The polarizing debate that followed the killing of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in Florida last year means it could take up to two weeks to pick the six jurors needed to try the case.
Prosecution and defense lawyers in the trial in Florida's Seminole County are entitled to subject potential jurors from a pool of hundreds to detailed questioning about their knowledge of the case and whether they have formed opinions about it.
The attorneys completed questioning of just four prospective jurors in a preliminary round of questioning after the trial began on Monday, and another 10 on Tuesday, irritating Benjamin Crump, the lawyer for Martin's family.
"This is very slow, it's not normal," he said. "In a regular trial you pick a jury in one or two days," he added, complaining that Zimmerman's defense team was being given "too much consideration."
Zimmerman, 29, is charged with second degree murder and could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted.
The case fueled protests across the country and inspired national debate about race, guns and equal justice because police initially declined to arrest Zimmerman on grounds that he acted within the bounds of Florida's self-defense laws.
Experts say judges in state courts typically allow more time for lawyers to question potential jury members - for political as well as procedural reasons.
"Unlike federal court, state court judges are elected," said David Weinstein, a Miami lawyer and former state prosecutor. "The people who vote for the them are the ones sitting on the jury panel, as well as the families of the victims, and the lawyers."
Judges also tended to err on the side of caution because cases have been reversed in state court in the past because not enough questions were allowed to sift out juror biases, he said.
"It's not going to get any better," said Weinstein, noting that a second round of questioning would probe jurors even deeper - focusing on their opinions about the police, guns, race, vigilantes, and neighborhood-watch schemes.
This creates the potential for an extremely slow process, even though under Florida law only six jurors are needed - as well as four alternatives - rather than 12 required by some other states.
On Tuesday, a potential juror identified only as "B-35" told the court he got most of his news from the Fox TV network and said he was alone among his family and friends in not forming an opinion about Zimmerman's guilt.
A white woman, identified as B-37, said she bought newspapers but did not read them and instead used them to put in her parrot's cage.
Lead defense lawyer Mark O'Mara rejected Crump's assertion that jury selection was going too slowly and prosecution attempts to limit question of prospective jurors.
"This is a case where - in part because of Mr. Crump's publicity regarding it - we have to talk to these jurors about every influence they have had," he said. "You can't just ask a juror what do you remember. You have to prod them a little bit."
At the time of the shooting Zimmerman was the neighborhood watch captain in a gated community in Sanford, a central Florida town near Orlando. He said he killed Martin, a guest of one of the homeowners, with a single bullet to the chest from a 9mm handgun in an act of self-defense.