A friend wants to visit NYC and go to the trial starting 29 July. She's wants to stay a month. I reckon the likelihood that is 1) the start date will be moved back, and 2) it will run way, way longer than a month. There will be a mountain of evidence to get through. OJ Simpson's trial ran for 134 days! (Is it fair to make a comparison?)
Any thoughts on this? I'm in the UK. What's it like in the US?

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    How can anyone possibly answer this? – BlueDogRanch Apr 15 at 15:58
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    I’m voting to close this question because it's unanswerable – BlueDogRanch Apr 15 at 17:10
  • You're kind of answering it by saying that it's impossible to tell, and that's why I think a month is hopelessly optimistic. Still, she's set on booking a flight. I think she''l likely be spending weeks kicking her heels and sight-seeing. Maybe that's the idea... – KarelB Apr 15 at 21:38

If the matter goes to trial, there is a precedent for a figure in the years, namely the McMartin preschool trial. The first trial involved 3 years of testimony and 9 weeks of deliberation, resulting in acquittal for one defendant. A second defendant was cleared of only 52 of the 65 charges but two jurors would not acquit on the remaining counts. The second trial of 6 of those charges lasted 2 months and resulted in a hung jury, at which point the prosecutor gave up. This is the longest criminal trial in US history.

This book esp. ch. 2 computes a median total trial duration of 11 hour and seven minutes for criminal trials, from jury selection though deliberation. However that figure goes up to 33 hour and 4 minutes for homicide cases, and it also turns out that venue matters (almost an order of magnitude longer trials in Marin county compared to Elizabeth NJ). Unfortunately there is no analysis of variance in that study, so we don't know about factors tending to result in longer trials vs. shorter trials. Given all of the factors related to trials, it's likely that the trial, if there is a trial, will last less than a year.


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