CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Chad Daybell trial jury selection wraps up days ahead of schedule

Apr 8, 2024, 7:35 AM | Updated: 12:59 pm

chad daybell shown, chad daybell trial...

Chad Daybell is seen during his preliminary hearing in Fremont County on Tuesday, August 4, 2020. (Post Register/ John Roark, POOL)

(Post Register/ John Roark, POOL)

BOISE, Idaho — The jury selection process in the trial of Chad Daybell wrapped up Monday morning. The prosecution and defense picked the final jury and six alternates a week after the selection process started.

It took just over half an hour to make it through peremptory strikes and select 10 men and 8 women who would become the 12 main jurors and six alternates.

According to East Idaho News, the prosecution and defense took turns identifying the jurors they didn’t want, then shared the information with the other side, before handing up the details on a slip of paper to Judge Steven Boyce.

He dismissed those who weren’t selected, then gave the rest some ground rules including that they’re not to talk about the case before deliberations and should tell the court if anyone tries to get them to talk.

According to East Idaho News, opening statements begin on Wednesday.

The jury selection process wrapped up about four days ahead of schedule. 

The jury selection process in the trial of Chad Daybell

The final 57 prospective jurors heard from prosecutor Lindsey Blake Friday that they must set aside any preconceived notions, not just about the case itself but even about the jury instructions they will receive. Blake compared those instructions to a recipe that you can’t alter in any way. 

“Even if you look at them and think, ‘Why does the state have to prove this element, or why don’t they have to prove this element?’ That’s not going to be up to you to decide.”

Blake also made sure the jury understood the magnitude of the task before them. 

“We want to ensure that jurors feel that they can be fair an impartial in this case, That they are open to hearing the evidence, weighing that evidence and rendering a verdict.”

In addition, because death penalty trials can take much longer than non-capital punishment cases, some jurors raised concerns about scheduling conflicts or undue hardships from the length. Several potential jurors were excused for those reasons. 

The process of peremptory strikes begins in Boise on Monday at 10 a.m. If all goes well, opening arguments could take place Tuesday. 

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Chad Daybell trial jury selection wraps up days ahead of schedule