By Alana Bleimann
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – A few days earlier than expected, jury selection began in San Francisco Superior Court, Dept. 25 Thursday in the trial of Deshon Marman, who faced a new set of charges this week.
Marman is now charged with resisting arrest while trying to remove an officer’s firearm, resisting arrest while trying to remove officers’ weapon (baton)), two counts of threats to an executive officer, two counts of battery with injury to officer and misdemeanor petty theft and simple battery misdemeanor.
Prior to the potential pool of jurors being brought into the courtroom, Marman was seated with his public defender, Diamond Ward. Seated in the desk across from them was Assistant District Attorney Asit Pahwala.
Marman’s mother blew a kiss to her son and took a seat.
In order for all the potential jurors to fit in the courtroom, the bailiff requested that Marman’s family members move to the front row of the audience. Marman quickly motioned for his mother to sit right behind him so that they could be together.
Shortly after, the courtroom doors opened and filled with the potential jurors. Each individual found a seat and managed to remain socially distanced.
Judge Brendon Conroy told jurors, “It’s very important that people respond to their civic duties…90 percent of the people who sit in the box…rate it as a positive experience,” suggesting jurors should consider staying regardless of any work conflicts that may arise.
“There’s nothing more old school than sitting on a jury in the Hall of Justice,” he said as the jurors laughed along. The judge then began explaining the logistics of the case to the jurors. This will be a relatively short case, he explained.
After instructions were given and general orders were stated, Judge Conroy called for the potential jurors to recite their “hardships” or reasons why they would not be able to serve on the jury.
If you have a “personal, prepaid travel…extreme financial hardship…school full-time…language barriers… full-time caretaker…or health issues” you could possibly be excused from service, he explained.
“If you have one of these hardships, raise your hand,” Judge Conroy stated. And more than half of the room raised their hands and were given a form to fill out, stating and explaining what their hardship was.
Those who did not have any hardships were instructed to go home and return to Dept. 25 the next morning.
Those who were filling out forms stayed in the courtroom until Judge Conroy was ready to individually speak with them.
Slowly, one by one, each potential juror was called up to meet privately with the judge to discuss their hardships. Some were excused immediately, others were asked a few questions or were requested to come back the next morning.
With the jury pool narrowed, day two of jury selection will begin Friday morning and opening statements will be heard Monday or Tuesday morning.