The Jury Selection Process – More Than Just “Irregular”

The Jury Selection Process – More Than Just “Irregular”

Numerous recent news articles have contained the following commentary concerning the panel selection in the Hasan case,

Army officials had already decided that the jury pool would not come from Fort Sill, Okla., as initially planned, because that fact had been publicized. Defense attorneys said that 1,133 officers were available as jurors from Fort Hood but nearly 250 more were sought from other Army posts, and Fort Hood’s leader whittled the jury pool to 147 — none of them Muslims.

The suggestion seems to be that there was some sort of impropriety in publically releasing the fact that the original court-martial convening order (CMCO) was composed entirely of officers from Fort Sill, Oklahoma.  As readers are aware, there is nothing secretive about court-martial convening orders.  Court-Martial Convening Orders are not classified; they are public documents.  Obviously, Army officials are not very comfortable with the panel selection procedures followed in selecting the panel members and, in that regard, they have reason to be concerned.