A 12-panel jury has been selected for the racketeering trial of Atlanta rapper Young Thug and his co-defendants.
The jury selection process in the YSL Rico case began in January this year and took 10 months, with more than 700 potential jurors called for screening to be a possible member of the 12.
According to reporter Cathy Russon, the prosecution and defense agreed on November 1 to the 12 jurors and six (6) alternate jurors for a total of 18 persons who will be the peers to judge Young Thug, whose name is Jeffery Williams, and his fellow YSL compatriots.
Journalist George Chidi also gave a profile of the jurors who were picked, which includes seven (7) Black women, two (2) Black men, two (2) white women, and one (1) white man. The alternate group comprises three (3) Black women, one (1) Black men, and two (2) white men.
The YSL trial now has seven defendants from a total of 28 originally indicted in 2022. Many of those from the original group have taken Alford plea deals, including rapper Gunna and others, while some were severed for inadequate counsel and, in one case, one who appeared to be mentally incompetent. One defendant has never been arrested.
In the meantime, there was high drama in court on Wednesday as the defense and Judge Ural Glanville were at odds over the seating of the jury before the announcement of the 12. According to Chidi, tensions ran high as Judge Glanville insisted that the jury be seated before the end of the day.
One of the jurors is a flight attendant and couldn’t go to court until around 3:30 PM. Young Thug’s lawyer, Brian Steel, argued that the defense could wait, especially since jurors were given short notice on Monday to be in court by Wednesday.
Glanville eventually excused the flight attendant while defendant Shannon Stillwell’s attorney, Max Schardt, said they were willing to waive her appearance to keep her in the pool. It seems that the defense wanted the flight attendant on the panel.
Judge Glanville and Steel also reportedly traded words in court in a heated back and forth over the sitting of the jury by November 6. The consequence of not meeting that date would have resulted in a violation of speedy trial rules, and the case would have to be reindicted.
According to reports by Variety, the trial is set to begin on November 27. However, as to how long the trial will last only time will tell, especially given the theatrics and length of time it took to seat the panel of jury.