Category: Jury Selection

  • One Double Strike

    I just compared notes with the prosecutor on my trial case. In picking a jury of 12 out of a panel of 65, exercising 10 peremptory challenges each, we made one double strike.

  • In Trial*

    I’m in trial* on a white-collar criminal case. It is not an easy case, but sometimes we have to try the tough cases. I’ve got to wonder why the prosecutor left on the jury two jurors who admitted that they couldn’t consider the top end of the statutory punishment range (i.e. life in prison). Maybe […]

  • Blind Strikes and Double Strikes

    Anne Reed writes at Deliberations about blind strikes: In a “blind strike” voir dire, both sides exercise their strikes simultaneously. If you get four strikes, you strike four jurors, without knowing (until it’s over) whether your opponent struck those same jurors too. All these years I’ve been using blind strikes without even knowing it. In […]

  • Problems With Judge Voir Dire

    Notes I wrote during a federal judge’s voir dire a few months ago: A judge’s voir dire is calculated to get jurors to promise to follow the law while a lawyer’s voir dire is calculated to find those who might have difficulty following the law. A judge’s voir dire is calculated to get jurors to […]

  • That’s Why Prosecutors Shouldn’t Try POM Cases

    From Brian Rogers of the Houston Chronicle, Prospective juror in pot trial caught smoking marijuana (during a break, she stepped outside the building to smoke some weed, and got arrested).

  • Always Ready, Seldom Prepared

    The title of this post is, according to Terry MacCarthy (buy the cross-examination CDs!), the criminal-defense lawyer’s credo. I had always thought of it as descriptive — the way we are — rather than prescriptive — the way we should be. We should be prepared, shouldn’t we? Yes and no. There are things we can […]

  • Busting the Panel

    What do you get when you combine my friend (and fellow dinosaur) Norm, a federal drug case, 20 minutes of lawyer-conducted voir dire, and a 35-person jury panel? Nothing even remotely resembling a jury. Come back and try again later. With 11 people disqualified for cause, that panel is not big enough. We’ll bring in […]

  • Teaching Jury Selection

    Scott Greenfield has been having a discussion with his multiple personalities, all of whom are named “Steve”, about what to do with 3Ls (presumably when they’re not on law review, tormenting law profs). Scott and the Steves propose actually teaching law students how to be lawyers. I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to […]

  • Lucky Stars — an Anti-Whine.

    Scott Greenfield at Simple Justice informs us that, in the People’s Democratic Republic of New York, there is no right to expunction (only he calls it “expungement,” which, according to my OED, is “rare” — not that there’s anything wrong with that). So I presume that if you get arrested for something in New York, […]

  • Jury Sentencing in Texas

    Gideon, following Doug Berman’s train of thought here, asks, Why don’t we have jury sentencing in non-capital criminal cases? In Texas, we do have jury sentencing in non-capital cases. The accused can elect before trial to have the jury set punishment in the event of a conviction (and we get jury trials for everything). If […]