Finding impartial jurors for Becker trial has its challenges - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Finding impartial jurors for Becker trial has its challenges


CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) --In a case that's received so much attention, Linn County Attorney Harold Denton says it can present a little more of a challenge to select an impartial jury, a fundamental American right

"It's one of the most important rights citizens have, is the fact that the police, the prosecutor, even the judge, doesn't make the determination of guilt or innocence, that determination is made by a panel of 12 citizens," said Denton.

In a highly publicized case like mark Becker's trial, there's a good chance potential jurors have already been exposed to some background information

"There's certain types of cases that everybody's heard about it.  You cannot avoid that," Denton said.

Instead, the prosecution and defense are looking for people in the jury pool that have an open mind and will only decide the case based on the evidence admissible in court.

The point is whether or not they've made up their mind and if they can put anything they've heard out of their mind and they can decided the case on just the issues presented, then that's what really counts," said Denton.

To help combat pretrial publicity in a case like this, a larger pool of jurors is brought in.

"When there are people for whatever reason that say they cannot be fair, then you have plenty more to rely on," said Denton.

Narrowing a large pool down can be a daunting task, but Denton says even for a case that's received national attention, the court rarely has any problem securing an impartial jury.

"I think most jurors really want to be fair and I think most jurors really try to be fair."

Online Reporter:  Jason Epner



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