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Court Documents

The trial timeline

Wednesday, March 28 - Jury selection begins
Potential jurors will be asked to fill out questionnaires about their criminal histories, if any, other encounters with the law (lawsuits or past jury service, for example), their feelings on capital punishment and what, if anything, they have heard about Juan Luna and the murders at the Palatine Brown’s restaurant. They will then be questioned by attorneys on both sides. Attorneys are selecting a jury of 16 - 12 jurors and four alternates.
Week of April 9 - Opening statements expected
The date of opening statements will depend on how long jury selection takes. During opening statements, each side will spell out what it believes the evidence shows about Luna’s involvement in the murders.
Prosecution case
Prosecutors are expected to take several weeks presenting evidence against Luna. They will call as witnesses two high school friends who told police nine years after the murders that Luna and Jim Degorski told them their role in the slayings. About 25 percent of the testimony is expected to be about the DNA match prosecutors say they found between Luna and a partially eaten chicken dinner found at the crime scene. Palatine police and other investigators are expected to testify.
Defense case
Defense attorneys will attempt to show through their own witnesses why prosecutors have charged the wrong man. They claim Luna was not involved in the slayings and may discuss other men who were suspected of the murders during the nine years between the murders and Luna’s arrest.
Rebuttal case
Prosecutors will call more witnesses. One rebuttal witness may be renowned forensic scientist Dr. Henry Lee, who is known for his work on a number of high-profile criminal cases, including the O.J. Simpson trial and Jon Benet Ramsey murder.
Closing statements
Closing statements are the final chance for attorneys on both sides to sum up the evidence — that it shows Luna did or did not murder seven people in 1993.
Jury deliberations
Jurors weigh the evidence and issue a verdict.
• If he is found guilty, sentencing phase begins. Jurors will first decide whether the case is eligible for the death penalty. Then they will decide whether to sentence Luna to life in prison or to death.
• If found not guilty, he will be released from Cook County jail, where he is currently held without bond.
Source: Daily Herald interviews

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Palatine police chief testifies to leaks in Brown's Chicken investigation
Ex-Brown's worker accuses police of pressuring false confession
Brown's prosecution strategy debated
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Witness: Degorski asked if God would forgive murder
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Brown's witness: Bloody footprints from a cop
Degorski ex-girlfriend says she'll never forget confession
Expert describes wounds that killed Brown's victims
Prosecutors climb uphill battle in first week of Brown's Chicken trial
Innocent explanation for second chicken's DNA?
Star state witness tells of keeping Brown's secret
Scientist describes food evidence in Brown's case
Prosecutor: Brown's Chicken killings about 'thrills,' doing 'something big'
Second Brown's Chicken slayings trial begins today
Trial of 2nd Brown's suspect offers little comfort for victims' families
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The scene of the crime
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Brown's Chicken murders case could be entering final phase
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Jury watches videotaped confession
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