A commentor to my May 13, 2007 Bad Voir Dire / Good Voir Dire post wrote:
I’m a prosecutor, but those were good points. I’ll try to implement them in my next trial.
I suspect that part might have been intended as a friendly jab. The fact is, though, that I’d rather try a case against a prosecutor who can perform a more-competent-than-usual jury selection. What lawyer wouldn’t want to get more information from the panel, and have the panel more warmed up, before he stands up and starts to talk to them?
My prosecutorial friend also wrote:
Do you think it’s wise to ask the jury can they think of any reason why the defense lawyer may not want his client to testify? What if they say “Because he has a record”?
I think he might not get the point of “bad” answers. I would ask a question in return: what if the defense lawyer doesn’t ask the panel for reasons the defense lawyer might not choose for his client to testify? Does the fact that none of the potential jurors are given the chance to say “Because he has a record!”; mean that they aren’t thinking it?