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Criminal Jury Instructions

Criminal Jury Instructions Home

1.1-4 The Voir Dire Process

Revised to August 13, 2013

In a moment I will excuse you from the courtroom. Then each of you will be invited back into the courtroom, one by one; you will be seated in the witness box and each of the lawyers will ask you questions. If you understand the question, please answer it. If you do not understand the question, just say so and the lawyer will restate it for you. Remember, please, there are no right or wrong answers to these questions. In response to each question simply give your honest response; that is all that is needed. The purpose of this questioning process is to permit the lawyers and their clients to decide if they wish you to be a juror in this particular case.

Before I excuse you, the attorneys will introduce themselves and each of them will make brief comments to you. They will read to you a list of names of people who are in some way connected to this case, or who may come before the court as witnesses. Listen carefully to the list to see if you know any of them. If you do, do not talk to others about it, but let me know when you come back on your own.1

Jurors must be fair and impartial. If you think that you cannot be fair and impartial in this particular case for some reason, please do not tell us now, and do not share it with the other members of the panel while you are waiting to go through the questioning procedure, but do share it with us when you are brought back into this courtroom.

While you are under consideration as a juror in this case, do not discuss the case or reasons why you cannot serve with the others on the voir dire panel. There will be (six / twelve) jurors and two alternate jurors selected for this case.

1 "A trial court may pose questions to entire venire panels prior to individual voir dire . . . and may dismiss for cause any panel member whose answers to the court's inquiries reveal bias." State v. Faust, 237 Conn. 454, 462 (1996). The individual panel members should not be questioned further in the presence of the panel. "A prospective juror's biased opinions or attitudes, expressed through answers to specific questions in the presence of other members of the venire panel, may taint the impartiality of the other members." Id., 463.


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