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How do both prosecution and defense attorneys attempt to strategize to ensure they get the best juror for their side.

Houston, TX |

What techniques are used? How successful have they been and is this considering jury tampering? Why?

I am having terrible luck locating this information through Google search.

Attorney Answers 4

  1. Lawyers go through years of schooling and even more years of on-the-job training. Ant good trial attorney will tell you jury selection is an art and a science, but it is not something that can be taught via the internet. Are you representing yourself? It is unclear from your question your purpose for asking. Good luck.

    John S. Riordan, Esq., RIORDAN & HERMAN, PL., West Palm Beach, FL, (561) 650-8291. Mr. Riordan is a former Palm Beach County Prosecutor and an experienced criminal defense lawyer handling cases in both State and Federal Courts throughout Florida. The answer provided is for educational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult an attorney for legal advice regarding the facts of your specific case and designed to help you with your personal needs.

  2. That is a very individual decision. Different attorneys trying the same case might choose different jurors and one attorney might be looking for different types of jurors in different cases.

    Among the endless number of factors a lawyer might consider are:

    What does the juror have in common with the defendant?

    What does the juror have in common with the alleged victim?

    Does the juror's background suggest stability and a taste for regularity and order, or the reverse?

    Has the juror had any experience with a subject that might be important to the case?

    Is the juror capable of following complicated facts or difficult argument?

    Is this a juror whom I, the lawyer trying the case, think I can talk to?

    And hundreds of others. And no, it is not considered jury tampering.

  3. Homework assignment? Wrong site.

    My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.

  4. I agree with the other two lawyers who have responded. I would add only that in Texas, the lawyers do not have the privilege of picking jurors they like. Instead, they have the privilege of striking from the panel of veniremen (potential jurors) people whom they deem to be unfavorable from their clients' standpoint. At the end of the voir dire examination, during which the lawyers question the veniremen, each side retires to a private room to exercise its strikes. Each side has the same number of strikes, usually six. After both sides have struck their respective lists of veniremen, the clerk examines the two lists and removes from the list of veniremen the names of all those whom either side has striken. The judge then calls out the names of the first twelve veniremen whom neither side has striken and those twelve comprise the jury. Accordingly, we say that we "pick" a jury when, in reality, we "unpick" a jury.

    I'm afraid you cannot learn how to conduct a voir dire examination or determine which veniremen to strike on Google, any more than Google could enable you to learn how to perform brain surgery. Picking a jury is an art that trial lawyers take years to learn. Many books have been written that are devoted entirely to this subject. Unless you are an experienced trial lawyer, you cannot reasonably expect to learn this art and perform effectively in your case, so I hope you are not considering representing yourself. There is an old saying: "He who represents himself has a fool for a client."

    Good luck.