Covering a death penalty case

Hi, hi!  HappyMonday!  I can say that with feelingbecause I'm (at last) on my way home now (well, on the way back to the station,at least) from a pretty long day in Jeffersonville.  Photographer Andy and I left the station afew minutes after five this morning to make the two-hour drive for the firstday of the capital murder trial of Jeffrey Weisheit.  Weisheit is accused of setting fire to hisgirlfriend's northern Vanderburgh County home, killing her two young children,in April 2010.

Ahead of time, we received quite a few rules about thistrial and what we, as media, were allowed to do/not do.  I've never covered a death penalty case, atleast not in Indiana.  (I can't rememberif I ever did when I worked in Ohio, isn't that awful?!)  I can say, it's different than other murdertrials.  At least, this one is.  There is a jury pool of 225 people.  Out of that, they need 12 jurors and fouralternates.  Before jurors are seated ordismissed, they are taken into what will become the jury room, three at a time,to answer questions from the State and the defense as part of the selectionprocess (technically called "voir dire"). This process took a pretty long time, at least for the two sets of threeprospective juror interviews I listened in on (which was allowed, by theway!).  The first set of three were inthe room about 45 minutes.  The nextthree about 30 minutes or so.

By the end of the day (about 5pm EST), they had seated fourjurors.  Yep… it could be a while.

On a completely unrelated note, this was actually my second3am hour wake up in the past few days. On Saturday, seven of us from the station went to a workshop inFrankfort, Kentucky.  Four stayed thenight before in Frankfort, the rest of us drove early in the morning.  The workshop focused a lot on ways to be abetter writer/storyteller.  There wassome really good information for all of us, especially some of our newerreporters who are in their first jobs. Some of the stories we watched as part of the workshop were just so wellput together, something to strive for in the future!

Overall, it was a long day involving a decent bit of drivingin the rain, but I'm glad we went!

Ok, ahh, we're approaching the Morgan Avenue exit.  Almost there! And for me, tomorrow is already my Friday!  Jumping from Monday to Friday is not a baddeal.  I'll be heading out to Ohio for afew days of vacation later this week! Hooray!

Have a wonderful day/afternoon/evening!

Until next time,