April 19, 2006

Lawyers whittle jury pool for priest

Toledo Blade


Twenty-one of the 67 prospective jurors interviewed in the murder trial of the Rev. Gerald Robinson have been excused from the case, mostly because of financial hardships they might face from being away from work for three to four weeks.

The two other main reasons for the dismissals had to do with people’s health and religious beliefs.

The individual interviews of prospective jurors is the first step in winnowing the field of 99. Those who make the first round will then go through a general selection process until 12 jurors and four alternates are chosen.

Father Robinson, 68, is being tried in Lucas County Common Pleas Court on charges that he murdered 71-year-old Sister Margaret Ann Pahl on Holy Saturday, 1980. If convicted, he faces possible life in prison.

The questions asked of prospective jurors center on three main concerns: impact of a lengthy trial on jobs and families; whether they already have opinions based on news reports, and whether their religious beliefs could prevent an impartial decision.

Posted by kshaw at April 19, 2006 08:07 AM