September 8th, 2008
07:42 PM ET

O.J. in court: Weeding out the jury pool

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/09/08/art.simpson1.jpg caption="O.J. Simpson and his lawyers arrive at court today."]
Editor’s Note: O.J. Simpson arrived Monday for the start of his trial on robbery and kidnapping charges nearly a year after police arrested him in Las Vegas, Nevada. Prosecutors say Simpson and five other men stormed into a Las Vegas hotel room last September 13 to recover sports memorabilia that Simpson said belonged to him. They say at least two men with Simpson had guns as they robbed two sports memorabilia dealers. The following dispatches come from our Paul Vercammen covering the trial:

Paul Vercammen
CNN Senior Producer

3:52pm PT:
Judge Jackie Glass sent a few dozen potential jurors in the O.J. Simpson trial off to an afternoon break, but not before she excused two more members of the pool.

Glass dismissed a cook at Caesar's Palace who said Spanish is his first language and added he could not understand much of the legal terms being used in court.

Glass also removed a young man whose voice quivered when he told the court ten years ago his father was robbed and severely beaten while delivering pizza.

"His head was caved in he has metal plates in his head, he can't breathe right, he was disfigured," the young man reported.

He went on to say the suspects were never caught and this would make him impartial when it came to his view of law enforcement.

It was a serious moment during a jury selection process that has had it's moments of levity.

Judge Glass even got Simpson to smile when she jokingly admonished potential jurors saying "you don't want to get in trouble with me do you?"

Prosecutor Chris Owen put general questions to the jury pool and seemed intent in finding out if anyone believed celebrities deserved special status.

Owen also stressed that everyone is entitled to equal protection under the law and asked "what if it is someone you don't like?."

Many witnesses and one of the alleged victims in the case have crimminal records.

Gabe Grasso for the defense asked general questions about whether or not potential jurors understood fully the presumption of innocence.

Grasso also wanted to make sure no one would "jump up" or give more weight to a police officer's testimony.

soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. carol kesling

    second verse same as the first!!!!!! o.j. is a SERIAL DEFENDENT, he never gets tired of seeing himself on t.v......i feel sorry for yale galanter most of all, hes probally wondering whay the hell hes doing with the latest antics!!!!! love the judge, she wont put up with any of his B. S.!!!!! im tired of people feeling SORRY for him he brings all this on HIMSELF!!!! he also KNEW THERE WERE GUNS THERE, he told them to make sure and PACK SOME HEAT, sounds like gangster talk to me....

    September 8, 2008 at 8:59 pm |
  2. Annie Kate

    I guess it might be possible to find some jurors that can be impartial on OJ but they would have to be pretty young not to have known about his murder trial years ago. I hope this trial doesn't last as long as his murder trial did – it seemed to go on longer than this election has. I've got to say though that the picture with this article is probably the most uncomplimentary picture of OJ I've seen – his face looks over-inflated. Maybe that is to match his ego.

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    September 8, 2008 at 8:25 pm |
  3. ssmith

    oh good; I was a bit bored with politics. never get tired of the OJ circus

    September 8, 2008 at 7:52 pm |