Jury selection in the Singer-Swapp criminal case progressed swiftly Friday, with indications that the trial will have no change of location and no great difficulty in obtaining an unbiased jury.
On Wednesday, 170 potential jurors reported to U.S. District Court Chief Judge Bruce S. Jenkins, heard instructions about filling out a questionnaire and answered more than 100 questions about their experiences and attitudes.Friday, about 70 of them were back in court after the attorneys and Jenkins had selected those who seemed suitable for the 12-member panel.
After each potential juror introduced himself, Jenkins asked questions designed to weed out anyone who may have been unduly influenced by the special aspects of the case polygamy, the LDS Church, massive pre-trial publicity, the criminal system itself or any relationship to any of the parties.
Jenkins repeatedly asked jurors to raise their hands if any of those aspects could prevent them from impartially trying the case based strictly on evidence in court and the judge's instruction about the law, and time and again he said, "note the absence of hands." Opening arguments have been scheduled for Tuesday.