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How a jury is selected?

Van Nuys, CA |

Does the attorney get to choose or both the DA and the PF or PA get to choose the jury? How do lawyers know who to choose for a jury trial? How do they know who to reject?

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Attorney answers 7

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Both the prosecutor and defense lawyer asks questions of the jury (voir dire) to determine if there are any biases. Jurors can be removed for cause, if their bias or prejudice is clear. A lawyer has to make a motion for removal of such a juror and state the reasons why that juror should be removed. Judge's do not like to remove jurors for cause and therefore the lawyer's motion has to be pretty strong and well grounded in order to prevail. Each lawyer also has a set number of "peremptory challenges" which allows them to ask the a juror be excused without having to state a reason. The number of challenges depends on your jurisdiction and the type of charge. When the lawyers have exhausted all their given challenges and there are no more challenges for cause, the remaining jurors become the jury that will hear the case. There have been volumes written on how to evaluate jurors and use peremptory challenges wisely, so your question is not easily answered. The truth is, no one "selects" a jury - we can't go out and hand pick our jurors from a pool of prospects - we all just run out of challenges and are left with whoever remains.


Your question does not have a short answer but just very briefly a jury is chosen by both the DA and the defense attorney and its by questioning the jurors. It takes days to pick a jury.


Selection of any given jury is an art form as it encompasses and requires a splendid legal knowledge of voir dire, applied psychology, socialogy, investigatory skill and requires prior relevant legal experience of that given field.

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A jury is selected through a process called "voir dire" (pronounced vwah dear). The attorneys, prosecutor and defense, ask the panel of potential jurors various questions. Based on those responses and other information available to the attorneys, the attorneys then strike jurors they don't want seated. Those that remain, provided there are enough remaining to satisfy the statutory requirements, are your jury. If there are not enough remaining jury members to satisfy the statute, the process starts over with a new panel.

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Whole books have been written on the questions you pose. Go to Wikipedia and look up voir dire. Good luck

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As you can see, there is no easy answer. It's done through voir dire, gut feelings and experience. Some attorneys in high profile cases will use jury consultants. Go to the courthouse and watch jury selection.

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