The first 200 potential jurors in the Johannes Mehserle murder trial reported to court Wednesday morning. They have a lengthy assignment to complete.
Mehserle admits he pulled the trigger, but claims he thought he was holding a taser and not a hand gun at the time.
The potential jurors who make it through the first screening will be given a 14-page questionnaire that asks about their attitudes regarding race, police officers, crime and the use of Taser guns.
The document notes that Mehserle is white and Grant was black .
Here are some of the 121 questions: (entire pdf)
- What do you like best about your neighborhood?
- What do you like least about your neighborhood?
- How important is religion in your life?
- What types of books do you read?
- How often do you watch TV?
- Do you consider yourself an expert on any subject?
- Have you ever written a letter to the editor?
- How familiar are you with the Fruitvale BART station in Oakland?
- Have you, friend or relative ever been shot, or shot at?
- Have you, friends or relative even had a gun pointed at them?
- Have you, friends or relatives ever used a taser or seen a taser used?
- What is your opinion of the crime situation in Oakland?
- What is your opinion of the crime situation in your neighborhood?
- Do police officers lie?
- Have you ever considered working in law enforcement?
- Have you or anyone close to you ever had a bad experience with a police officer?
- Could you fire a gun in self-defense?
- Should police officers be treated differently than civilians if they break the law?
- Will the fact that a white police officer shot and killed a black man make it difficult for you to be a fair and impartial juror in this case?
- Do you have an opinion as to whether racial discrimination is a problem in Oakland?
- Have you every seen a police officer act inappropriately?
- If you are selected as a juror in this case, do you anticipate any negative reactions by friends or family if you find the defendant guilty? If you find the defendant not guilty?
- Would you like to serve on this jury? Why?
Jury selection is expected to take about a week. Open statements are scheduled to begin until June 10.