyers and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to requests for comment Monday evening.

There is a dispute over political preferences was also raised In the former president’s classified documents case in Florida, Trump’s lawyers and prosecutors are fighting over disclosures about political affiliation on a questionnaire for prospective jurors there.

Trump he pleaded not guilty After being charged with 34 felonies in Manhattan last year falsifying business records Regarding hush money paid to adult film star Stormi Daniels during the 2016 presidential campaign.

In addition to detailing the jurors’ questions, Merchan also said Monday that prospective jurors will be told before entering the courtroom that they will be identified by a number printed on the jury summons “as a necessary precaution to ensure anonymity.”

merchant managed the last trust he says he will use anonymous jurors, effectively shielding their names from the press and the public, citing “the possibility of bribery, jury tampering, or physical injury or harassment to the juror(s).”

In Monday’s letter, Merchan said the court will not conduct individual interviews with potential jurors who say they cannot serve, saying the move is “unnecessary, time-consuming and does not benefit the case.”

The jury questionnaire and instructions came the same day a state appeals court judge rejected Trump’s attempt to delay the trial, which was set to begin on April 15 with jury selection.

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By 37ci3

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