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Jury in Shenandoah Hate Crime Trial To Be Ready Wednesday

By Gustavo Martinez Contreras
Posted on October 5, 2010

SCRANTON, PA — The trial of the two Shenandoah, Pa., men charged with a federal hate crime for the beating death of a Mexican undocumented immigrant could be under way before the week comes to an end.

Today, the prospective juror pool narrowed from 75 to 41 after a 10-hour day of individual questioning.

img_0724-1.jpgAt the William J. Nealon Federal Building & U.S. Courthouse in Scranton, Judge Richard A. Caputo assured that jury selection will take place Wednesday.

The trial for Brandon J. Piekarsky (green shirt) and Derrick M. Donchak (blue shirt) could start before the week comes to an end.

To get the panel of 14 — 12 jurors and two alternates–both sides will issue peremptory challenges, which is the right both sides have to challenge a juror without having to give a reason for that challenge.

Derrick M. Donchak, 20, and Brandon J. Piekarsky, 18, face life in prison if found guilty of the federal hate crime charge stemming from the beating that took the life of Luis Eduardo Ramírez Zavala in July 2008.

Both are accused of violating Ramírez Zavala’s civil rights motivated by the fact that he was Hispanic and lived in a dwelling there, according to the federal indictment.

Mr. Donchak is also charged with conspiracy and obstruction of justice.

Proceedings begin tomorrow at 9:30 a.m.

Audio production thanks to Dave McAndrews.
Luis Ramirez Trial English Version by Gustavo Martinez

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