OKthePK Joint Bar Editor: My bolding of the prospective woman juror's statement.
Sherbrooke Quebec - Ten men and four women will decide the fates of the three men charged in connection with the Lake Megantic train disaster on the night of 6 Jul 2013.
After weeks of granting exemptions and vetting the language skills of more than 1,000 people in the Eastern Townships, Superior Court Justice Gaetan Dumas, along with the Crown and defence teams have chosen the 14 people who will make up the jury for the trial of the three men accused in connection with the train explosion that killed 47 people.
Only 12 of those jurors will be present for final deliberations.
The final pool of potential jurors was whittled down over the course of three weeks, based largely on the ability of each to understand English and French.
Determining Impartiality of Jurors
On Friday, 120 people were called to the bench, several admitting they'd already made up their minds as to the guilt or innocence of the three men charged.
One woman said she didn't know if she could make an impartial decision, saying, "I have a lot of empathy for these people," and wished them good luck with the trial before leaving the court room.
All three of the men charged are former employees of Montreal Maine & Atlantic (MMA) Railway.
They are 56-year-old Thomas Harding former locomotive engineer, 59-year-old railway controller Richard Labrie, and operations manager Jean Demaitre, 53.
The men have all been charged with 47 counts of criminal negligence causing death, one count for each of the victims killed in the explosion.
Thomas Walsh, Harding's defence lawyer, says he's very happy with the jury.
"We weren't looking for any type of person in particular, we were just looking for people that had a nice open, intelligent face, and I think we got 14 of them so we're very happy," he said.
The prosecution will make its opening statements and present its first four witnesses on Monday.
The trial is scheduled to last until 21 Dec 2017.