YSL Trial: Jury selection expected to continue for several months

Credit: Miguel Martinez

Credit: Miguel Martinez

Goal is to have a panel of 12 jurors with six alternates

An already lengthy jury selection process in the “Young Slime Life” trial against Atlanta rapper Young Thug and more than a dozen of his alleged associates will likely take several more months.

Fulton County Chief Judge Ural Glanville this week gave an overview of the next couple of weeks in court. In addition to the 300 potential new jurors being summoned on Feb. 24, another group of 300 will be brought in March 17. The new group will bring the total number of potential jurors summoned to around 1,200, which is around the same amount summoned back in 2014 ahead of the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal trial involving 12 defendants.

Those 600 additional summoned will have to go through the same process the original group of 613 went through in January and February. They will be required to watch a four-hour reading of the indictment, fill out questionnaires and then can ask to be heard for hardships if they wish to be excused.

Glanville said the length of time spent questioning and excusing jurors depends on how many people are examined each day.

“Just for your basic juror math, if we examine five a day, that is four months. If you examine a full panel (12) a day, that’s about two and a half months,” Glanville said.

Glanville said his goal is to qualify 90 jurors. That number will then be whittled down to 12 trial jurors and six alternates ahead of the sweeping gang trial.

Credit: Miguel Martinez

Credit: Miguel Martinez

The last group of jurors seeking hardships from the initial panel brought in last month will be questioned Wednesday. Of the first 613 jurors summoned, 317 had been excused as of Tuesday

No court will be held Thursday or Friday. On Monday, Glanville will hold contempt hearings, including one for the prospective juror who was required to write a 30-page essay on the importance of jury duty after she traveled to the Dominican Republic instead of returning to court.

Once that is done, court won’t be in session again until Feb. 21. During that time, prosecutors and defense attorneys will begin examining questionnaire responses.

Glanville directed attorneys to meet as a group, go through the questionnaires and decide which jurors to excuse based on their answers.

Attorneys for multiple defendants, including Young Thug, have filed motions ranging from striking evidence to changing the way defendants are being transported. Glanville said Tuesday he doesn’t expect to take up any motions until right before trial.