This week, Terry Lenamon continues work in the courtroom as jury selection continues in the Markeith Loyd trial. It’s reported that picking a jury will take several weeks. Part of the reason it will take so long is because the judge has ruled that the jury will be sequestered during the trial.
What is Jury Sequestration?
Jury sequestration involves the trial judge ordering that the jurors (once selected) be protected from things that might impact their decision-making outside of what they will hear as evidence in the courtroom as the trial proceeds, or after both sides have rested and the case is sent to the jury for deliberations. The jurors do not pay for this; the government underwrites the expense. This can involve not only their stay in a private hotel room, but providing protection at all times, and periodic field trips to help morale as time passes. Jurors are allowed limited visits or conversations with their loved ones, and they do not get unlimited access to the internet since that might reveal something outside of trial evidence which could influence their decision. Potential jurors who would be harmed by being sequestered (hardship) are not required to be sequestered (this is the judge’s decision).
Examples of Sequestered Juries
Three well-known past criminal cases involving sequestered juries include the O.J. Simpson criminal trial; the Casey Anthony trial; and the Bill Cosby case. It is said the Simpson trial involved the longest time for a jury to be sequestered, at 265 days.