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Presumption of Guilt?

I am in the midst of jury selection if a case in which my client is accused of having sexually assaulted his three daughters. Suffice it to say, there is not a whole lot of love in the courtroom during jury selection.

Connecticut practices individual sequestered voir dire, a process in which each prospective juror is interviewed outside the presence of other jurors. Each lawyer gets to ask the venireperson questions. It is time-consuming and exhausting. You need to make relief where and when you can.

One woman was candid in response to the state's question.

"Have you formed any opinion about guilt or innocence in this case before hearing any evidence?" she was asked.

"Yes, I am afraid I have based on the seriousness of the charges and the lengthy witness list," the venireperson said.

The judge intervened. He had heard enough to realize she could not be unbiased.

"Any questions?" has asked me.

"Yes, sir," I said.

"Ma'am, what is it about the nature of the charges and the great number of witnesses in this case that influences you to acquit in this case?"

The poor woman looked stunned, and the judge fought back a grin. Juror excused. Jury selection resumes Monday. It will be the fifth day of mining the populace for a few unbiased men and women.