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Jury Selection in Virginia Robbery Trials

Following a robbery, you can expect that your case will go to trial. While a person could either face a bench trial or jury trial, jury trials are more common in robbery cases. The composition of a jury can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case which is why it is important to work with an experienced lawyer that has had exposure to the process of jury selection in Virginia robbery trials. Seek the services of a skilled robbery attorney that could fight for you.

Voir Dire Process

The best way to explain jury selection in Virginia robbery trials is to talk about the voir dire process. The voir dire process is interesting because it allows the attorneys to ask the jury questions directly in most jurisdictions, trying to find out if there are any jurors that are particularly biased and who would not be able to be fair and impartial, which is a standard.

Each side gets three challenges and each challenge has to be faced based on something that is not like protected status. Somebody cannot be challenged because they are black or because they are white or eliminated from a jury because of that.

It has to be for some independent reason other than that. Three people can be taken out for any reason other than a protected reason. For example, if doing a trial for charges that have to do with children and elementary school teachers are on there, the attorneys and judge will want those people out because they are going to be more sympathetic to the victims.Those people can be out just based on that situation.

For Cause Challenges

Three others can be out without an explanation unless there is a reason to believe that it was for some kind of protected status. Then they get as many for cause challenges that they need. That would be like something based on race, for example, a situation where a juror says, that they will always consider a person guilty if/because they are black. Other comments by jurors would be, “I already know that he did it because he was arrested,” or “I think that if he does not take the stand and explain himself, he is more likely to be guilty.”

All of these reasons are reasons that the court has specifically laid out as inappropriate for somebody to stay on a jury or inappropriate reasons to get a cause strike. Three strikes are called peremptory challenges and attorneys can have three for whatever reason. They get as many for cause as they need, but they have to argue the cause with the judge on the side with the prosecution.

Class Considerations When Choosing Jury Members

There is a voir dire for a reason, and that reason is that the courts want a jury that represents people from different walks of life. Individuals who are wealthy and predominantly white are going to be harsher on a robbery defendant than people who are giving more to understand defenses to robbery, like a necessity or some kind of some compelling reason or situation where a person saw this with their family. They got the money for them because they have never been in the position where they have wanted.

With the voir dire process, those people need to be weeded out. However, what all walks of life actually looks like, depends on the town, the specifics of the county, and the makeup. The jury selection in Virginia robbery trials should account for that to some extent, especially in certain jurisdictions of Virginia in which all-white juries and predominantly male white juries are common. It gives an unfair disadvantage to the defendant because it is a situation where a person is supposed to be judged by a jury of their peers. If the person is a young black woman and the jury is older white men, then that is not the case

Is Diversity a goal of jury selection or is curating a group that reflects the local demographic more important?

Jury selection in Virginia robbery trials is a situation where the goals are different based on what your role is in a specific case. The prosecution wants it to reflect the local community. The defense attorney wants diversity or at least people who are similarly situated to the defendant because they want a jury of peers. If you want to know more about the jury selection process, consult a knowledgeable robbery lawyer that could fight for you.

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