CHICAGO (CBS) — Prospective jurors in the Jennifer Hudson family murder trial will have to answer a lot of questions to show what they know about the singer.
Attorneys on Friday released the questionnaire being given to jurors in the trial of William Balfour, 30, the onetime boyfriend of Hudson’s sister, Julia, who now stands charged with killing her mother, brother, and 7-year-old nephew.
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Prospective jurors are being asked if they have ever seen Hudson on television, or seen a movie in which she played a role – which they must name. The would-be jurors are also being asked if they have ever read book by or about Hudson, seen her perform in person, or read or viewed an interview with her in a newspaper, magazine, television or radio broadcast.
Other questions are more specific, such as whether the prospective jurors have ever watched “American Idol” or seen the movie “Dreamgirls.”
In total, potential jurors are being asked 66 questions. The questionnaire also asks about media coverage and whether jurors have read or heard about the case.
Balfour is accused of killing Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donnerson, and brother, Jason Hudson, in a violent invasion of their Englewood home in 2008. He is also accused of kidnapping and killing her nephew, Julian King. They boy’s body was discovered in a stolen vehicle abandoned on the West Side.
CBS 2’s Mike Parker says attorneys on both sides of the case want the answers to those questions.
CBS 2 legal analyst Irv Miller says the defense would be concerned about Hudson fans potentially getting on the jury.
“The defense is very concerned that people who are fans of Jennifer Hudson are going to want to be on that jury, and they’re going to want to demonstrate their like for her by being in her corner, the prosecution’s corner,” he says.
As for prosecutors, Miller says, “They’re looking for people that may be victims of crime in the past, so they can sympathize with Jennifer Hudson.”
If Jennifer Hudson appears at the trial, there is speculation that fans outside and TV news cameras won’t see her enter the courthouse via the front entrance, that instead she may be driven through a security gate and will enter the courthouse privately.
It’s estimated the trial could last up to a month.