Monday, March 3, 2008

Jury Selection Complete

Another jury selected (or deselected, if you will) and empaneled. I recall a few months back Scott Greenfield posted about the "voodoo" nature of jury selection and I engaged him in spirited discussion. Scott opined that, any way you slice it, jury selection was a crap-shoot and guess work, at best. I disagreed with Scott suggesting it's possible to familiarized yourself enough with the jurors to help make intelligible peremptory strikes, especially with jurors on either extreme. The focus then becomes the jurors in the middle and what to do with them, strike or keep 'em.

After the strikes were made and the final list of twelve was being compiled I wondered why the State struck certain jurors and I struck others. Sure there was the occasional double strike. But obviously both sides of this dispute identified different jurors that we liked and didn't like. Jurors I liked often got struck by the State. I'm sure the reciprocal was true, as well. So anecdotally, it didn't seem jury selection was necessarily the crap-shoot we make it out to be.

Anyway, those are my thoughts for the day. Beyond this, one might ask if I've got a good jury? Well, I can only answer that after the verdict comes in. It's like my final argument - it was only a good one if it worked.

Finally, I appreciated an off-line note from Mark Bennett who suggested we not name our clients in our posts, lest their names become indelibly linked with some heinous allegation which we later beat. I agreed with that advice and edited my previous post, for all the good it will do. But the point was well taken.

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