Almost everyone in the world – let alone the United States – has heard of Donald Trump.
The most remote Amazonian tribes, perhaps, may be unaware of his policies and his statements, as well as those living a nomadic lifestyle in North America. However, if you’re a registered voter in the U.S., it’s almost certain that you have an opinion on the world’s most outspoken politician.
Facing 91 criminal charges across four indictments, former president Trump’s fate rests in the hands of Americans who do not even realize it yet. Each trial will have a jury, yet to be selected but undoubtedly scrutinized when they are so.
To quote Saul Goodman, he “only needs one” on each indictment to prevent a unanimous verdict and walk free.
“Witch Hunts” Work Two Ways
Unsurprisingly for such a polarizing figure, Donald Trump’s repeated rhetoric that he’s the subject of a politically motivated “witch hunt” can be interpreted in multiple ways.
It’s easy to see why many are skeptical as to the timing of his criminal proceedings, which are set to dominate the headlines in 2024 during the crucial year in any electoral cycle. Then again, criminal investigations – particularly when it’s against a former president of the United States – can take some time before prosecutors have the evidence required to press charges.
Come jury selection, each member of the public randomly allocated to preside over the most high-profile criminal cases in American history will undoubtedly be scrutinized. This is a known concern for Trump’s indictment in the Democrat stronghold of Washington D.C., prompting his attorneys to seek relocation to the Republican-friendly state of West Virginia.
After a vigorous scrutiny process, the 12 jurors in each trial will hear evidence for and against prosecuting the former president. For sure, they will undoubtedly be seen as “neutral” by the court; however, how can a juror – no matter their commitment to an open mind – possibly completely disregard their political opinions when sitting on a trial that very well could shape the direction of the United States for generations to come?
Of course, it could work both ways. Of course, a liberal thinker may be more inclined to be horrified at the evidence they’ve heard than one who leans to the right. Likewise, given how Trump’s popularity has only increased with each passing indictment, what’s to stop a conservative juror from leaning towards a guilty verdict to boost polling numbers, particularly if the evidence is so overwhelmingly in the prosecution’s favor?
Any further would be leaning into speculation, and remember, Trump is innocent until proven guilty in the eyes of the law. Nevertheless, as the only former president to face criminal prosecution, Trump is right: How on earth could he possibly receive a fair trial?
Shay Bottomley is a British journalist based in Canada. He has written for the Western Standard, Maidenhead Advertiser, Slough Express, Windsor Express, Berkshire Live and Southend Echo, and has covered notable events including the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
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