How Are Jurors Screened and Selected?
Assembling a Jury
Jurors must be selected carefully to be free from bias and prejudice and able to make reasonable and just decisions regarding the fate of defendants. But how does the court select jurors? And what is the process through which they are given a chance to vote on someone’s future? Answering these questions is essential, as the fate of many lies in their hands.
Speaking the Truth
In Texas, jurors are selected in a process called voir dire, which is French for “to speak the truth.” In voir dire, the prosecuting attorney, defense attorney and judge question potential jurors. This questioning process is essential to maintain a just system. The questions seek to assess the jurors’ ability to make fair decisions based on the facts at hand. Specifically, impartiality is key here. The goal of the attorneys is to get the potential jurors to be open and honest about their feelings, attitudes and beliefs. While this process does take place in a courtroom, jurors are encouraged to speak their minds honestly. By doing so, the attorneys will have a chance to select the right jurors for the particular case.
In addition to asking a series of questions, each attorney can go over the subject matter of the case, which can help them “weed out” those who might take a biased stance. This is the only chance the potential jurors will have to speak their mind, so your defense attorney must be prepared to take full advantage of it. Likewise, your attorney will need to know how to elicit honest feedback, which takes skillfully timed prompts.
Each attorney will have a limited number of chances to make peremptory challenges and challenges for cause. This means your defense attorney can “strike” selections made by the prosecuting attorney and vice versa.
If you are facing criminal charges, hiring the right Texas criminal defense attorney from the start is essential. Whether you plan on going to trial or not, find a defense attorney who has vast experience selecting jurors and trying criminal cases. Voir dire is a vital process and one that a criminal defense attorney worth his or her money will know how to navigate and leverage to your advantage and your advantage only.
If you want to fight your criminal charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action to clear your name and protect your rights. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.