A teacher, a software engineer and a banker: These are the New Yorkers who hold Trump’s fate in their hands

A teacher, two lawyers and people working in finance are among the jurors tasked with hearing the first-ever criminal trial against a US president.

Jurors seated in Donald Trump’s hush money trial in Manhattan will begin deliberations as soon as next week after more than five weeks of witness testimony.

Closing arguments are scheduled to begin on May 28 and New York Justice Juan Merchan will then deliver instructions to the jury to begin deliberations. The jurors will then meet to decide whether or not the former president is guilty of falsifying business records to conceal payments to an adult film star to boost his chances of winning the 2016 election.

During the first four days of the historic trial in a New York City courtroom, the former president snapped awake from the defense table and craned his neck to get a good view of the jury box and the pool of New Yorkers who could ultimately convict him of a crime.

Mr Trump repeatedly tried, and failed, to move the case out of the borough, where he baselessly smeared the borough as hopelessly biased against him.

And so, during jury selection at his trial, Mr Trump sat and heard firsthand from a group of Manhattan residents who pledged that they would be fair and impartial in hearing the case against him.

Donald Trump sits at the defense table with his attorneys on a final day of witness testimony in his hush money trial in New York on May 21 (via REUTERS)
Donald Trump sits at the defense table with his attorneys on a final day of witness testimony in his hush money trial in New York on May 21 (via REUTERS)

First, Manhattan residents who received notices to appear in court for jury duty that day were asked whether they could be fair and impartial, or if they had urgent obligations that would prevent them from attending court for four days a week for up to two months.

From that group, jurors were randomly selected to read their answers to a 42-question survey, covering their families and relationships, jobs, news diet, and whether they’d ever interacted with Mr Trump’s campaign or worked for his business.

Lawyers for Mr Trump and the Manhattan District Attorney’s office then were allowed to ask those potential jurors other questions before making their requests to “strike” or remove any of them from the pool. Defense attorneys and prosecutors each had 10 chances to strike potential jurors from the panel.

By the end of the second day of jury selection on April 16, seven New Yorkers had been selected to decide the former president’s fate.

But, on the morning of the third day on April 18, two of those seated jurors were then excused. One, an oncology nurse, was excused after she expressed concerns about identifying information published in media outlets. A second was excused after he also “expressed annoyance” to the judge about the release of that information.

Despite the panel dwindling from seven to five, by the end of that day, all 12 jurors had been selected.

By the end of the day on April 19, all six alternates were seated.

A courtroom sketch depicts Donald Trump watching his attorney Todd Blanche during jury selection in a Manhattan criminal courtroom on 17 April (REUTERS)
A courtroom sketch depicts Donald Trump watching his attorney Todd Blanche during jury selection in a Manhattan criminal courtroom on 17 April (REUTERS)

The jury is comprised of 18 people: 12 who will sit in the jury box during the trial, as well as six alternates.

The jurors have been anonymised, and their identities are protected. They are not photographed, and they are off limits to courtroom sketch artists. Jurors are also not displayed on the screens in a connected courtroom where other reporters are seated to watch the proceedings on a closed-circuit livestream.

Here is what we know about the panel of jurors selected in this historic case:

Juror 1

A married salesman and a former waiter who lives in Harlem. He likes “outdoorsy” activities and gets his news from The New York Times, The Daily Mail, Fox News, and MSNBC. Asked whether he is familiar with the cases against the former president, he said he has heard of “some” of them.

Juror number one is also the jury foreperson, who will likely be tasked with delivering notes to the judge, or speaking on behalf of the jurors. He will also likely deliver the verdict against the former president, if one is reached.

Juror 2

A married investment banker who lives in Hell’s Kitchen and reads “basically everything”.

He follows Truth Social posts from the former president that are shared on X. He also follows Michael Cohen on the platform.

An oncology nurse was initially seated as Juror 2, but she was excused on 18 April after she had been sworn into the jury earlier in the week, telling the court that aspects of her identity had been revealed in news articles and her friends, colleagues and family members had then questioned her about her identity as a juror. She stated that she would not be able to remain fair and unbiased “and not let outside influences” impact her during the trial.

On April 16, before being sworn in, she had said that “nobody is above the law”. “I’m here to hear the facts, both sides,” she said.

Juror 3

A corporate lawyer from Oregon who said he gets his news from The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Google, then later said he was embarrassed to admit that he doesn’t follow the news closely. He said he was “not super familiar” with the other charges against the former president.

Juror 4

A married security engineer who lives in the West Village with three children. He said he doesn’t use social media and enjoys metal- and wood-working.

An IT consultant from Puerto Rico was initially selected for the seat, but he was excused on April 18 after he “expressed annoyance” to the judge about the release of potentially identifying information. “I find him fascinating,” he had said of Mr Trump. “He walks into a room and he sets people off. I find that really interesting. … Certainly he makes things interesting.”

Juror 5

A lifelong New Yorker and a schoolteacher who gets her news from Google and TikTok but otherwise “doesn’t really care for the news”. She said she appreciates that Mr Trump “speaks his mind” but admitted that she didn’t know anything about his criminal cases.

Juror 6

A software engineer who lives with three roommates in Chelsea. “Trump and I probably have different beliefs but that doesn’t invalidate who he is as a person,” she said on Apirl 16 “I think I can look at this as a person on trial, as any other American citizen.”

Juror 7

A married lawyer with two children who works in civil matters. He spends time outdoors, and listens to the Smartless podcast and the beloved but now off-air radio show Car Talk. He also listens to WNYC radio. “I have political views” about Mr Trump and his presidency, but “I don’t know the man,” he said on Apirl 16.

“I don’t have any particular opinions about him personally,” he said.

Juror 8

A retired wealth manager who lives on the Upper East Side and enjoys flyfishing, skiing, yoga and meditation. He is married with two children and reads The New York Times and Wall Street Journal and watches CNBC and ABC

Juror 9

A speech therapist who lives on the Upper East Side. “I don’t watch any news or follow it too closely” other than email newsletters from CNN and The New York Times, she said on Thursday. She also listens to reality TV podcasts.

“I do have opinions but I do firmly believe I can be fair and impartial” about Mr Trump, she said.

Juror 10

A man who lives in Murray Hill and works for an eyewear company. “I don’t really follow the news, if anything it’s The New York Times,” he said. He also listens to podcasts on behavioural psychology.

Juror 11

A product development manager for an apparel company who lives in “upper Manhattan” and doesn’t follow much news but watches “late-night” shows and reads Google.

“I don’t have strong opinions about him but I don’t like his persona,” she said under direct questioning from attorneys for Mr Trump on April 18.

“He just seems very selfish and self-serving so I don’t really appreciate that in any public servant,” she said. “I don’t know how he is in terms of his integrity. It’s just not my cup of tea.”

Juror 12

A married physical therapist who lives on the Upper East Side. She gets her news fromThe New York Times, CNN and USA Today.

Alternate 1

An investment banker who lives in Midtown East.

Alternate 2

A woman originally from Spain and not currently working. She’s married with children in college and enjoys art and theatre in New York. “I don’t watch news. I skim through headlines,” she said. “My husband, if he thinks I need to know something, he will send me an excerpt or some news or something.” Asked if she listens to podcasts, she said emphatically: “No. Never.”

Alternate 3

A native New Yorker who lives in Inwood and works in IT. He is married with one child.

“My opinion is that Trump is a man just like i am,” he said on April 19. “I think that a man promotes growth if they attempt to right their wrongdoings. Nonetheless, if there’s evidence found against him, there’s consequences.”

Alternate 4

A contract specialist who lives in Chelsea who is married with two children. She is not a “big news person” but she looks at The New York Times, Reuters and BBC, and has social media accounts but doesn’t post or otherwise use them, she said.

Alternate 5

A Chinatown resident who works for a clothing company. She’s married and gets her news from The New York Times and Google.

Alternate 6

An Upper East Side resident with three children who works for a construction company. She is subscribed to The New York Times but mostly uses the app to play Spelling Bee. She also watches local television news station NY1.

This story was first published on April 17 and has been updated with developments.