Monday, October 22, 2007

Day One - Morning

Philip Munger: I got into Courtroom 3 almost an hour after jury selection began, late from changing my wife's Subaru over to winter tires.

Over 25 potential jurors were interviewed over the course of the morning. Mostly 50ish white males, mostly from Anchorage. Two from Vic Kohring's district in Wasilla, one woman from the Bethel area and one woman from Unalaska - this is a big district. The majority seemed very uninformed about the series of events, of which this trial is a part.

Five people on the Fed bench, two on the defendant's. Ex-Representative Kohring seemed artificially optimistic as he smiled broadly and held his chin high. Judge Sedwick seems very accomodating toward all. There were only 13 in the audience, ten of us taking notes, one sketching Kohring and his attorney, John Henry Browne.

Particular attention seemed to be directed toward what kinds of radio, especially talk radio, the potential jurors listen to. Two local talk show hosts came up. One 60ish white male, with a well-cared-for long, silvery goatee, when asked why he was particularly interested in listening to KFQD's Dan Fagan, replied that he's "the kind a guy I love to hate." Another, a listener to KENI's Rick Rydell, commented that he mostly "doesn't agree with him." This might be confusing to Browne, who is from Seattle and might be at a loss when it comes to local nuance. Maybe not.

Judge Sedwick, after noting that Browne had complimented more than one juror for "truthful, honest answers - the best yet," got Browne to agree not to do that again.

During a short recess, I spoke with Kohring, who thanked me for an e-mail I had written to him before his resignation, encouraging him to not resign until they pried his fingers from his office door. Apparently, he missed my snark. Then. We'll see how it goes this week.

Fred James: Borrrrrr-ing....

1 comment: