Picking a jury is perhaps one of the most important steps in the trial process. The people chosen for a jury must meet certain criteria before they can be seated as fair public judges during a trial. Jury selection can be so time-consuming that some court systems and attorneys entrust jury selection services that are trained at doing such. Several factors can complicate jury selection to such a degree that it can make logical parties hard to find. Here is a look at a few situations when jury selection can be more of a challenge.
The parties involved in the case are well-known.
If either the victim or the defendant in a case is a well-known individual, jury selection can be especially difficult. Celebrities, politicians, and other public figures involved in a crime are good examples of well-known individuals. In order for the jury to be a fair one, the individuals cannot know the plaintiff or defendant well, and it is usually preferred if the people chosen do not know the individuals at all. This is not always an easy thing to pull off. In fact, it can take calling in several people to find the right individuals to fill jury seats.
The case has been highly publicized by the media.
It is not uncommon for some cases to get picked up by the media almost as soon as the crime becomes public knowledge. Cases that get a lot of media coverage tend to reach a large audience, and the opinions supplied by the media are not always unbiased opinions. The proclamations made by the media can cause a juror to feel biased in one way or another about whether or not a party is guilty. Therefore, it is best to find jurors who have not been highly exposed to media coverage, which can be tough in a lot of modern cases.
The case involves an especially gruesome act.
Some criminal cases involve acts that are terribly gruesome to such a degree that it can make jury selection a tricky process. In order to build a fair jury, the jurors must be able to overlook the gruesomeness of the crime at hand and instead examine the evidence to determine guilt. If an act has such shock value that it is hard for jurors to see beyond the act and clearly look at the evidence, a fair conclusion cannot be made about innocence or guilt.