NEWS

Second wave of jury selection begins for Luka Magnotta trial

09/16/2014 05:00 EDT | Updated 11/15/2014 05:59 EST
Lawyers in the Luka Magnotta case will interview 24 candidates today who are being considered as potential jurors in the first degree murder trial.

As the second stage of the jury selection process begins today, lawyers are looking to establish impartiality and evaluate the candidates’ proficiency in both French and English.

This portion of the selection process was initially intended to take five days, with lawyers interviewing 40 people per day.

But the court decided this wouldn't give enough time to properly evaluate each candidate and the number was halved, down to two dozen interviews per day.

This could delay the trial by up to two weeks.

More than 300 candidates have been contacted to take part in the interviews.

Magnotta's defence lawyer Luc Leclair told the media that jury selection was "the most important step in the process" and this he and his client were seeking candidates who were "truly impartial."

Leclair said this will be challenging, given the amount of international attention the case has already received.

Dozens of those summoned during the initial jury selection process requested exemptions, stating that they had already made up their minds on Magnotta's verdict.

Would-be jurors will also be evaluated on their level of bilingualism. While Magnotta asked for an English trial, some evidence and testimony will be in French and lawyers decided a bilingual trial would be more time-efficient and prevent court documents from having to be translated.

Magnotta, 32, faces five charges including the first-degree murder of 33-year-old Concordia University student Jun Lin.

He pleaded not guilty.

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