Jury consultant asked to weigh in on Michael Slager jury panel

Jury consultant asked to weigh in on Michael Slager jury panel

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A predominantly white, middle-aged group of people is set to hear the case of former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager.

Only one black man is seated on the jury panel, along with six white men, and five white women.

Jury consultant Mark Calzaretta of Magna Legal Services was asked to weigh in on the jury panel.

Calzaretta said the defense asked to remove a number of minorities, and he said it appeared that was their strategy.

Slager, who is white, is accused of shooting and killing Walter Scott, who was black.

On the prosecution side, Calzaretta noted the jury is balanced in the number of men and women, but he said it is "light on minorities."

Using the notes provided by the court, we found the Slager defense team asked to remove two black men, three black woman, two Hispanic women, a white woman and a white man, using nine of the defense team's ten "strikes."

The prosecution asked to remove four white people.

The team chose to "strike" three white women, two of them young women, and a white man.

Asked if the victim's family had any recourse now that a predominantly white jury has been seated, Calzaretta noted that a Batson challenge had been made by the prosecution, but the team had backed off from that challenge.

A Batson challenge comes from a Supreme Court ruling which determined a juror can't be dismissed solely on race, ethnicity or gender.

Calzaretta said once a jury is empaneled, that's the jury for the case.

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