TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - Jury selection in the John Jonchuck murder trial entered its third day Wednesday.
Lawyers focused their questions on potential jurors’ feelings about the insanity defense.
Despite common misconceptions, the insanity defense is actually used very rarely in court. Historically, it has a low probability of success.
In some studies, only 26 percent of cases that use an insanity defense are won.
Defense attorney Jeff Brown, who is not connected to the case, says selecting the right jury will be crucial for Jonchuck’s defense.
“I think it all comes down to jury selection. It's getting the juror who’s going to say, 'I’m ok with him going to a mental health facility for the rest of his life,'” Brown said.
Unlike a typical murder trial where the burden of proof is on the state, in this case, the defense will have to prove to the jury that Jonchuck was insane when he threw his daughter, Phoebe off the bridge in 2015.
“It’s a difficult type of case because, on one hand, most jurors want punishment and they know what he did and [if they believe he is not] getting enough punishment they'll say, 'Nah he's sane,'” Brown said.
Jonchuck is facing life in prison or life in a mental institution. The second option, Brown says, isn’t like going to a resort.
“It isn’t anything like that,” Brown said.