Trump to return to New York criminal court for jury selection (2024)

Trump to return to New York criminal court for jury selection (1)

NEW YORK - Donald Trump's historic hush-money trial enters a second day on April 16, as lawyers try to select 12 New York City jurors to consider the guilt or innocence of the first former U.S. president to face criminal charges.

The first day on April 15 underscored the challenges of the task.

Roughly half of 100 potential jurors questioned were dismissed after saying they could not impartially judge the polarising businessman-turned-politician, who is mounting a comeback White House bid while battling four separate criminal cases.

A New York native who now lives in Florida, Trump was a fixture in the city's tabloid press for decades before he won the presidency as a Republican in 2016. But as a politician, he has never been able to count on the heavily Democratic city for votes.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, has charged Trump with 34 felony counts of falsifying business records to cover up a hush-money payment to p*rn star Stormy Daniels shortly before the 2016 election. Ms Daniels says she had a sexual relationship with Trump about a decade beforehand.

Trump has pleaded not guilty and denies an encounter took place. To prove a felony, prosecutors must show that Trump covered up the payment to conceal a crime like an illegal campaign contribution.

Trump has said that the payment was personal and intended to spare himself and his family embarrassment.

In other jurisdictions, he stands accused of mishandling classified information and trying to overturn his 2020 loss to Democrat Joe Biden. But the hush-money case may be the only one to go to trial before Trump faces US President Biden again in the Nov 5 election.

If convicted, Trump would still be able to run for office and serve as president if he won. But a Reuters/Ipsos poll found that half of independents and a quarter of his fellow Republicans would not vote for him if he is found guilty.

Trump has pleaded not guilty in all four criminal cases and says they are a plot by Biden's Democrats to neutralise him politically.

Though the New York case is centered on events that took place more than seven years ago, prosecutors are trying to hold Trump accountable for more recent conduct as well.

On April 15, they asked Justice Juan Merchan to fine Trump US$1,000 (S$1,360) for each of three social media posts this month that criticized Ms Daniels and Michael Cohen, Trump's former fixer who is expected to be a prominent witness in the trial.

Under a gag order imposed by Merchan, Trump is barred from making statements about witnesses, court staff and family members that are meant to interfere with the case. Trump's lawyer Todd Blanche said the former president was only responding to their criticism of him.

Justice Merchan said he will consider the fines on April 23.

Jury selection is expected to consume the rest of the week, and the trial is scheduled to last through May. Trump is required to be in court throughout, and on April 15 Justice Merchan denied a request for him to miss a session so he could attend a hearing at the U.S. Supreme Court, where his lawyers will argue that Trump should not be prosecuted for actions he took as president.

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"He thinks he's superior, I guess, to the Supreme Court. We've got a real problem with this judge," Trump said after the session on April 15.

The 12 jurors selected for the trial, along with six alternates, will hear testimony from Ms Daniels and Mr Cohen, who has said he made the payments to buy her silence.

Other expected witnesses include David Pecker, the former publisher of the National Enquirer tabloid, who prosecutors say ran stories to boost Trump's 2016 campaign.

Also due up is Karen McDougal, a former nude model for Playboy magazine who prosecutors say was paid by the National Enquirer to keep quiet about an alleged affair with Trump. REUTERS

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Trump to return to New York criminal court for jury selection (2024)


How are jurors selected in NY? ›

Juror Qualification Questionnaires and Summonses are mailed to people randomly selected items such as voter registration lists and licensed motor vehicle operator lists. The questionnaires are used to determine if you are qualified to serve as a juror.

What happens if you ignore jury duty in NY? ›

If you fail to respond or show up for jury serivce, you will be held in contempt of court. In New York, if you're held in contempt of court, you could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor in the second degree, which is punishable by up to one year in prison.

What is a medical excuse for jury duty in NY? ›

If you have a medical condition that prevents you from serving please submit a statement from a licensed medical professional which includes the following: A diagnosis of your mental or physical condition A prognosis of how long the condition is expected to exist A conclusion stating that you are incapable of serving ...

What is the best excuse to miss jury duty? ›

A prospective juror may be excused if he/she:
  • Has a physical or mental disability that would prevent him/her from serving. ...
  • Must provide actual and necessary care for another and alternate arrangements are not feasible. ...
  • Is unable to read or understand the English language.
  • Over 75 years of age.

At what age do you no longer have to serve jury duty in NY? ›

There is no upper age limit. If you believe that you cannot serve for an age-related reason, contact your local Commissioner of Jurors Office to discuss possible accommodations or excusal. Your local Commissioner can also advise if any, or what type of, documentation is required for excusal.

How many times can you skip jury duty NYC? ›

If you fail to respond or appear after you've received your second summons, you may be subject to a fine of up to $250 for non-compliance. If you fail to appear for jury service after receiving a second summons, you will likely be held in contempt of court.

How often can you be summoned for jury duty in NY? ›

How often does a person have to serve as a juror? A person who serves in a State or Federal court in New York—either by reporting in person or by being available to serve via a telephone call-in system—normally is not eligible to serve again in the New York State courts for at least six years.

What is the oldest age to be a juror? ›

Each of the federal district courts has its own rules about jury service. Many federal courts offer excuses from service, on individual request, to designated groups, including people over age 70.

Can you bring food to jury duty NYC? ›

Jurors may bring their own beverage in a resealable, non-glass container and snack or food that does not require refrigeration. Please email our office with further questions. Thank you for your cooperation.

How many times can you postpone jury duty in NY? ›

Absent extraordinary circ*mstances, the commissioner shall not grant a prospective juror more than three postponements of jury service, nor shall the aggregate period of postponements granted to a prospective juror exceed 18 months.

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