When you have a jury trial, whether criminal or civil, you want a fair and impartial jury selection. The attorneys on both sides, plus the judge, ask specific questions during the voir dire to find out what experiences the jurors have that might affect how they rule on the case. Life experiences are not the only factors that might disqualify a juror. The juror’s existing attitude could be enough to disqualify a juror.
Build Rapport with Potential Jurors
The attorneys must build rapport with the jurors to get the most honest answers. The jurors must “like” the attorney and feel comfortable answering questions truthfully. If a juror has an instant dislike for an attorney, the attorney may never get a 100 percent truthful answer from them during voire dire.
Determine Which Jurors Are Biased
During the initial questioning, the attorney attempts to show the jurors’ biases, if the juror has any. For example, if you are trying a case where the death penalty is a factor, you do not want a juror who is against the death penalty on the jury. While Governor Newsom halted executions in 2019, there is the possibility that executions could be reinstated. Currently, the state has over 600 people on death row, and by the time a current case finishes, the law could change to allow executions. Thus, it would be best if you dismissed any juror who will not make a fair and legal ruling because of personal biases.
Lock in Biased Jurors with Cause Challenges
While going through the voire dire process, the judge also listens to the process as they are responsible for ensuring that each person receives a fair trial. Thus, part of the judge’s job is to provide the jurors are going to be reasonable when it’s time for deliberations.
The court must ensure:
- The prospective juror is qualified to serve.
- It can evaluate trial testimony and apply the state’s laws impartially and fairly.
- That it dismisses those, who may have a bias.
During the voire dire, the judge can also ask questions to the juror about the juror’s ability to be impartial and fair, to listen to the juror’s responses, and decide whether to use a challenge for cause.
When a judge strikes a juror because the judge believes the juror cannot be fair and impartial, it is called a challenge for cause. The attorneys do not have to use up one of their peremptory challenges to dismiss the juror.
Contact Kramer Trial Lawyers
If you suffered injuries and the insurance company will not come to a fair and reasonable settlement, you can opt for a jury trial. Part of the process is choosing the jurors for your trial that will connect with you and our attorneys.
Contact Kramer Trial Lawyers for a free case evaluation today to learn more about personal injury settlements and jury selection or to discuss your rights after an accident.