Elizabeth Smart Kidnapping Trial Halted Over Jury Selection


Utah’s Elizabeth Smart kidnapping trial was interrupted just after it had started when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit agreed to review jury selection, says the Salt Lake Tribune. Attorneys for homeless street preacher Brian David Mitchell's argue that the jury seated yesterday has already assumed his guilt of kidnapping then 14-year-old Smart in 2002.

“I have never heard of a case where that's happened,” said University of Utah law professor and former federal judge Paul Cassell of the timing. “The fact that they stayed a trial shows they're thinking about it.” Prosecutors argued that six potential jurors the defense identified as showing “actual bias,” were “not actually seated on the jury,” and were only part of the panel of 32 from which the jury was selected. The defense says the case should be moved to a different venue if it was determined Mitchell could not receive a fair trial in Utah.

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