Atlanta schools cheating trial could take months

The trial of 13 defendants in the Atlanta Public Schools test-cheating case remains on track start Aug. 11, lawyers involved in the case said today.

From jury selection to verdict, the trial could take 4 months in what Deputy District Attorney Fani Willis called a “best case scenario.”

More than 1,000 jurors will be called in the case. Jury selection could take two weeks or longer.

The length of the case could make it more difficult to find enough jurors.

“This case has had so much publicity and so much hoopla,” Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter said during a hearing on pre-trial motions today. “There’s not a whole lot of people who are going to be able to stop their lives for six months” or the length of the trial.

It’s still unclear whether former Atlanta Superintendent Beverly Hall, who has Stage IV breast cancer, will be present for the trial. Her defense team will report to the court on her health next month.