The Jury Pool (Update)(x2)

Bennett comes up with a great question for a juror questionnaire:

“The government should do whatever it takes to [solve the problem of the day]. Strongly agree / Agree / Disagree / Strongly Disagree?”

This perhaps puts the coda to his many recent posts about TSA privacy infringement.

I don’t know specifically about Texas, where Bennett is, but in most places the pool of potential jurors is taken from voter rolls.  Voters are the roughly one-half of the adult population that harbors an abiding faith in government, albeit with varying degrees of fervency.  It’s one reason juries are so inclined to convict in criminal cases.

For criminal defense lawyers it’s a really good thing to get issues like that out in the open during jury selection.  But it would be important to keep in mind that you can’t brow beat the potential jurors with libertarian ideas to which they are, through years of thought habits, somewhat unreceptive. You can’t undo years of programming in a few days.

But you get it out there, you talk about it, you plant a seed.  And then you try the case and hope for the best.

In any case, it’s a very intelligent proposal for a juror question.

UPDATE:  Norm Pattis has a cool post about the whole Steven Hayes thing in Connecticut.  So true to point out that middle class white victims = trial of the century; but a black kid getting murdered doesn’t generate much copy in the MSM.  Or have too much significance in the minds of jurors, either.

UPDATE II:  I wonder if Bennett worries that by discussing jury selection strategy and tactics under his own name he might be prejudicing future clients.  As in, next time he goes to pick a jury one of them googles him and sees what he’s up to and what he thinks about it, and doesn’t care for his opinion.  But Bennett has a reflexive, and frankly not very rational, hostility to online anonymity.


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