Greensboro, N.C. -- It's a trial that's putting our state and the city of Greensboro in the national spotlight. This week, attorneys and Judge Catherine Eagles are in the process of selecting people to serve on a jury that will hear the government's case against John Edwards.
Edwards is accused of violating campaign finance laws. While it's almost impossible to find anyone who hasn't heard of Edwards or doesn't know who he is, the judge wants to find people don't have a strong opinion about him.
Juror questioning has revolved around any kind of outside influence or bias jurors might have. The judge asked them if they had any strong opinions about lawyers, law enforcement or politics. The goal is to find people who can listen to the facts and deliver a fair verdict.
Elon Law Professor Mike Rich said, "Any lawyer wants a juror who is going to pay attention and be focused. That doesn't necessarily have to do with education. It's going to depend a lot on the personal feeling the lawyer gets with talking to the juror."
Rich said selecting a jury is a challenging and difficult process. The prosecution and the defense are likely looking for different characteristics in the pool of potential jurors. "From the perspective of the Edwards camp, an ideal juror is going to be one who might be sympathetic to John Edwards, or at least not as offended as much by the conduct in his personal life. You might be looking for younger men. Or, you might want to avoid middle-aged women who might be particularly upset by the way he treated his wife," Rich said.
The trial itself is set to begin on Monday, April 23.