DETROIT (WXYZ) - The historic Kilpatrick Corruption trial starts today, and 7 Action News will be bringing you all of the latest information.
Federal prosecutors and defense attorneys will question 225 individual jurors. Only four jurors have been questioned so far in what will be a very long process.
They have not tossed any jurors out yet. They need to get to 66 that they're okay with, then they trim the number down to 12 and use their challenges.
Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, his father Bernard Kilpatrick, his long-time friend Bobby Ferguson, and former Detroit Water Department Chief Victor Mercado are all charged with bribery, extortion, and running a criminal enterprise.
On Thursday, lawyers and the judge will ask each potential juror questions to determine if they can be impartial and follow the court’s instructions. Ferguson defense lawyer Michael Rataj tells 7 Action News, choosing the jury is the most important part of the case.
“Until we can start asking the questions and read their body language and listen to their answers closely, then we’ll be able to decide who’s going to be a good juror and who’s not going to be a good juror. So it’s a very important process to say the least,” said Rataj.
Ultimately, 18 people will be chosen – 12 jurors, plus 6 alternates.
7 Action News will have complete coverage of the Kilpatrick corruption trial beginning Thursday, September 6 on 7 Action News at 5, 6, 7 and 11 p.m. and on wxyz.com. Coverage will include up-to the minute information on wxyz.com, and live blogs during the trial.
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