Who Not To Select For Your Jury
While you hope that every person would be fair as a juror if someone else's fate was at stake, this is not always the case. There are many things that make someone a bad juror, including prejudices, bad attitude, and lack of cognitive ability. Here are some things to look for when you are weeding out jurors.
People can become prejudiced for many reasons, and they can't always help it. Some things may be easier to find out, such as whether the person is biased against a specific group of people, such as a race, religion, or sexual orientation. They may say these things aloud when asked directly. You definitely don't want someone like this as a juror, even if they are not biased against your group; it shows an avoidance of using logical and fair reasoning skills.
Some biases may relate to past experiences. For example, you don't want a juror who has been involved with a court case that affected their personal lives. They may be more willing to convict someone who is innocent, because they have some built up fears around criminals (or people who are presented as possible criminals). You will not get a fair hearing from these people; they are already biased in favor of the prosecutor.
You don't want a juror who seems like they are not interested in being here. These people may not put their full effort into learning about the case and making a good decision on whether the defendant is guilty or not. They are the people who are most likely to cave when there is a disagreement among the jury. You want people who are engaged in the outcome of the trial; these people will give any decision they make careful consideration and not allow their own opinions to be swayed to go with the easiest outcome.
Lack of Intelligence
This may be harder for you to assess while questioning potential jury members. You can listen to how well they answer questions and what kinds of language they use. You can also get clues from their background, profession, and education. Choose intelligent jurors who can reason through the complexities of the case.
If you need more help with jury selection, it is best to leave it to a professional to give you advice. You wouldn't want your case's outcome to hinge on having selected the wrong jury.