Jury selection began today in the obscenity trial of a New York rock group that performed sexually explicit songs by the rap group 2 Live Crew, which was acquitted of the same charges last December.
The group Too Much Joy, which includes Alexander Smallens, Thomas Quirk and Jay Blumenfield, faces charges of giving an obscene performance. The charge against each group member is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
The trial before Broward County Judge June Johnson, the same judge who heard the trial against 2 Live Crew, is expected to last about two weeks. Defense and prosecution attorneys began questioning the first 25 potential jurors today.
Defense attorney Michael Wrubel said there was a chance the outcome would be affected by the Dec. 17 acquittal of 2 Live Crew on obscenity charges. The Miami rap group’s prosecution attracted national media attention and was condemned by the music industry.
“I think that most potential jurors are aware of the issue, and I think the citizens of Broward County are tired of hearing about it,” he said. “How much of that will be reflected in the jury pool, only time will tell.”