Another long day of jury selection. The lawyers focused in the morning on issues of reasonable doubt, burden of proof, and spanking, asking the jurors their thoughts on these subjects. The afternoon included discussion (in a general way, no specifics have been introduced about the case yet) of homeschooling, religion, spanking (again), food deprivation, and the possibility of looking at photos of a dead child and of the child’s autopsy. Many jurors were visibly moved by the discussion, especially those who hadn’t known about the case and were now getting a strong sense for what could be ahead.
There are still about 50 potential jurors left. In closing comments at the end of the day, Judge Cook said the plan was to start tomorrow (7/25) with jury selection at 9:30am and finish by noon. That will mean 12 jurors and 2 alternates will be agreed upon by both the prosecution and defense attorneys. The jury would then be sworn in and sent home. Motions by the attorneys will be heard by the judge tomorrow afternoon and Thursday (7/26.)
The lawyers will give their opening statements starting at 1pm on Friday (7/27), and then testimony will begin on Monday (7/29). All of this will take place in Skagit County Superior Courthouse, Courtroom 2.
While this timetable could change, my sense is that the lawyers and judge are ready to get going. It will be a long road ahead of 4 to 6 weeks of witnesses, testimony, and evidence.
I am guessing more media will appear on Friday, and I am hoping folks from the Ethiopian and adoption community will join us in the courtroom as the trial begins. The right side (as you face the judge) is the prosecution side. It’s not a huge courtroom; plan to arrive early.
Hoping for justice for Hana.