Individual Voir Dire of Prospective Jurors
For certain cases the judges are required to ask each juror questions outside of the presence of the other jurors. Because each potential jury is asked questions one at a time, the individual voir dire process can take a long time. The judge will usually ask questions to each juror at sidebar with both lawyers present. The defendant has a constitutional right to be at sidebar to listen to the judge asking the potential jury these questions. However, in most situations defendants tend to remain sitting at the defense table.
Judges can allow individual voir dire if there is a need, but will usually allow individual voir dire in the following types of cases.
- Interracial sexual offenses against minors
- Sexual offenses against minors
- Interracial murder
- Interracial rape
- Cases that involve the insanity defense
There are many other situations that a judge may allow for individual voir dire of potential jurors. District court or superior court judges may impose an individual voir dire system to impanel a jury. However, individual voir dire is used more often in superior court.
Contact Attorney Chan with questions at 508-808-8902