NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — Nearly 200 Montgomery County residents are being called into the courthouse in Norristown Monday morning, as jury selection for Bill Cosby’s sex assault trial gets underway.
Court officials say 187 people have been told to report. 120 of them will make up the initial panel of 12 jurors and six alternates.
Attorney David Farrell is not involved in the Cosby trial but has been in criminal law since 1980. He says unlike most cases, forget about trying to find someone who doesn’t know anything about this case.
“Now that there’s been one trial and the second trial is taking place here in Montgomery County, literally every single veneer person will have heard about the case,” Farrell said. “I think what you’re looking to do is to try to find people who evidence through the process of voir dire an ability to really focus on the facts.”
Panelists will answer a series of general questions as a group, and then lawyers will question potential jurors individually.
Farrell says lawyers then have to decide if the person can be fair based on very limited information.
“You’re operating on what they tell you they can do,” he said. “That’s where you have to trust you’re experience and you’re gut. ‘Is this person being honest with me that they’re really willing to listen to the evidence?’”
The trial is slated to start April 9, assuming the jury is seated. Defense attorneys have said jurors should be told to prepare for a trial that lasts one month, and the panel will be sequestered.