The racketeering trial involving former Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Beverly Hall could last six months, court officials said Friday.
Defense attorneys and Fulton County prosecutors were back in court Friday morning for a hearing surrounding jury selection for Hall and 12 other defendants. The former APS employees are the central figures in an alleged district wide cheating scandal where teachers and principals were allegedly encouraged to cheat and change standardized test scores.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter said it could take a month to pick a jury for the trials. A pool of 1,200 people are expected to be called to fill the jury pool and Baxter expressed concern about finding enough people to serve for a case that could last up to six months.
"There are going to be a whole lot of businesses, people that are going to say their business is going to go down the drain if they are stuck here after six months. That is what has been going through my head and I am just hoping we can get a fair, intelligent jury to look at this matter and resolve it," Baxter said.
Both sides are due back in court July 18 for a status hearing on whether Hall will be able to attend court for her trial. The 67-year-old is battling Stage IV breast cancer and has been unable to appear in court. Hall's doctors say the disease is terminal. Jury selection is expected to begin Aug. 11.
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Tuesday, April 20 2010 11:21 PM EDT2010-04-21 03:21:00 GMT
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