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Jury Pool for Ex-Cop Drew Peterson’s Murder Trial Is Three Years Old

Posted Jul 20, 2012 8:04 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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When former Bolingbrook, Ill., police officer Drew Peterson goes on trial next week for the murder of his third wife, the jurors will come from a pool first selected in August 2009.

A Will County judge turned down a defense request more than a month ago to toss the pool and select jurors from a new group, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. When the pool was initially selected, the potential jurors were told to ignore news of the case. But Peterson defense lawyer Joel Brodsky argued that the admonishment was likely difficult to follow, the story says.

It’s like telling someone to go stand in the corner and not think about a pink, striped elephant, Brodsky said. “They’re going to go to the corner and they’re going to think about the striped elephant.”

On Wednesday, the defense team apparently had a change of heart, saying they believe they will be able to find jurors who have followed orders to avoid news coverage.

Some experts, however, have misgivings. DePaul University law professor Andrea Lyon told the newspaper that using the old jury pool invites reversal.

Peterson was charged in the death of his third wife, Kathleen Savio, after his fourth wife went missing. Savio was found dead in her bathtub; her death was originally ruled an accidental drowning.

The Chicago Tribune also has a story on the upcoming trial, delayed during clashes over evidence. A pastor who counseled Peterson’s fourth wife will not be allowed to testify that she told him Peterson had admitted the killing, the newspaper says. Prosecutors may not bring Savio’s bathtub to court during the trial, the Chicago Tribune previously reported.

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