Published Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2008 | 8:45 a.m.
Updated Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2008 | 7:26 p.m.
Wednesday was a productive day in Clark County District Judge Jackie Glass’ courtroom, as 15 people were added to the pool of qualified potential jurors for O.J. Simpson’s upcoming criminal trial.
"We've made significant progress in our efforts to get a jury in the time frame that we've allowed," Glass said.
Simpson is facing charges that include burglary, robbery and assault following an alleged robbery at the Palace Station Hotel & Casino in September, 2007.
The jury selection process was significantly slower during previous days’ proceedings. As jury selection got underway, it took two days to qualify just 12 people.
With 27 qualified possibilities, Glass now needs just 13 suitable candidates before she and district attorneys, along with lawyers for Simpson and his co-accused, Clarence “C.J.” Stewart, can start forming the jury.
There are currently twice as many women as there are men in the group of qualified candidates. One of the 19 women is black, while one of the eight men is Hispanic.
Other members of the jury pool appear to be Latino and Asian, but court officials could not confirm the ethnicity of the other candidates.
It is Glass’ goal to have a jury formed by the end of the week. If this is achieved, the trial will likely begin Monday with opening statements.
Simpson and Stewart face the possibility of life in prison if found guilty. They each have been charged with 12 counts of robbery, kidnapping and weapons-related offences following the alleged raid of a Las Vegas hotel room last September.
Glass said the court was making decent time and suggested it was set to achieve in five days or so what often takes others weeks to accomplish. “We made great progress, we made good time,” she said.
She credited the joint cooperation of potential jurors and the attorneys, "and me for pushing it through the way I have,” for what she considers a respectable pace for jury selection.
The trial needs 40 qualified potential jurors to draw from to form its 12-member jury. Six additional candidates will also serve as alternate jurors.
Jury selection will continue tomorrow at 8 a.m.