In the Courts: Judge spends day weeding out jurors with hardships

Local News
Lines of prospective jurors again ringed Baton Rouge Courthouse on second day of Grover Cannon 1st Degree Murder trial

(KTAL/KMSS) The second day of the Grover Cannon 1st Degree Murder trial was spent weeding out jury candidates who were summoned to serve, but are asking to be excused.

Cannon is accused in the August 2015 shooting death of Shreveport Police Officer Thomas LaValley. 

The jury is being selected in Baton Rouge, after defense attorneys successfully argued Caddo jurors would be tainted by publicity around the shooting death of an off-duty Shreveport police officer that happened just days before Cannon’s trial was slated to kick off. 

When the jury is finally selected, they will be brought to Shreveport and sequestered, where they will remain throughout the duration of the trial. 

For most of the day Monday and all day today, Caddo District Judge Ramona Emanuel has been interviewing people who wish to be excused from jury duty.

Louisiana law provides for prospective jurors to be excused for medical hardships, as well as other hardships, as determined by the judge presiding over the trial. 

In addition, jurors who have served on a jury less than two years earlier are excused, and any person older than 70 may be excused upon their request.  

Summoned jurors who did not ask to be excused were allowed to leave the courthouse today and will be called back when the actual selection process begins. 

Court officials predict the hardship hearings will take up most of the day Wednesday, and the actual selection process will begin either late Wednesday afternoon or first thing Thursday morning.

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