Process to seat a jury for Kori Muhammad case to be long and extensive

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- One by one, attorneys along with the judge, went through requests from potential jurors asking the court to consider a hardship. The defendant was also present to read the circumstances of each request.

Once the judge told jurors about the eight-week time commitment, 75 filled out requests asking the judge to let them be excluded from this case.

Legal analyst Mark Broughton said the process to seat a jury will be long and extensive. Since this is a death penalty case, jurors will be questioned about their ability, if necessary, to impose a punishment that includes death.

"Somebody has to be willing to say that under the right circumstances, they could impose the death penalty to be a death-qualified juror to sit on," Broughton said. "So if somebody says, 'I don't believe in the death penalty,' they're not qualified."

Kori Muhammed is accused of shooting and killing motel maintenance worker Carl Williams in 2017, then going on a rampage five days later, gunning down Mark Gasset, Zack Randalls and David Jackson.

He was arrested by Fresno Police officers shortly after, and during a confession said he targeted white men.

The questionnaire that jurors will be filling out will also include their life experiences and feelings about various topics, including religion and race and more.

They will also ask more basic questions, like whether jurors or their family have ever been a victim of a violent crime.

After the questionnaires are completed, each possible juror will be called in and questioned more about their responses.

On Tuesday, the next set of 200 potential jurors will be called in to begin the process. Six-hundred total will be summoned for this case.

Opening arguments are set for early March.
Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.