The American Judicial System and Jury Selection

America’s Judicial System

The American Judicial System is a federal system with individual governments in each of the fifty states and the federal government at the center. Each state has its own judicial system conducted in state court.

The trial by jury is the most fundamental feature of the American Criminal Judicial System. Guaranteed by the sixth amendment, adult persons on trial have the right to a jury trial in criminal cases that carry a sentence of more than six months imprisonment, except cases of impeachment. All defendants accused of a serious criminal offense have the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury.

It is believed that defendants tried by a group of their peers fare better than a single judge determining their guilt or innocence.

Jury Selection Process

A jury is selected to speak the truth. Jurors must be over age 18, an American citizen, mentally competent, have the right to vote, and live in the jurisdiction to serve on a jury.

The judge and attorneys for each side determine if potential jurors are competent to serve in the case. It is crucial to select qualified jurors to avoid appeals in criminal cases.

Questioning Jurors

When a criminal case is decided to go for trial, a panel of potential jurors is randomly selected and asked questions in the courtroom. The questions are asked to ensure prospective jurors are qualified to serve on a jury and that serving on a jury will be possible.

Students who have exams, potential jurors who are sole caretakers for children or the elderly may be excused from serving.

Additionally, lawyers question potential jurors about their pre-existing knowledge of the case, as well as any biases. These questions help them determine if a potential juror favors the prosecution or defense and if they have decided the case before the trial has begun.

Based on the answers to questions asked, jurors may be removed for hardships or biases. Jurors will be dismissed for actual and implied biases.

  • Actual Bias - When potential jurors admit that they will not be able to impartial or would never vote for a guilty verdict, or if religious beliefs prevent them from serving will be excused.
  • Implied Bias - When potential jurors have character traits or reveal personal experiences which may cause them to favor a party in the criminal case and unlikely to serve as impartial jurors, they will be excused. For example, doctors may not be best suited to serve on a malpractice case.

Ronald Chapman

Learn about the laws in your jurisdiction and whether a case will be tried by a judge or jury. Ronald Chapman is an experienced criminal defense attorney who can evaluate each case to determine which type of trial is best.

Criminal Defense Attorney West Palm Beach

Ronald Chapman practices criminal defense in both State and Federal Courts within the State of Florida. Since 1990, Mr. Chapman has been representing people accused of committing various types of crimes. If you are facing criminal charges in Florida, Ronald Chapman can help.

Schedule your FREE Consultation! Call (561) 832-4348 or visit his website.

Visit us at https://www.justiceflorida.com/ You can also connect with the West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Office online today! Ronald Chapman, an experienced criminal defense lawyer, dedicated to defending your rights. Contact him today to begin to discuss your case.

 

Ronald S. Chapman, P.A.
400 Clematis Street, Suite 206
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
561-832-4348

 

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