DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — Tomorrow, jury selection in the Amber Guyger trial continues.
The former Dallas police officer is facing a murder charge for the shooting death of Botham Jean last year.
Last week, 400 potential jurors were handed questionnaires. Lawyers on both sides of this case have examined them. Tomorrow, the potential jurors are expected to elaborate on their answers.
“The consultants on both sides — as well as the defense and prosecution — are trying to look for trends, attitudes and opinions that might favor their position, or might bias their position,” UT Dallas Professor Of Criminology Alex Piquero said.
Piquero also said personal experiences, beliefs and attitudes on various aspects of the criminal justice system play into the selection process.
“You’re trying to read into what some people might end up doing, with the weight of the evidence at the end of the day,” she said.
“Jury selection is as important — some may argue more important — than any other phase of the trial,” Veteran Criminal Defense Attorney Barry Sorrels said. “They’re looking for who they want to get rid of.”
Ultimately, a 12 person jury will decide if Guyger shot Jean intentionally or because of what she believed.
Just over one year ago on the night he was shot dead, the former Dallas police officer — who was off duty — told police she thought her neighbor was an intruder in her own apartment.
Guyger’s attorneys have asked the judge presiding over the trial to move it to another county, saying she can’t receive a fair trial in Dallas after all of the media reports. The judge will first see whether a jury can be seated before she rules on a change of venue.
Testimony is expected to begin Sept. 23.