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Finally: a potential juror who hasn't heard anything about the Casey Anthony case

UPDATE: Prosecutors wanted to remove an African-American woman from the jury pool because she said she did not like to judge people based on what "others" said, and also because of mixed feelings she expressed on the death penalty. However, defense attorneys objected to having her removed.

When lawyers seek to remove someone from a jury who is of a minority race, they must show that their reasons are "race-neutral."

Orange-Osceola Judge Belvin Perry said the woman's comments were not too different from what other potential jurors have said, and those others were not removed. He ruled that this woman can stay in the jury pool.

By late afternoon the judge and lawyers had eight potential jurors who survived two rounds of questioning. They ultimately need 12 jurors and eight alternates.

UPDATE: For the first time, a judge and lawyers have interviewed a potential juror who says she had not heard of the Casey Anthony case.

The woman, who came into the courtroom early Friday afternoon, said all she knew about the murder case was that her mother saw an article Saturday saying it might come to Pinellas County.

Lawyers seemed surprised that she didn't know anything else about the case, but the whole reason for selecting jurors in Pinellas County was to find people who have not been saturated in the intense media coverage about the Orlando killing.

"My ignorance works in my favorite right now," she quipped.

She was still being interviewed in mid-afternoon Friday. At that time, six Pinellas County residents had survived two rounds of questioning by the judge and attorneys.

One potential juror was excused from serving after it came out that he had failed to disclose a DUI case against him.

LARGO -- Yes, a Pinellas County woman said Friday morning, she has seen coverage of the Casey Anthony murder case, including an interview with the defendant's mother. And yes, she told a judge, she could put that aside and focus instead on the evidence presented at this trial.

"Are you sure about that?" Orange-Osceola Judge Belvin Perry asked her.

"I am," she said.

And so jury selection went into its fifth day. The judge and attorneys spent about an hour and 15 minutes interviewing the first potential juror, and were interviewing a second in mid-morning.

Judge Perry also briefly discussed procedures for continuing the process Saturday. He has said that after seating a jury, he would like to begin the trial on Tuesday in Orlando.

Orlando officials hope to select 12 jurors and eight alternates from Pinellas County for the murder trial against Anthony, who is accused of killing her 2-year-old daughter Caylee Marie Anthony in the summer of 2008. The 20 would spend six to eight weeks sequestered in Orlando for the trial.

Finally: a potential juror who hasn't heard anything about the Casey Anthony case 05/13/11 [Last modified: Friday, May 13, 2011 3:49pm]
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