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October 10, 2018

2003 Guideline 10.10.2


A. Counsel should consider, along with potential legal challenges to the procedures for selecting the jury that would be available in any criminal case (particularly those relating to bias on the basis or race or gender), whether any procedures have been instituted for selection of juries in capital cases that present particular legal bases for challenge. Such challenges may include challenges to the selection of the grand jury and grand jury forepersons as well as to the selection of the petit jury venire.

B. Counsel should be familiar with the precedents relating to questioning and challenging of potential jurors, including the procedures surrounding “death qualification” concerning any potential juror’s beliefs about the death penalty. Counsel should be familiar with techniques: (1) for exposing those prospective jurors who would automatically impose the death penalty following a murder conviction or finding that the defendant is death-eligible, regardless of the individual circumstances of the case; (2) for uncovering those prospective jurors who are unable to give meaningful consideration to mitigating evidence; and (3) for rehabilitating potential jurors whose initial indications of opposition to the death penalty make them possibly excludable.

C. Counsel should consider seeking expert assistance in the jury selection process.