“Going in and out of the courtroom won’t be fun for her,” Murray said. “They look like cannons, some of these cameras, and if you’re going through what she’s about to go through, you can imagine that would rattle her.”
The brush with celebrity may be irresistible for jurors, as there’s a tendency to feel a protective bond with movie stars and singers almost as if they’re family, said prominent defense lawyer Gerry Spence.
There could be “a sort of underlying sense, a subconscious sense, that they have attacked somebody in (the juror’s) family,” said Spence. “And they think, `(He) shot Jennifer’s (mother, brother and nephew) and I’m going to get him.’ “
The defense could ask Burns to bar Hudson from court _ possibly on grounds she is a potential witness _ which would be a rare but not unheard of request. But Uelmen says the judge would be reluctant to tell a daughter she can’t attend the trial of the man accused of killing her mother.
Hudson’s publicity firm did not respond to requests for comment.
Judges don’t insist jurors be blank slates, they merely want to know if jurors can set aside their biases and preconceptions, said Laurie Levenson, a law professor at Loyola Law School Los Angeles.
“You certainly don’t want a juror who hasn’t heard of Jennifer Hudson, for instance,” Levenson said. “That would raise other serious questions, like, where’s this person been living _ under a rock?”
Attorneys won’t necessarily share the judge’s goal of weeding out bias.
“The fact is,” Uelmen said, “neither side is looking for unbiased jurors _ they’re looking for jurors who lean their way.”
AP reporter Don Babwin contributed to this report.
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