Prosecutors and defense attorneys selecting a jury in the retrial of the 28-year-old Edward E. Graf Jr. capital murder case will be assisted by a four-page questionnaire that will help them get to know potential jurors.
Judge Matt Johnson of Waco’s 54th State District Court will pass out questionnaires to 100 potential jurors Monday morning, give them brief instructions to avoid media coverage of the case and then instruct them to return to court Oct. 6 for jury selection.
Graf, 62, who remains jailed, is charged with two counts of capital murder, two counts of murder and four counts of injury to a child in the August 1986 deaths of his two stepsons — Jason, 8, and Joby, 9.
The boys died in a fire in a backyard shed at Graf ’s former home on Angel Fire Drive in Hewitt.
Graf maintains he was wrongly convicted.
Johnson has put the attorneys in the high-profile case under a gag order.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals awarded Graf a new trial in March 2013, ruling the scientific arson evidence used to convict him of capital murder in 1988 since has been proved faulty.
The court declined to find Graf innocent, as his attorneys requested.
Prosecutors at the time sought the death penalty, but the jury chose a life sentence instead.
Because jurors chose the life term instead of a death sentence, prosecutors are precluded by law from seeking the death penalty at the retrial.
The 44-question questionnaire asks prospective jurors personal information about themselves and their families, asks their experiences with police and the criminal justice system and asks if they consider themselves a leader or a supporter.
The questionnaire also asks potential jurors about their knowledge of the case and how they heard about it, whether they have made up their minds about Graf’s guilt or innocence, and if there is a particular reason why they would or would not like to be a juror in the case.