Explainer: Jury selection process in capital murder trial of DPS trooper
Jury selection for the Victor Godinez capital murder trial is still underway.
Godinez is accused of killing Texas Department of Public Safety trooper Moises Sanchez. The trial is a death penalty case.
Attorneys have been working for more than a week to select a jury. Timelines in this case have been long since the shooting happened four years ago. One factor here are the stakes involved.
"Yes, the stakes are higher. We are dealing with the potential of a death penalty," defense attorney Sergio Sanchez said.
Sanchez is a practicing criminal defense attorney with 25 years in the Rio Grande Valley as a prosecutor and defender. He says the jury selection process will be influenced by a potential juror's ability to decide if someone lives or dies.
Judge Letty Lopez called for a pool of 800 jurors, which reported to the courthouse just over a week ago. At last check, that pool of jurors is down to 366.
"You need a large pool like this for all the various reasons to get 12 people who are fair-minded, to give the accused a fair chance in trial, that's going to listen to all evidence before making a decision," Sanchez said.
What's left now is for the attorneys to pick their 12 jurors. Then trial can begin.
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