Completion of Manson Jury Held ‘Possible’ Tomorrow
Sunday, July 12th, 1970
LOS ANGELES, Jul. 12 – Approval of a jury for the Charles Manson murder-conspiracy case is closer today than it has been in the four weeks since the trial opened.
Whether or not a panel of 12 will be selected tomorrow, when the trial resumes, depends solely upon the prosecution.
Co-prosecutor Vincent T. Bugliosi said at the end of Friday’s session that it was “possible” he would approve the seven men and five women now tentatively seated in the jury box.
However, the deputy district attorney also hinted it was just as possible he might decide to exercise the prosecution’s 11th peremptory challenge, throwing jury selection wide open once more.
Before the prosecution goes to bat tomorrow trial Judge Charles H. Older first must decide upon the challenge to the petit (trial) jury system made earlier in the case by Manson’s attorney, Irving A. Kanarek.
The entire afternoon session Friday was spent behind the closed doors of the judge’s chambers, presumably for arguments on the challenge.
Kanarek has claimed in open court that, the way a prospective juror presently is drawn, it is impossible to find someone of Manson’s “life style” to serve on the panel.
The 35-year-old long-haired defendant is the leader of a nomadic cult called “the family.”
He and three female followers went on trial last month in connection with the August killings of actress Sharon Tate and six others.
Kanarek’s biggest quarrel with the present petit jury system involves intelligence tests taken by prospective jurors before they are selected for jury panels.
Manson has only a fifth grade education and has admitted many times in court that his reading and writing leave much to be desired.
Manson also is a former convict, and has spoken of how much that fact has influenced his life.
In appealing for someone like Manson to be placed on the jury, Kanarek did not say how much of Manson’s “life style” the juror should share.
But an ex-convict, for example, would not be eligible.