Thank you for asking me “What is Voir Dire / Jury Selection?”
Before I explain the jury selection process here’s a quick etymology lesson: “Voir dire”, is the legal term that we use for jury selection. It’s literal translation comes from French, and means “to see to speak”; but it’s original reference comes from the Roman-Latin words “verum dicere”, meaning, “to say what is true”, that which is both objectively accurate and subjectively honest.
That said, the 6th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states, in part, that: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed”, and this means that you have a right to have your criminal case heard and decided by a fair and unbiased group of people who live in your community.
In honoring the 6th Amendment’s mandate, every jurisdiction (meaning each individual State as well as the federal government) has it’s own rules for jury selection, and even inside of these jurisdictions each individual Judge varies as to how they conduct voir dire in their own courtrooms, but overall the concepts and goals are uniform.
The idea is to summon a pool of local residents to the Courthouse (in FL we do this by way of FL Driver License addresses), to syphon them off into courtrooms, and to ask them questions – many as a group and some individually – in order to determine who is qualified to serve as a juror and who among the qualified can and will faithfully serve as a fair and impartial juror in a given case.
Although it is an arduous and many times a painstaking processes, questioning prospective jurors is not an interrogation, and “good judges” and lawyers can, and will, make it as entertaining, interesting and painless as possible.
At Michael A. Haber, PA “it’s all about reasonable doubt”!
Please note that no attorney-client relationship with either Michael A. Haber, PA or Michael A. Haber, Esq. exists as a result of your watching this Webisode series. Further any and all information which is both contained in and may be construed from this Webisode series is generic in nature and should only be considered as informational and not as actual legal advise in any specific case. Should you wish to seek actual legal advise then please feel free to contact Michael A. Haber, Esq. as follows:
Office Phone: 305-381-8686
Toll Free Phone: 1-888-SHARK-8-1
Cellular Phone / Text: 305-798-2220
E-Mail: [email protected] / [email protected]
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