Jury Selection Can Make All The Difference

By F. Clay Merris Esq.

Every jury trial begins with jury selection. Each county’s Office of Court Administrator summons citizens from the community to participate in jury duty by reporting at a certain time to be part of the jury pool and potentially serve on a jury in an actual trial.

Prior to reporting for duty, each prospective juror is required to fill out and submit a questionnaire. The questionnaire is designed to ferret out any biases they may have, which will prevent the person from being a fair and impartial juror. Jurors are expected to follow the law as provided to them, by the presiding judge, regardless of whether any personal bias may lead them to believe a more just result could be reached by not following the law.undefined

At jury selection, the presiding judge will address the entire jury pool and explain the need for fair and impartial jurors and explain the jury selection process. Both the District Attorney and the Defense Attorney are afforded the opportunity to not only review the jurors’ questionnaires, but also ask questions in court which they believe will help them to determine which jurors may not be fair or favorable to their position. If any jurors exhibit obvious biases and inform the court that they simply cannot be fair in light of such biases, the judge will strike them from the jury pool for cause.

Of the remaining jurors, the District Attorney and Defense Attorney each take turns using a number of peremptory strikes to remove prospective jurors they do not want to be in the jury for their case. The amount of strikes depends on the grading of the underlying criminal charges. Neither attorney needs to provide a reason for striking any potential juror. It is an opportunity for each side to remove, for any reason, those individuals they do not feel will be fair and impartial jurors.

Scaringi Law’s defense attorneys have extensive jury trial experience and know how to utilize jury selection as a tool in achieving any client’s best possible outcome at trial. To have a consultation and investigate what Scaringi Law can do for you contact us or call 717 657 7770.

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