- Jury selection in Georgia requires adherence to this constitutional principle.
- Case Study
- Jury selection Georgia and constitution of the Tribunal
- In short, Georgia Jury Selection
Georgia Jury Selection is a multi-step process that involves getting people from the community to come to court and then interviewing potential jurors and choosing a trial panel.
Initial Jury Selection in Georgia
Before choosing a jury for trial, you must gather a group of potential jurors. When we think about the selection of potential jurors, the first thing that comes to mind is that envelope in the mail that says Jury Duty in bold red. That is the beginning of the jury selection process.
The process is a random sample of people in Georgia or your current city/county. When you hear “the constitution guarantees a fair cross-section of the population,” they are referring to the requirement that the selective pool of potential jurors come from a fair and representative group.
Jury selection in Georgia requires adherence to this constitutional principle.
Next, choose the selection. The next part of Georgia Jury Selection is choosing which jurors will appear for a case. Once people arrive at the courthouse, they are brought into the courtroom, and jury selection begins.
In a typical courtroom, the judge will order between 20 and 50 potential jurors to sit in the audience and go through the process. The process involves the judge, the state’s attorney, and the defense attorney asking questions of potential jurors. The questions ask about your biases, your views, your love or hate for the police, and your experience with the criminal justice system (or the civil system in civil cases).
Generally, the goal is to see if a person can sit down, listen to the facts of a case, and make a decision based on the law and not their emotional/subjective views with which they entered the courtroom. The lawyers and the judge will ask questions until they are finished.
After the questions are asked, the potential jurors are asked to leave the room, and the lawyers decide who will serve on the jury. Each lawyer receives a series of peremptory strikes. Lawyers can strike as many jurors as possible if it qualifies as a “just cause” strike. A “for cause” challenge is when the juror simply cannot sit on the jury and promise to be fair (i.e., biased or unable to concentrate, medical issues, does not understand language, etc.).
Jury selection in Georgia is unique in that most cases involve selecting only six people to serve on the jury, while many (if not most) states require 12 people. During jury selection, the state and defense attorneys may object to specific questions.
One of the areas that are not allowed is called “case bias.” This refers to listing all the facts of the actual case, presenting them to potential jurors, and seeing if they think your client is innocent or guilty. This is strictly prohibited. However, this concept contradicts the theory that a Defense Attorney must be able to prove the Defense’s theory of it. In other words, how can a person be a fair juror if she is not open to the possibility of Defense?
These two theories are contradictory because they ask for similar things, but one is allowed, while the other is not. This causes problems because if the lawyer doesn’t know what she’s doing and doesn’t make the proper analogies and legal arguments, she may never get a decent chance to prove her defense theory to prospective jurors.
Lawyers must walk a fine line, stating the facts broad enough to prove the theory without being specific enough to get busted for pre-trying your case. This is a crucial part of the jury selection process.
Jury selection Georgia and constitution of the Tribunal
If there are sufficient jury candidates, a successive draw will be made to select the nine jurors that will be part of the Tribunal and two more as substitutes.
Once the names of the jury candidates have been entered in a ballot box, they will be extracted, one by one, by the Secretary, who will read their names aloud.
After asking the named the questions they deem appropriate, and the Presiding Magistrate declares pertinent, the parties may challenge up to four by the accusations and up to four by the defenses without alleging a specific reason.
If there are several accusers and defendants, they must act by mutual agreement to indicate the candidates for juries who challenge without an allegation of just cause. If there is no agreement, the order in which the accusing parties or defendants can file the challenge will be decided by a draw until the quota of challengeable parties is exhausted.
In short, Georgia Jury Selection
Jury Selection in Georgia is a multi-step process that involves bringing jurors to court and then choosing impartial jurors to participate in a trial. Significant racial and ethnic groups cannot be systematically excluded without constitutional problems.
Jury Selection Georgia requires an experienced attorney who can address the core issues without the state avoiding key questions. So if you are facing a criminal charge, you should contact us immediately to speak with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys.