Texas Criminal Jury Selection: Experience Counts
In a criminal trial the most most important part of any trial is the jury selection. Jury selection is by far the most difficult skill to acquire as a criminal attorney. Selecting a jury is different from direct examination, cross-examination and closing argument. You can prepare an outline for these areas of the trial and follow your plan. A criminal lawyer should have an out line and plan for jury selection but, it is much harder to stick with the plan because everything is based on answers given by the jury panel and there is no way of predicting how things will go once the attorney starts talking to the jury panel.
Trial experience is the only way a criminal attorney can acquire the skills to select a criminal jury. It comes through actual trials and speaking to jurors. Trials give an attorney the experience and the confidence to conduct a well prepared jury selection.
When selecting a jury in a Texas criminal trial the criminal attorney must find the potential jurors who will harm the client the most and keep them from making the jury. This can be done by either using one of the 10 jury strikes the defense is given to eliminate jurors they don’t want on the jury. The other method is to remove the juror by getting the judge to grant a challenge for cause for the juror. The most effective way to remove a juror for cause is found in TCCP 35.16(a) 9 “That a juror has a bias or prejudice in favour of or against the defendant.” The more bad jurors a criminal attorney can have removed for challenges for cause the better because he can preserve his or her 10 peremptory strikes.
If you find your self facing a serious Texas felony charge speak with an experienced Texas criminal attorney as soon as possible. An experienced criminal lawyer will be able to advise you on your rights and defences. An experienced Texas criminal attorney will also be able to prepare the case for trial and have experience in selecting a jury.