"And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God"
-- Micah 6:8

"The duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict."
-- American Bar Association Standard 3-1.2(c)

"There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia."
--Pope Benedict XVI, June 2004

Monday, September 25, 2006

Windy's Jury Duty

Windypundit has his first installment up about his jury_duty in a criminal case. It's an aggravated assault case, so he won't have to become a "conscientious objector" and make a statement against the war on drugs.

So far, we learn that as his jury panel is ushered into the courtroom he has correctly identified the prosecutors as the folks wearing suits "not quite as expensive looking" as the presumed defense attorney's. Of course, we've always known that prosecutors are not as sharp-looking as most defenders.

Of particular interest to me was the voir dire process and reading about how it is done differently in Chicago. For example, Windy relates that among the questions the jurors are asked is one similar to this, which I use in every jury trial: "do you have any religious, philosophical, or ethical beliefs which would prevent you from passing judgment on another person and possibly sending him to prison?" Windy notes that in a past trial for which he had served on the jury (not the current trial),
when one man claimed to have religious objections to imposing judgement on others, the judge got loud and confrontational and told him that other people of his religion had served on juries, and then tried to argue that the jury just decided the facts, it was the court system that passed judgement. Those were good points, but the juror stood his ground. He didn't make it into the box, so I assume he was struck.

Windy writes that the judge in this case simply passed over the same answer a prospective juror gave.

In the last jury I tried I struck a woman who answered that she could not "sit in judgment;" in the six or seven years I've asked that question, this was the first affirmative response I've gotten; but I think it's a useful question, even if Ken always did object to the question.

Part two of Windy's trial story is yet to come.

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