Attorneys review juror questionnaires in accused cop killer trial
Otis McKane charged with capital murder in shooting death of SAPD detective Benjamin Marconi
SAN ANTONIO – Prosecutors and defense attorneys are spending the week reviewing questionnaires completed by prospective jurors in the capital murder trial of Otis McKane.
McKane, 35, is accused in the execution-style shooting death of veteran SAPD detective Ben Marconi on Nov. 20, 2016.
Marconi was shot in the head as he sat in is patrol car parked outside Public Safety Headquarters.
District Attorney Joe Gonzales is seeking the death penalty for McKane, calling him at one time “the worst of the worst.”
Prospective jurors on Monday will be interviewed individually by prosecutors and defense attorneys based on information gleaned from the questionnaires.
“They give you an insight into the thoughts and views of the panel members before they come to court,” defense attorney Joel Perez said Wednesday.
Both the defense and prosecutors have similar definitions of the ideal juror.
“Just someone who can be open minded, Perez said. “Someone that can be open minded and doesn’t have extreme views on either end.”
Perez said that the job of a juror in a death penalty case can be complex. If McKane is found guilty, jurors will have to consider two “special issues.”
“The special issues are very technical and you really, really have to explain it to them,” Perez said.
The issues are: Is the defendant a future danger to society? And are there any mitigating circumstances that dictate that the death penalty not be enforced?
If the answer to both questions is yes, the sentence is life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Due to the length and complexity of the individual juror interviews, jury selection is expected to take at least a month.
Testimony is scheduled to begin on April 27.
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