Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Mark Becker

Picking a jury

After Coach Thomas' untimely death, more than 2,500 people came to Parkersburg to pay their respects at the memorial service, lining the streets as the funeral procession passed. All four of A-P's NFL players came back to serve as pallbearers. Once again, Parkersburg had made the national news.

Judge Stephen Carroll
Judge Stephen Carroll

Due to the tremendous coverage of the story, Judge Stephen Carroll called for an unusually large panel of 220 prospective jurors to begin jury selection on February 10, 2010. Since there was no space big enough in the courthouse in Allison, the seat of Butler County, jury selection was held at a bigger building in nearby Shell Rock. Lines trailed out the door and Porta-Potties were installed as many feared the process would take a week.

Butler County is small, and virtually everyone had heard something about the case. Prosecutor Andrew Prosser announced that there had been three husband-wife couples in the original pool—although none made the final panel. And yet the court was able to seat a final panel of 8 men and 4 women in only two days.


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