JURY SELECTED IN PUFFY/SHYNE TRIAL

The jury has been selected in the trial of Puff Daddy and Shyne, after a week of wrangling...

Jury selection has been completed in the trial of SEAN ‘PUFFY’ COMBS and JAMAL ‘SHYNE’ BARROW after a week of wrangling, and already it appears the race card is set to dominate the trial.

Five women and seven men were agreed upon yesterday (January 25) by both defence and prosecution teams in a Manhattan court. They range in age from mid-30s to mid-60s. Half are black and half are white.

Throughout the selection process, each side has accused the other of choosing races who may be more sympathetic to their cases.

On Wednesday (January 26), defence layers accused prosecutor Matthew Bogdanos of illegally challenging potential jurors simply on the grounds that they were black or Hispanic. While on the following day, Bogdanos turned the tables, accusing the Combs team, led by top celebrity lawyer Johnnie Cochran, of challenging would-be jurors because they are white.

However, Judge Charles Solomon rejected all the claims, ruling that jurors were selected on race-neutral grounds.

Nevertheless, Cochran still played up, asking prospective jurors if they knew of cases in which people were wrongly convicted.

According to [url=]www.sonicnet.com, he said: “DAs are overzealous; juries make mistakes. Not only are there wrongful convictions ? 25 per cent are because of overzealousness, [and] 50 per cent are because of racism.”

The case against the duo and Combs? bodyguard Anthony ‘Wolf’ Jones stems from an incident in Club New York on December 27 1999, when three people were shot. Combs and Jones face weapons charges, after being stopped by police fleeing the scene in a car in which the alleged weapon used in the attack was found, while Shyne faces the more serious charges of attempted murder, assault and reckless endangerment.

The opening statements are due to be made on Monday (January 29).