Court Considerations

Daniel’s murder trial is scheduled to begin in a couple of weeks. There has been so much hullabaloo about accused prosecutorial misconduct and the changing of judges, it seemed like this case would never go in front of a jury. But the court date is happening… and soon.

I wonder about the emotions being felt by the Herr and Kibuishi families. I’m guessing they are pleased that everything is finally getting underway, but are they are a bit nervous as well? I would be.

The trial is expected to go on for weeks, and scheduling around the holidays will likely make it last longer. I would be very surprised if it finishes before the end of the year.

I’m planning to go when I can because I prefer to hear information first hand, as opposed to getting a summary from the media or Daniel himself.

Listening to the podcast Undisclosed has been very helpful in understanding the terminology. Truth be told though, every time I hear about “Brady evidence,” I can’t stop thinking Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!

Court Questions For Daniel

After I go to court, I often have odd questions for Daniel.

For example, how does he says his own last name? The judges and lawyers don’t seem to have made a unanimous decision about that one.  I wanted to know if it’s “woz as in oz” or “woz as in whoa?” He said it was the first one, but he isn’t bothered when someone says wOHzniak, especially Scott, because “he’s from Chicago.”

During the hearings, Daniel always wears the jail issued orange jumpsuit, or “oranges.” Also, he is in chains. I asked if it was awkward to be wearing the jumpsuit in a room filled with people in business attire. He said he’s used to it, and that when the actual trial starts, he will wear regular street clothes so the jury won’t get a preconceived idea about him. The jury also isn’t technically supposed to know he’s currently incarcerated, so his chains are removed before the jury is let in. We all see the irony here, right?

I found out he changes in the holding cell. The guards give him a bag with his clothes that were provided by his defense team. The orange jumpsuit is then put into the bag and returned to the guard. He told me he rolls up his clothes instead of folding so they won’t get wrinkled. I do the same thing when I pack my suitcase. I believe he has two “outfits” available.

Sometimes, if he’s lucky, he’ll be in the cell the prisoners call “the suite.” It is larger than a phone booth and has a stone bench to stretch out on during lunch. Occasionally he’ll have a towel he can roll up as a pillow. He also brings his own lunch from the the jail.

Will the jury really not be able to figure out he’s incarcerated when they never see Daniel outside of the courtroom? Will they wonder why he only has two changes of clothing, after weeks and weeks of trial?

Jury Selection

I am very curious to find out who will end up on this jury. It must be difficult to even find people who are available for such an extended amount of time. Are there employers who give jury duty pay for more than a week or two?

There were over 400 potential jurors questioned last week. I think it’s interesting that so many people were eliminated because they’d seen Daniel perform on stage. Hmmm? How many shows was he in? I’m not saying this was the case here, but that is a pretty clever way of getting out of jury duty.

Do the lawyers think if a person really enjoyed that night at the theatre, it would sway their opinions about Daniel? “The guy who starred in that popular commercial musical was so entertaining that I could never find him guilty of murder.”

Or if it was a bad production, “I couldn’t get my money back, but seeing him fry should make up for those two hours I lost sitting in the audience.” (Shakes fist angrily.)

Of course there were also plenty of jurors who were released because they had just seen too much information about the case in the media. How difficult will it be to find twelve people in Orange County who don’t know anything about the Daniel Wozniak case? It has been closely linked with the extremely high profile case of Scott Dekraii. I don’t know anyone in the OC who isn’t aware of the Seal Beach massacre.

I was on a jury once. It was a civil suit. The other jurors voted me in as their chairperson. We didn’t give the plaintive any money. We were tough, but we were fair. I think we were a pretty reasonable group of people.

Reasonable and fair seem like good qualities to have in a jury. Will it be a tall order to find people like that among those who don’t follow the news or local musical theatre, and have the time available to be on a lengthy trial? And will they be a jury of Daniel Wozniak’s “peers?”