HomeTop StoriesFinding an impartial jury for Karen Read's murder trial will be a...

Finding an impartial jury for Karen Read’s murder trial will be a “long road”, a lawyer says

DEDHAM – It’s the name and process that most people outside of Norfolk County know about: Karen Lees.

On Tuesday, she walks through a barricaded Norfolk Superior Courthouse where she faces trial for first-degree murder in the January 2022 death of her boyfriend, Boston police officer John O’Keefe.

“Everyone, everywhere, anyone you start talking to, they’re talking about this,” said Carla Foley in Dedham.

“Of course I think everyone knows, it’s not a mystery anymore,” said Lirio Potts of New Hampshire. “I couldn’t be a good judge because I know about it, so I’m quite biased.”

Finding an impartial jury

As jury selection begins, the question is with so many people having their own thoughts, theories or opinions about the case: Can a jury drawn from the public be impartial?

That’s why lawyers say the challenge for the jury will be to prove they can be unbiased in the widely polarizing case.

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“The influence of media, social media, the sidebars with the turtle blogger. “With all the information going back and forth from the DA’s office and the defense team, I think it’s going to be a long road to picking an impartial jury,” said Christopher Dearborn, a law professor at the University of Suffolk .

Karen Read will appear for the hearing in Norfolk County Superior Court on May 23, 2023.

John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Prosecutors will try to prove their case by claiming Read got drunk and then ran over O’Keefe, causing him to die in a friend’s yard in Canton.

The defense is then expected to maintain that Read is the victim of a police cover-up, and they hope to find out from a judge whether they can shift the blame for O’Keefe’s guilt. murder of three other men.

The process could take seven weeks

A trial process that could last seven weeks, which experts say could be a challenge.

“If you have a seven-week trial period, you run the risk of boring people and putting them to sleep. It doesn’t matter how sensational it is,” Dearborn said.

And those who live in the middle of it are preparing for a circus.

“I just hope that justice is served for either one of them, whatever it is,” Foley said.

Experts say it could take several days to pick a jury because either side is allowed to excuse up to sixteen potential jurors without any reason.

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