There are a lot of factors outside of the evidence that you present at your criminal trial that can impact the outcome of your case. One of them is jury selection. Although this might seem like a relatively minor aspect of your case, it can actually have a profound impact on how the evidence in your case is viewed. In other words, the jury that is selected in your case could mean the difference between a guilty finding and acquittal.
Why specific jurors matter
Jurors are supposed to view your case and the evidence presented through an objective lens. Yet, the reality is that these men and women are going to bring a certain amount of subjectivity to your case. This is because they all have their own lived experiences and they all have their biases, whether blatant or subconscious. Depending on the facts of your case, some of these biases may not be harmful to your case. In fact, they may even be helpful. However, in a lot of instances those points-of-view are going to put you at a disadvantage and threaten you with an unfair trail.
How to navigate jury selection in your case
The jury selection process is meant to protect your right to a fair trial. As such, you have a certain amount of say in which individuals will serve on the jury in your case. This starts with a pool of potential jurors being called to court and being subjected to questioning by your legal team and the prosecution.
These questions are meant to elicit the biases mentioned above as well as any preexisting knowledge of the case that may taint the potential juror’s view of the evidence. If during this questioning you feel like the juror will be incapable of fairly assessing the evidence presented at your trial, then you can request that the court remove that individual from the potential jury pool. This is known as a “for cause” removal. Just keep in mind that the prosecution is going to be able to make a similar request, so you’ll want to be prepared to challenge those for cause removal requests if you think that a juror will be beneficial to your case.
Each side has an unlimited number of for cause challenges, but they’re also given a limited number of peremptory challenges. Here, unlike with a for cause challenge, you can ask the court to remove a potential juror without providing a reason for doing so. The only caveat is that the other side can challenge your peremptory strike if it thinks that you’re making it based on a discriminatory intent.
Competently handle every aspect of your criminal case
If you want to protect your Constitutional rights and defend yourself against the viciousness of the criminal justice system, then you need to know how to build aggressive and persuasive criminal defense arguments while competently navigating the logistics of your case. This can quickly become an overwhelming process, meaning that you might be tempted to shut down and either leave your case to chance or let a lesser attorney represent you.
But don’t let that happen to you. If you do, then you could end up facing significant penalties, including incarceration and the ripple effects that a criminal conviction can have on your life. Instead, think about whether securing legal assistance from a proven criminal defense attorney is the right move for you. After all, an attorney with a track record of success in these kinds of cases may be able to help you beat the prosecution and protect your life as you know it.