Voir Dire Question

Voir dire is the process of selecting (or, more accurately, deselecting) a jury. When I begin a voir dire, I don’t have a plan; I know what topics I want to discuss, but I don’t know how I’m going to discuss them. At some point, I usually like to ask a question that everyone has to answer. I like it to require some thought and reveal something about my potential jurors. I’ve been experimenting with “scaled” questions — questions that have a defined range of answers — rather than either “yes or no” questions or open-ended questions.

How’s this for a question for potential jurors in a criminal case?:

Do you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, or strongly disagree with the following statement?:

“I am who I am because of circumstances beyond my control.”

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