Understanding Jury Selection: What is Challenge for Cause? 

The U.S. Constitution provides for a speedy trial by an impartial jury. This means people in Los Angeles are required to serve on a jury to determine a defendant’s liability or guilty or innocence. A qualified jury will come from a cross section of Los Angeles County. This is considered a jury of a person’s peers. However, attorneys have the right to eliminate any juror depending on cause.

What is a Los Angeles Jury?

jury is a panel of people selected randomly from Los Angeles County. They must decide on a legal matter. They listen to testimony and attorneys’ arguments to determine a verdict. Each juror initially meets the county’s qualifications such as being 18 years or older and live in the county. However, the final jurors on the panel depend on jury selection los angeles ca.

What is Jury Selection in Los Angeles?

Voir dire is called jury selection. It is a process used in the court system to eliminate the “least desirable” jurors from a large group of individuals. The process involves a judge and attorneys questioning each prospective juror. For instance, a prosecutor and defense attorney will question a prospective juror to obtain information about their opinions, biases and background. This will determine if the juror may be more favorable to one side or the other.

Attorneys can Challenge to Eliminate an Unfavorable Juror

There are two ways prosecutors and defense attorneys can eliminate a prospective juror they believe would be biased against their side. The first option is to challenge for cause. A challenge for cause requires the attorney to have a legal basis for disqualifying a prospective juror. For example, a prosecutor may challenge for cause based on the juror’s inability to understand the trial process.

Is Challenge for Cause and Peremptory Challenge the same?

No. A challenge for cause is solely based on legal reasons. Peremptory challenge is the second option made by attorneys to get a prospective juror eliminated from the jury pool. It doesn’t require an attorney to provide a reason to eliminate a prospective juror. Peremptory challenges are limited by law. For example, California typically limits the number of peremptory challenges to for each attorney to 10 for one defendant. However, if the charge involves the death penalty, then each attorney is typically permitted 20 peremptory challenges.

The Grounds for Challenges for Cause

Each attorney has an unlimited number of challenges for cause. The statutory grounds to disqualify a juror may include the juror being a convicted felon non-citizen or not a resident of Los Angeles County. A prospective juror can be eliminated if they can’t communicate or understand the English language.

The cause, or legal reason, can be known before jury selection or during jury selection. For example, a prospective juror will not be picked if they are related to the defendant. Challenge for cause in jury selection allows attorneys to form an impartial jury picked by attorneys in both sides of the case.

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