Jury Selection or to use the legal term “Voir Dire” (meaning in Georgia the questioning of prospective jurors by a judge and attorneys in court) is very similar to the process in other states and federal courts. The judge asks certain statutorily required questions such as, “can you be impartial?” and jurors rarely indicate anything contrary to what the judge is asking. Later, the prosecution or “State” asks a series of questions that are usually scripted and have very little variation based on the particular charges in the case. Finally, the defense gets a chance to ask a few questions.
While most defendants would love to know what jurors will find them not guilty, the best case scenario in most counties is finding jurors who are willing to be fair and listen to all of evidence before making up their minds. Most judges and prosecutors will object vehemently when defense attorneys try to educate jurors as to a particular defense or interject specific facts into their minds prior to the start of the trial. You have to find a way to gain open and honest answers on the limited questions you are allowed to ask and find a way to really weed out the jurors that you do not believe can give you a fair shot. That is the art of jury selection. It requires the ability to read the prospective jurors and recognize when a juror is being untruthful. When that happens, you cannot attack that juror and accuse them of lying. You have to politely inquire further into their position and attempt to gain further insight into why they feel the way they do. You can’t change the way someone feels, but hopefully you can find out how they truly feel before you let them on your jury. If you plan on going to trial, you need an experienced attorney to ensure that you do not lose your case before the first piece of evidence is presented.