A felony conviction can leave you facing significant prison time and a criminal record that can haunt you for years or even decades. That’s why it’s imperative that you do everything you can to protect yourself. While this certainly means crafting compelling defense strategies that seek to defeat the prosecution, it also means competently navigating jury selection if you plan on taking your case to trial.
How does jury selection work?
The jury selection process starts with the gathering of a jury pool, which is facilitated by the court. Once selected, that pool is brought to court where you and prosecutors are allowed to ask each potential juror questions. These questions are usually aimed at drawing out any existing biases or knowledge of the case. If either side feels that a juror is biased and therefore inappropriate for selection, then a “for cause” challenge may be made to remove that potential juror.
You’re also granted a limited number of peremptory challenges. Here, you can have a potential juror removed without providing any reason at all. You just have to be careful that you’re not requesting removal of potential jurors for discriminatory reasons.
Once this process has played out, you should have your jury. If not, then the whole process may start over again.
Why competent jury selection matters
An improperly selected jury could mean that your future is left in the hands of individuals who already have preconceived notions about you, the criminal justice system, or the alleged crime in question. This means that your fate may already be decided before any evidence is even presented.
Don’t let this happen to you. Instead, diligently work with your attorney to ensure that you’re selecting a jury that will give you the fair and impartial trial to which you’re entitled.