Fulton County Jurors Shocked To Hear Young Thug/YSL Trial Could Take Six to Nine Months


Jury selection is now underway in the criminal trial of Jeffery Lamar Williams, professionally known as Young Thug, and other individuals alleged to be members of his gang. However, based on the size of the case, selecting the jury is a slow-moving process that will take considerable time.

Six hundred Fulton County residents received a jury summons concerning this case. Last week they were divided into groups of 200, and each spent a day watching a four-hour video of Chief Judge Ural Granville reading the 95-page indictment. After the video, Chief Judge Granville informed each group that the trial was expected to last six to nine months.

The potential jurors were visibly shocked at this news. Although they had suspected this to be a high-profile case based on the presence of news cameras in the courtroom, they had not expected it would last this long.   The trial has been estimated at this length because 14 defendants are being tried, and the parties plan to call well over 300 witnesses to testify.

On Monday, the first group of potential jurors returned to court to fill out a questionnaire and to try to get excused from serving on the jury. Of the 200 people in this group, 122 claimed that it would be a hardship to miss nine months of work. Other jurors were dismissed for family and personal medical reasons. The judge questioned 25 of those who had claimed hardship and rejected all but three, who were told to return for further questioning on Thursday, along with the remaining 97 people claiming problems who had not yet been questioned. The judge will likely want to ask questions of each of the many hundreds of potential jurors who will claim hardship.

Monday’s outcome shows the difficulty in selecting a jury for a trial of this length. In almost all circumstances, anyone who works for a living will experience severe hardship by not being able to work for six to nine months. This means the court must process vast numbers of potential jurors, a complex and time-consuming task, to find a sufficient number of jurors who will not experience hardship, and do not have any other reason to be excused.   It may also limit the demographics of the jury, which is more likely to consist of retirees and people who are unemployed. 

Although jury selection in more minor cases may take only a day or two, the jury selection, in this case, has been estimated to last until the end of February.

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