The biggest challenge: seating a racially-balanced jury in the 'Kilpatrick enterprise' trial. In fact, was a big part of Thursday’s drama playing out in federal court in the case against Kwame Kilpatrick, his father and two others.
Inside the courtroom the former mayor, his friend contractor Bobby Ferguson and Kilpatrick’s father were relaxed. Former Detroit water boss Victor Mercado sat far away from the others and never looked their way during jury selection.
There are more than 250 potential jurors who come from 9 southeast Michigan counties: Jackson, Monroe, Sanilac, Lenawee, Oakland, Washtenaw, Macomb St. Clair, and Wayne.
The goal is finding 12 people and 6 alternates that both prosecutors and the defense teams agree on. The biggest challenge is seating a racially balanced jury. Final tally on the day Friday was 5 jurors were excused and 11 were accepted into the pool of 66. Fifty-five more potential jurors are needed.
Of the jurors who were questioned today: 2 black females, 1 asian male, 5 white males, 7 white females and one person excused due to illness.
Both defense attorneys and the prosecution easily on which jurors would be excused.
One potential juror told the attorneys he had never, in his entire life, heard a racial slur.
Local 4 Defender Kevin Dietz asked Bernard Kilpatrick about that as he left the courtroom. Kilpatrick replied, "I don’t know what world he is living in."