Both sides — the state, represented by special prosecutor Stanley Levco, and the defense, represented by public defender Jeffrey Kimmell (Blythe) and William Stanley (Morgan) — asked the jurors whether they were loyal to a particular political party and, if so, whether that might affect their ability to decide the case in an impartial manner.
"Do any of you, because of your political affiliation, feel you are leaning one way or another?" Levco asked.
Some said yes, others said no.
In one case, Kimmell flat out asked a group of 14 prospective jurors whether any of them identified as Republican.
A few raised their hands.
Levco also asked whether any of the jurors felt the alleged crimes were not serious or should not be prosecuted so many years after the fact.
Again, on both points, some said yes while others said no.
Despite the considerable amount of local and even national media attention paid to it over the past 18 or so months, less than half of the 41 prospective jurors questioned on the matter admitted to any prior knowledge of the case.
Some did, however, admit to knowing one or both of the defendants and/or one or more of the potential witnesses.
In the end, it took about three and a half hours to select 14 jurors — four males and 10 females, including two alternates — from a pool of 56. A roar erupted from the jury room when the final three entered about 5 p.m.
The trial resumes today with opening statements and jury instructions according to the Tribune.