Monday, January 25, 2016

Lonnie Franklin, Jr., "Grim Sleeper" Trial, Jury Pre-Selection Process Continues

Lonnie Franklin, Jr., in custody, date unknown

Previous post on this case can be found HERE.

Monday, January 25, 2016
In Los Angeles County, it is a long process to select a jury for a high-profile, death penalty case.

Today starts the next step in the jury, pre-selection process for the Lonnie Franklin trial.  Back in December 2015, several panels of jurors went through the first stage to determine if they could serve for a several month trial. The 308 potential jurors that remained filled out an extensive jury questionnaire.  Over the past month, the defense, prosecution and court read these questionnaires.

Friday, January 22, counsel and the court went through a per-elimination process where both defense and prosecution agreed to excuse potential jurors based on their answers, or in some cases no answers, on the questionnaire. [It took five file boxes for the prosecution to bring in the 308 completed questionnaires to court.]

Throughout this week, jurors will be questioned on only one aspect of their potential service, to select a panel that will be death penalty qualified. Judge Kennedy did tell counsel that she would question all jurors herself to help ensure that potential jurors had a good command of the English language as well as death penalty qualified.

Optimistically speaking, the official voir dire process will start Friday, January 29 and take up to two weeks to pick a jury.

Additionally, there are still several motions that will need to be litigated outside the presence of the jury.

Because of the small size of the courtroom and the number of jurors that are being called in each panel, it is highly unlikely that there will be any seats left for the press. On Wednesday, there is a hearing in the Michael Gargiulo case, and I will stop in on Dept. 109 to see if I can find out how things are going. I will try to get a seat during the start of voir-dire, but there is still no guarantee a seat will open up for me.

Note from Sprocket
I apologize that I have not been able to keep you up on all the pretrial hearings in the Franklin case. I caught the flu a week ago and I'm still not back 100%. Additionally, I had a bad fall in our front yard Saturday night.

Falling... it can be exhilarating for a base jumper. It's why they do it over and over again. For must of us though, falling is downright frightening... those few seconds you unexpectedly trip in the front yard [over the long arm of the hydraulic jack under the car] ... and become airborne. Then the ground comes up and smacks you hard. Sharp numbing pain shoots through parts of your body.

I know I didn't break anything, but it feels like I bruised a few ribs. I've been trying to take extra naps on the sofa to rest up. And I'm moving pretty slow.

In other news, Mr. Sprocket starts a whole new project/direction today and we are hoping things go well.

The next post on this case can be found HERE.
Complete T&T case coverage HERE.

CBS Los Angeles - Jury Selection Gets Underway


David In TN said...

I hope you are all right. I tripped going down the stairs and fell in my basement four years ago. I fractured a bone in my left shoulder. While falling I had sense enough to take it on the shoulder instead of my head when I hit the concrete floor.

The doctor told me a fractured bone is a broken bone. I had to sleep in a chair instead of a bed for weeks and had to go through painful exercise to rehab the injury. It took six months or so to recover but the bone healed and the pain went away.

Sprocket said...

Thank you David. I am much better today, just a lot of aches and sore muscles.

I've broken several bones in the past in my motorcycle riding days, and I totally understand what you went through and sitting up sleeping positions.

gabriele gray said...

I'm also sending healing thoughts your way and strong wishes that Mr Sprocket's new
project begins well and continues that way well into the future.
I was telling a friend/neighbor about the Grim Sleeper case and he was suprised he hadn't heard anything about it and we talked about the difference between the OJ trial and this. I hope the lack of celebrities and the long process keeps it from becoming a sideshow that helps no one except those paid to report the news on tv...all flash, no foundation.
I sent links to your coverage to the friend so he can get a good background and he's fascinated by the details you present.

Unknown said...

I am not surprised in Los Angeles that high-profile, death penalty case tales a long time to find a jury. Judge Kennedy ensure that potential jurors had a good command of the English language as well as death penalty qualified. Long process but very critical. I hope all goes smoothly.

Sprocket said...

Thank you Gabriel Gray.

The case created a bit of news when Christine Pelisek broke the story for LA Weekly back in 2008. The Grim Sleeper is noteworthy for another issue. It was the fist time [in California; not sure about the entire US] that familial DNA was used to catch the suspect.

cake fairy said...

I have an autoimmune disease that causes my ribs to fuse to my breastbone. When I move quickly sometimes it tears, the pain is excruciating and I cannot speak for about 30 seconds. I identified with what you describe here and above. Finding the right position will cause the pain to subside more quickly and the moist heat will help. I use a thermaphore heating pad - a little pricey but well worth it. When it is bad I sleep sitting up with a pillow in the small of my back. It seems to put my ribs in the right position. I'll keep you in my prayers and hope for quick healing. I feel for you.

Sprocket said...

The Franklin case, solved via a familial DNA match was not the first such case in the US. The first case involving a familiar DNA match in the US occurred in Denver, CO.

California was the first state to implement a policy for familial searching under then Attorney General, now Governor, Jerry Brown.

I apologize for the error.