-I’m self employed, I have ebola, my dog ate my jury summons, No Habla Englis – Arizona
Welcome class. Please hurry and take your seats. This class will be focusing on seating a jury for a re-trial that the whole world watched and other things you don’t want to do. We were going to have a guest speaker tonight, Troy from Fox10, but he was covering the very trial we are going to be discussing tonight and the CONVICT looked at him and smiled. Obviously filing the restraining order was much more important than speaking to us. We all understand.
As a Law Professor and Dean of Fuckery of The Really Big Mean Dog School of Law and since we are studying this case, I felt it would be pertinent for me to attend todays proceedings. My press credentials help. Unfortunately I was busy working on todays lesson plan so the in-house Psychic will be giving you a synopsis of what happened in court today. In house Psychic, if you could come up to the front of the class please. Thank you. Take it away in-house psychic.
Uh….hey everybody. Um, I’m a little nervous, I don’t have to speak in front of people very often. Before I begin, I would like you all to know that once you pass the bar, you should never, ever take a job offered by your illustrious Professor. She will have you sign a contract that keeps you indentured forever, no matter what vomit inducing things she makes you do. You can get more money, but you can never leave her service. Anyway, this is what happened in court today.
All the main players were present. Nurmi was a combination of pissed off and resigned. He wasn’t paying much attention, he just kept thinking about where his chair was, if Jenny from the Cell Block had brought enough weed, if they were going to require a separate chair for Cha Cha’s earrings and whether or not he had tossed his suits from when he was fat. He seemed concerned that he was going to require them. Jenny from the Cell Block just looked stoned. She and Stabby kept staring into each others eyes and blowing kisses. Cha Cha was present. She seemed to be paying no attention what so ever. I wonder how much money I pulled in from the Justice4Stabby site was the only thing rolling around in her brain. Stabby was brought in sans shackles and wearing a grey sweater that perfectly matched her skin-tone. A search party has been formed to look for Stabby’s bangs, they are missing. She was also wearing a pair of glasses as seen on her auction for her totally authentic auction for her glasses as worn at trial. There were about a hundred jurors in the first bunch, about an equal number of men and women. Stabby seemed to be having a staring contest with one and the poor potential was visibly freaked out. She blurted out something about having to be at school and was dismissed. She bolted from the courtroom and immediately sought counselling. Several potentials were dismissed for not speaking English, but I took a quick read and spoiler (they all speak English.) King Juan and Sir Esteban were present. Our pit-bull, King Juan was not looking particularly rabid yet and Sir Esteban only had to throw him a couple of good boy treats. Judge Stephens just looked vaguely confused.
Most of the first panel were fairly intelligent potential jurors and came up with all kinds of interesting reasons to not be on the jury. Judge Stephens came out of the trance she was in long enough to tell potentials they may not contact the media, watch the news and they are banned from social media. Alfred E. Nurmi of course asked for a sidebar. Jurors will not be sequestered. The trial is expected to last until mid-December. Okay, I’m out. Back to Professor Kelly and Law Class.
Thank you in-house psychic. Everybody thank the in house psychic. Sorry, it’s in her contract.
Anyway back to Jury selection. For the purposes of this class we will use the case we have been studying:
The Great State of Arizona and King Juan the 1st V Stabby Anal Einstein.
First, some terms you will find useful unless you want to have no clue what is going on in the courtroom.
Venire: No students, it is not the finish on your floor or Jenny from the Cell Blocks teeth. That would be veneer. A Venire is a panel of prospective jurors.
Voire Dire: Not a French ungulate. The process through which potential jurors from the venire are questioned by either the judge or a lawyer to determine their suitability for jury service. Also the preliminary questioning of witnesses (especially experts) to determine their competence to testify. Voire Dire is when the most intelligent potential jurors will be shown the door. They you see have figured out how to avoid jury duty. The judge will question the Venire asking such questions as will sitting on the jury cause any undo hardship and do you think you can remain impartial. Using the above case as an example, some of the excellent reasons that jurors came up with to not sit on the jury: I have an issue with whores, I have an issue with fake domestic violence claims, I just flat out hate the bitch and I am ready to vote for the death penalty right now.
Challenges for Cause: The right to challenge a juror without assigning, or being required to assign, a reason for the challenge. During the selection of a jury, both parties to the proceeding may challenge prospective jurors for a lack of impartiality, known as a challenge for cause. A party may challenge an unlimited number of prospective jurors for cause. The judge will be required to step in if one of the lawyers decides this might be easier than say filing motions. Challenges for cause have been stopped by the judge when a lawyer was obviously trying to stack the jury with all men, or trying to stack the jury with all white people or all ninjas or whatever. That is a big, big no-no.
Peremptory Challenge: Peremptory challenges provide a more impartial and better qualified jury. Peremptory challenges allow an attorney to reject a potential juror for real or imagined partiality that would be difficult to demonstrate under the challenge for cause category. These challenges, however, have become more difficult to exercise because the U.S. Supreme Court has forbidden peremptory strikes based on race or gender.
Parties do not have a federal constitutional right to exercise peremptory challenges. Peremptory challenges are granted by statute or by case law. The number of challenges is usually determined by statute, but some jurisdictions allow the trial court to grant additional peremptory challenges. In federal court each side is entitled to three peremptory challenges. If more than two parties are involved in the proceeding, the court may either grant additional challenges or restrict the parties to the minimum number of challenges. In the case we are studying, the parties each have three peremptory challenges.
Once all the Venires have been gone through, the judge and the attorneys will begin to question the potential jurors and that is when the challenges for cause and the peremptory challenges will begin. On the second round of voire dire the questions are much more detailed and are often tailored to individual potential jurors. This is when the second most intelligent jurors will normally be removed from the panel.
The case we are studying is an interesting one. The potential jurors questions have been kept under wraps. A panel of highly qualified smart asses were convened to come up with relevant questions to ask the jurors. Fortunately I happen to have an in house Psychic, so for this class only I bring you Stabby Einstein Jury Questions.
What is YOUR definition of SKANK? Credit to @JodisDiary
Can you ID the 3 Wonder Holes? Credit to @Sturgeongal
What do you think about Snow White? Credit to @AngelRoars
Can you dedicate enough time to this trial? Like, until your social security kicks in? Credit to @SheilaNJ
Do you believe that during the alleged “body slam” that Jodi got a 1st Down? Credit to BarbRichter1
This trial may or may not contain “fog”. Are you a meteorologist and if so can you unlearn all college education? Credit to @mohiclaire
Were you ever a juror in Florida? Credit to @thriftymaiden
Do you have anything against white American Ninjas?
Do you believe that “Three-Hole Wonders” are an endangered species & therefore protected? Credit to @thriftymaiden
On 9 out of 10 days do you prefer Murdering Skanks or Pizza? Credit to @BarbRichter1
Do you have an irrational fear of rogue skateboarders and/or an affinity for collecting red gas cans? Credit to @BarbRichter1
Do you have any knowledge whatsoever of what the ten commandments actually say?
Do you actually understand what indigent means? Credit to unknown I forgot to write it down. message me if it’s yours
Does it bother you when multi-syllabic words are used incorrectly?
Can you list five places on your person to hide poprocks, tootsie pops and a toblerone bar? Credit to @DoctorGooFee
In YOUR opinion, should the seven dwarfs have been stabbed and decapitated? How about shot?
Do you think braids are HAWT?
Have you ever de-edified someone?
Can you look at Stabby and remain impartial contemporaneously?
That is it for tonight class. Next class we will be discussing more on this trial as well as a strange case of multiple personality disorder. This case is disturbing on many levels. It started out as simple assault with a fish and by the time the woman was found not responsible due to mental disease or defect she was actually tweeting to herself. Very sad.
Have a wonderful evening and don’t forget to study. We may or may not have a midterm coming up anywhere from 5 to 455 days from now.