Jury Questionnaires: More Case Law

Szwak, David A.

Jury Questionnaires: More Case Law

Postby Szwak, David A. » Wed Oct 05, 2005 10:12 pm

Trial counsel's purported failure to submit timely motion for jury questionnaires in order to challenge capital murder conviction and death sentence was not ineffective assistance of counsel. Mitchell v. State, 2004 WestLaw 1853049 [Miss. Aug 19, 2004]. “...there is no authority requiring jurors to complete such forms. It is equally speculative that the completion of juror questionnaires, if given, would have changed the outcome of the trial. The State correctly points out that this Court has specifically held that absent a requirement to administer questionnaires in capital cases, there is no abuse of discretion on the part of a trial judge who denies such a motion. Holland v. State, 705 So.2d 307, 337 [Miss.1997]. In the present case, the record reflects that defense counsel engaged in exhaustive voir dire of the jury pool.” Id. at p.3, Slip Op. An attorney's actions during voir dire are considered to be matters of trial strategy, which cannot be the basis for a claim of ineffective assistance unless counsel's decision is shown to be so ill-chosen that it permeates the entire trial with obvious unfairness. Miller v. Webb, 385 F.3d 666, 2004 Fed.App. 0323P [6th Cir. Sept. 22, 2004] [Ky.]; Bell v. State, 879 So.2d 423 [Miss. May 20, 2004].

Return to “Jury Questionnaires, Voir Dire, Jury Selection and Jury Bias”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests