Jury Questionnaire: Streamlines Voir Dire

Szwak, David A.

Jury Questionnaire: Streamlines Voir Dire

Postby Szwak, David A. » Wed Oct 05, 2005 10:06 pm

A detailed jury questionnaire is designed to streamline the voir dire process to ensure that the pretrial publicity did not taint or bias the jurors' view of the case. The court can also privately question individual prospective jurors, when it believes that sequestered questioning is necessary. The jury questionnaire can fully explore potential media bias and whether the jurors can avoid media exposure. The questionnaire can also probe the effect of media exposure on the panel and satisfy the court that the voir dire adequately probed the media question. People v. Ramos, --- Cal.Rptr.3d ----, 2004 WestLaw 2694828 [Cal. Nov. 29, 2004]; State v. Kreuscher, 2004 WestLaw 2283009 [Wis. App. Oct. 12, 2004] [used in measuring pre-trial publicity impact]; Casey v. Moore, 386 F.3d 896 [9th Cir. 2004] [Wash.] [regarding their knowledge of the case, their knowledge of the parties, their familiarity with firearms, whether they had been exposed to pretrial publicity from newspaper articles or radio reports, whether they had discussed the case with anyone, whether they had formed an opinion about the case, and whether jury duty would cause undue hardship].

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