Jury pool faced 41 pages of questions


Were you a fan of the USC Trojans football team in the late 1960s? How about the Buffalo Bills from the late 1960s to the 1970s?

Have you or your spouse ever been accused of fraud?

Have you ever worked in the sports memorabilia business?

You probably guessed that these are a few of the 116 questions potential jurors were asked on the jury questionnaire in O.J. Simpson's armed robbery and kidnapping trial.

District Judge Jackie Glass, who is presiding over the trial, released blank jury questionnaires last week after the jury was seated. Glass is still not releasing copies of the completed jury questionnaires. About 500 potential jurors filled out questionnaires for the trial.

Stephens Media, the owners of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and The Associated Press filed a motion last week to get copies of the blank and filled-out questionnaires.

Glass denied the motions regarding the completed questionnaires. In her ruling, she stated that she didn't want to break a promise she made to potential jurors that their answers would be "kept in confidence, under seal."

An appeal to Glass' ruling is pending before the Nevada Supreme Court.

The 41-page questionnaire contains many standard questions, such as whether potential jurors had previous jury service, whether they knew the prosecutors or if they had ever been the victim of a violent crime.

The questionnaire also asks about Simpson and his criminal and civil cases in the 1990s. A Los Angeles jury acquitted Simpson of killing his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman. A civil jury later found Simpson liable for the wrongful death of Goldman and awarded his family more than $30 million.

Jurors were asked if they were familiar with the California cases and whether they agreed with the verdicts.

The questionnaire also asks whether potential jurors know that Simpson wrote a book, titled "If I Did It." In the book, Simpson describes, hypothetically, how he killed his ex-wife and Goldman. The book was roundly criticized by the public, media and the families of the victims.

The questionnaire also probes views of race. Potential jurors were asked whether they agreed with the statement: "The criminal justice system treats African American defendants the same as it treats other defendants." They were asked to answer whether they strongly agreed, agreed, disagreed or strongly disagreed.

Potential jurors also were asked if they believed police had an ulterior motive for arresting Simpson in Las Vegas.

Simpson, 61, and his co-defendant, Clarence "C.J." Stewart, 54, are facing multiple charges in connection with an alleged armed robbery at Palace Station in September 2007.

Authorities said Simpson and several other men went to the hotel to rob two sports memorabilia dealers of collectibles.

Contact reporter David Kihara at dkihara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039.

 

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