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Jury selection tough in Simpson case

September 9, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Day two of jury selection in the O.J. Simpson kidnapping and armed robbery trial took place in Las Vegas on Tuesday.O.J. Simpson walked into the Clark County Regional Justice Center Tuesday morning surrounded by lawyers, media and law enforcement.

Inside the courtroom, Simpson heard attorneys question prospective jurors for a second straight day. The challenge for both the prosecution and the defense is to find12 impartial jurors. They are in search of people who do not have any preconceived notions of Simpson, specifically with regard to his 1995 acquittal of the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman.

"Honestly, as far as the first time goes - the first trial - I think he got away with murder," said one potential juror.

"What happened in '94 or '95 is completely separate. We're asking for a commitment from jurors that they can set that aside and base their decision on the evidence in this case," said Clark County District Attorney David Roger to a potential juror in court Tuesday.

After more than an hour of questioning from attorneys, one female potential juror was dismissed.

Simpson and his co-defendant, Clarence Stewart, are accused of kidnapping, armed robbery and other crimes. Simpson and Stewart allegedly stole items from two memorabilia dealers during a confrontation at the Palace Station and Casino in Las Vegas about a year ago.

Both Simpson and Stewart have pleaded not guilty. With prospective jurors absent from the courtroom, Simpson's lead defense attorney raised concern about jurors betting on the outcome.

"I'm just concerned that, you know, when there's money involved, people may try to approach," said defense attorney Yale Galanter.

Three prospective jurors were dismissed on Tuesday. Attorneys will need to find 12 jurors and six alternates.

Officials expect the jury to be seated by the end of the week.

Opening statements could start as early as next week.

 

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