Judge to question potential jurors in Hudson trial
Published Monday, April 9, 2012 8:12AM EDT
CHICAGO - A judge will question potential jurors as jury selection begins in earnest at the Chicago trial of a man accused of murdering the mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew of singer and Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson.
Selecting 12 jurors able to set aside sympathy for the star in assessing William Balfour's guilt poses challenges.
After questioning starts Monday, it should take several days to make final picks from 150 prospective jurors. In a last step, each side will have around ten pre-emptive strikes to dismiss people from the jury pool without offering any reason.
If convicted, 30-year-old Balfour faces a maximum life sentence.
Judge Charles Burns told prospective jurors last week that anyone opposed to capital punishment need not worry because Illinois recently abolished the death penalty.
Testimony begins April 23.