Topic: Cause Challenges

“I don’t believe in the jury system”

During jury selection in a car accident case, a prospective juror told counsel she “didn’t believe in the jury system” because of an experience her brother had in a criminal case two years earlier. She said she thought she would have a hard time judging the case because of her personal experience and that she no longer had any faith in the jury system. She also indicated that because of […]

May 12, 2015

How to Save a Potentially Contaminated Jury Panel

During jury selection in a civil trial a prospective juror stated in open court that he was familiar with one of the defendant’s expert medical witnesses. The juror said the expert had “kind of screwed-up my dad’s back,” and that his dad had filed a lawsuit against the doctor. The defense lawyer then moved to strike the entire thirty-seven member jury panel because of the prospective juror’s negative comment. Thereafter, […]

January 30, 2013

“Hearing About” Murder Case Not Enough for Cause Challenge

Yesterday the Fourth District Court of Appeal upheld the trial court’s denial of a challenge for cause directed at a potential juror in a case involving murder-for-hire. In Samuels v. State, 11 So. 3d 413 (Fla 4th DCA, 2009), the Court reaffirmed the longstanding rule that if there is any reasonable doubt about a juror’s ability to render an impartial verdict the juror should be stricken for cause. As noted by the […]

May 14, 2009

Prospective Juror Not “Under Prosecution.”

On the day the jury was sworn – after a week of voir dire – a prospective juror got a traffic ticket. The ticket was for the “crime” of knowingly driving on a suspended license, a second-degree misdemeanor. No one in the courtroom on that day asked her about it. She didn’t tell anyone about it. And she ended up serving on the jury that convicted Jason Tucker of premeditated […]

June 23, 2008

“Conflicting Views” Raise a Reasonable Doubt

Today the Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed a criminal conviction because the trial judge failed to strike for cause a juror who “held conflicting views” on the presumption of innocence. Initially, during jury selection the juror stated “he’s guilty until proven innocent,” but later said “I think it was a misunderstanding earlier…,” and then went on to state “I can be fair and impartial.” The Court looked at the entirety of the juror’s […]

June 18, 2008

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