The sixth amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees all criminal trials the right to a jury. The juries are selected by judges and attorneys using a process called voir dire. This Latin phrase translates to speak the truth. The lawyers for both sides and the judge ask questions of the potential jurors to determine if they are suitable and competent to serve. If an error is made during the selection, it is often used to appeal a criminal case. The questions ensure no juror will be caused a hardship such as an upcoming surgery, a student’s critical exams or the caretaker for an elderly or ill individual. These people are excused due to undie hardship.
The next questions concern backgrounds, biases and any knowledge regarding the case. The attorneys attempt to reveal any experiences or characteristics that would cause the jurors to favor the defense or the prosecution. Once the questioning is complete, potential jurors are removed by the attorneys. This can be because the juror is not fit or able to serve on the case or because they are not qualified. These dismissals are called challenges for cause. For additional information please visit here.
In order to be chosen for jury selection Los Angeles CA, the individual must be a United States citizen, have the right to vote, live in the jurisdiction of the court and be above the age of eighteen. The individual must have the physical capability to remain seated during the trial, understand and hear the testimony at the trial and have the mental capacity to understand and apply the legal instructions from the judge. If these requirements are not met, the person is dismissed for cause. If a potential juror is unable to place their feelings aside or remain impartial, they are dismissed. When a juror admits they are unable to remain impartial this is called actual bias. An example would be an individual whose religious beliefs prevent them from judging another person. This individual will also be dismissed for cause. For more details please visit this site.
Implied bias means the potential juror has personal experiences or character traits making it unlikely they can remain impartial. This includes any potential juror who is a relative or close friends of the judge, a witness, a key party or a lawyer for either side. This person will be dismissed for cause. Bias is additionally implied when the experiences or background of the juror are likely to cause a predisposition for one side. An example would be a teacher on trial for misrepresenting standardized test scores. Chances are excellent any school teachers will be excused for cause.
The attorney does not need to have a reason to excuse a potential juror with a peremptory challenge. Each side is able to dismiss any individual who appears qualified but will most likely favor the other party. A peremptory challenge cannot exclude any potential juror based on class or race. The number of peremptory challenges for the attorneys are limited. The actual number is dependent on the state and if the case is a death penalty trial, a felony or a misdemeanor.