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Jury Selection in New Mexico Lesson overview This lesson discusses the jury system in New Mexico. The activity of the lesson simulates voir dire in a criminal trial. The activity illustrates the difficulties involved in selecting a fair and impartial jury. The lesson includes a class discussion of four cartoons which reflect on issues related to the jury system. Law and New Mexico Language Arts New Mexico Social Studies National Standards Government Standards and Benchmarks Standards and Benchmarks in New Mexico History Lesson 19 Literature and Media Compare and contrast the Social Studies Learning Standard 5: Jury Selection Content Standard III: Students will use structure and powers of New Civics, Citizenship and Government. New Mexico Key Idea 2: The state and federal literature and media to develop an Mexico’s government as understanding of people, societies, and expressed in the New Mexico governments established by the Constitution of the United States and the the self. Constitution with that of the State of New York embody basic civic Benchmarks III-B: Understand literary United States Constitution, to values (such as justice, honesty, self- elements, concepts, and genres include: organization of county discipline, due process, equality, majority 1. Identify significant themes and concepts in and municipal governments. rule with respect for minority rights, and literary works as they relate to the reader. respect for self, others, and property), 2. Analyze thematic connections among principles and practices and establish literary works by using specific system of shared and limited government. references to show how a theme is universal Objectives • To understand the procedure involved in selecting a fair and impartial jury. • To enhance reasoning skills. Time Time: One class period Materials • Handout 1, Jury Selection in New Mexico • Handout 2, Role Profiles • Handout 3, Using Cartoons to Learn About the Jury System Procedures 1. Distribute Handout 1, Jury Selection in New Mexico. Ask students to read the material in the handout. Conduct a discussion and help students outline the jury selection process on the board. You may also have students develop charts which illustrate the process. 2. Assign a judge, two or three prosecution attorneys, two or three defense attorneys, a defendant, a bailiff, and twenty potential jurors. (29 roles) Additional students may be assigned observer roles to evaluate how the process was conducted in the classroom. 3. Distribute Handout 2, Role Profiles. The judge and the attorneys should receive copies of all materials in order to prepare their roles. The roles of judge and attorneys may be assigned as homework, or you may want to follow the suggestion in #4 below. 4. While students are preparing their roles, arrange the class to resemble a courtroom. since the judge and attorneys have roles requiring greater preparation, Handout 3, Cartoons, may be used with the remainder of the class at this juncture in the lesson. 5. Conduct the proceeding in the following order: the bailiff calls the court to order. The judge instructs bailiff to swear in potential jurors. The judge reads the charges against the defendant and questions prospective jurors. The prosecution attorneys question the jurors. The defense attorneys question the jurors. Attorneys should select specific jurors to question. Prospective jurors need not take the witness stand. They may answer questions from the jury box. 6. The attorneys and judge select the people to be seated on the jury. Select 6 or 8 jurors. .The point is to understand the process rather than to seat a twelve person jury. In reality, this phase is conducted outside the hearing of the jury, but for educational purposes allow the class to listen without making comment. The judge will rule on all challenges for cause. 7. Debrief the lesson by asking the following questions: a. How would you define the term "impartial jury?" b. What classes of citizens fail to appear on jury lists? Why? c. What other methods might be used to select potential jurors? 8. Distribute Handout 3, Using Cartoons to Learn About the Jury System. Divide the class into groups of three students and ask them to answer the questions accompanying each cartoon. When they finish, have them report their responses to the class. (Note: the story for this activity was adapted from "Courts and the Constitution," Update. Fall, 1986, American Bar Association. The scenario does not necessarily reflect current New Mexico DWI statutes.) Handout 1 Jury selection in New Mexico Trial by jury is a basic idea in our system of justice. The sixth Amendment to the Constitution of the united states and Section 12 of the New Mexico Bill of Rights guarantee trial by jury in all criminal cases. The purpose of the jury is to be the trier of fact. In a criminal case, the jury listens to the evidence and decides the innocence or guilt of the accused. Another important reason for trial by jury is to protect citizens from the potential misuse of power by a judge, police, or the prosecutor. Selecting a jury pool. In New Mexico, any person who is registered to vote or has a driver's license may be called to serve on a jury. Ninety days after a general election, the clerk of the court selects at random (a computer may be used) names from the poll books. The law requires at least 5 % of the registered voters be selected. Only people who are physically or mentally ill are exempt from serving. A judge can also grant individual exemptions for good cause. The clerk writes the names selected in the jury book and on slips of paper. The slips of paper go into a "master jury wheel." When the court needs a jury pool, the clerk draws names from the jury wheel. Two people must witness the drawing. The people whose names are drawn are summoned to jury duty. The summons orders them to appear in court and to fill out questionnaires. See the sample questionnaire at the end of this reading. The information on the questionnaires helps the judge and attorneys during the jury selection stage of a trial. Selecting jurors for a trial When a jury is needed for trial, the judge decides how many names to call from the jury pool. The court then makes the list of names available to the attorneys. The questionnaires people filled out earlier are available, too. These help attorneys in preparing for the questioning of potential jurors. The judge and attorneys question potential jurors in open court. This stage of a trial is called voir dire, from French meaning to see and to tell. The purpose of voir dire is to determine whether a person can be an impartial juror in the case. At the start of voir dire, the judge swears potential jurors to tell the truth. The judge explains the charges in the case and introduces the attorneys and the defendant. The judge may ask a brief set of questions of the entire panel. Then the attorneys ask questions of potential jurors individually. After the questioning is complete, the judge and the attorneys review each potential juror in the order they were seated in the courtroom. Each side in the case has one preemptory challenge. This means that the attorney requests removal of a person with having to state a reason. Each side has two challenges for cause. This means the attorney believes there is some reason a juror might not be impartial in this case. All challenges are done outside the hearing of the jurors. Each challenge is recorded with the clerk of the court. Juries in criminal trials Criminal cases in New Mexico require twelve person juries. In courts below the district court, the state constitution permits six person juries. In criminal cases the jury verdict must be unanimous. Once a person is seated on a jury, he receives pay at the minimum wage. He will also receive mileage pay for travel from his residence to the court. Juries in civil cases New Mexico law gives either party in most civil cases the right to request a trial by jury. If no jury is requested, the case is decided by the judge. If a jury is requested, a six person jury will automatically be impaneled. The requesting party may ask for a twelve person jury. The party requesting the jury must deposit a fee for every day of the trial ($100 for a 6 person jury). In New Mexico the verdict of a jury in a civil case need not be unanimous. The jury considers the weight of the evidence and may return a 10 to 2 or a 5 to 1 decision. The verdict The verdict of the jury must be in writing and signed by the foreman of the jury. When the jurors reach a verdict, they return to the court. They deliver their verdict to the clerk who hands it to the judge. After examining the verdict, the judge returns it to the clerk who reads the verdict aloud to the court. The judge asks the jury whether this is their verdict. Either party in the case may request a polling of the jury. The clerk polls the jury by asking each juror how he voted. In New Mexico, no person may be required to be on jury duty for longer than six months during a year. In communities with populations larger than 300,000, the limit is six weeks. Once a person has actually served on a jury, he may be exempt from jury duty for three years. An employer may not fire an employee because he receives a summons for jury duty or has to serve on a jury for a period of time. Handout 2 Role assignments Bailiff 1. Call the court to order: "The District Court of the State of New Mexico is now in session. The Honorable Judge presiding. Everyone please rise." 2. Administer the oath to the prospective jurors, all at the same time: "Raise your right hands. Do you swear that the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?" Judge 1. Instruct the bailiff to swear in the prospective jurors. 2. Read the following statement: Ladies and gentlemen, you have been summoned here as prospective jurors to determine the innocence or guilt of the defendant charged in this case. This is a criminal case commenced by the state against the defendant, Jennifer Jones. The defendant has been charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) under the Safe Roads Act of 1983. At this time, I will ask the attorneys and the defendant to stand when I call their names (name of defendant, name of defense counsel, name of counsel for the prosecution) I will now ask you some questions which are very important to the process of selecting a jury. a. Do any of you know the defendant, Jennifer Jones? b. Do any of you know the prosecution attorney, Mr.? c. Do any of you know the defense attorney, Ms.? d. Do any of you know Officer Richard Gonzales? e. Do any of you know any member of the defendant's family? f. I have read you the charge against the defendant. Do any of you have any prejudices against someone who is charged with such an offense? g. Do any of you know anything about this case? h. Is there any body here who would automatically give more weight, or less weight, to a policeman's testimony just because he is a policeman? g. Has anyone here been charged and convicted of Driving While Impaired? h. Do you know of any reason whatever why you could not sit with complete impartiality as to both the prosecution and the defendant as a juror in this case? i. Do each of you conscientiously believe that if you are selected as a juror in this case, you can and will render a fair and impartial verdict? 3. Allow attorneys to ask questions of prospective jurors. Prosecuting attorney is first. Prospective jurors need not take the witness stand. They may answer questions from where they are seated in the court. 4. Participate in final selection. Rule on challenges for cause. If you think an attorney has a good reason to challenge a prospective juror, you may remove that person from the jury. Select twelve jurors and two alternates. You may receive instructions from your teacher directing you to do otherwise. 5. Announce the final selection of jurors. Prosecution and defense attorneys 1. Study the role profile of each prospective juror. Be sure you read the profile of the defendant, also. 2. Prepare questions for those jurors you think you might want to challenge. Base your questions on the information provided and on the responses to the judge's questions. You need not question all jurors if you are satisfied with the information in the profiles. Remember, you want a jury which is favorable to your side of the case. Sample questions: Ms. Wingo, will your study of possible police brutality against alcoholics influence your decision in the case? Mr. Garcia, will concerns about your business distract your attention during the trial? 3. Prospective jurors need not take the witness stand. You may question from the podium and they may answer from their seats in the jury box. Defendant Jennifer Jones, age 20, was returning to State University after spending the weekend with her friends skiing. Jennifer was not concentrating on her driving. She swerved off the right side of the road near the corner of Dale and Elm Street. The car ran over Mr. Smith's lawn, damaging shrubs and knocking down his fence. Officer Richard Gonzales happened to be driving by and observed Jennifer's car moving at a high rate of speed. After attending to the situation, he had reason to believe Jennifer had been drinking. There were four empty beer cans in the car. The breathalyzer test indicated a .08 blood alcohol content. The damage to Mr. Smith's property is $1,200. Officer Gonzales charged Jennifer with Driving While Intoxicated, (DWI) under the Safe Roads Act of 1983. If convicted, Jennifer could be fined up to $2,000 and be imprisoned from seventy-two hours to a year. Jennifer is single and lives with two friends near the university campus. She has a part-time job at Casa Maria's Mexican Cafe. She has never been in a car accident before, but is known to be a party girl. Jennifer is studying to be an engineer and is attending school with the aid of several scholarships. (Note: this scenario does not necessarily reflect current DWI laws in New Mexico.) Profiles of prospective jurors 1. Emily Wingo is thirty-three. She is single and an attorney with the civil liberties union. Her hobby is racing sport cars. She is the author of a report which condemned the manner in which police handle persons with drinking problems. 2. Gordon Saunders is twenty. He is a biology student at State University. He has a part-time job as a gas station attendant. He is an excellent tennis player. 3. Martha Garcia is a retired school teacher. She is a widow with grown children. She is currently suing a housing development for retired persons for racial discrimination because they refused to rent her an apartment there. 4. John Chan is twenty-eight. He is married with two small children. He is a research assistant working on developing a new, more efficient breathalyzer test. 5. Debra Madrid is forty two. She is married and has two teenage children. She is a heavy social drinker. Her husband is an insurance executive. 6. Helen Bishop is thirty-eight. She is single and has a journalism degree. She is the managing editor of the Local Ledger which carried several feature articles on DWI and the Safe Roads Act. 7. Robert Winthrop is forty-three. He is divorced and has two daughters in their late teens that live with him. He owns a chain of successful liquor stores and is expanding his business. 8. Thomas Serna is twenty-three. He is single and has a high school diploma. He plays lead guitar in a local band. He was recently involved in a drug raid by local authorities. 9. Lisa White is nineteen. She hopes to attend college and major in business. In the meantime, she drives a school bus. 10. Grace Martin is sixty-four. She is married and has a high school diploma. She is a housewife with four married children and several grandchildren. Her husband is a retired plumber. 11. Bill Collins is forty-three. He is an insurance salesman who is frequently on the road. He moved here from New York city because he was tired of the high crime rate. 12. Cynthia Majors is thirty-eight. She is a housewife and the mother of five children. Her husband is currently unemployed and she does odd jobs to support the family. 13. Perry Ward is twenty-one. He is a sophomore in college and works part-time as a disc jockey at a local radio station. He is active in the movement to help homeless people. His father is an alcoholic. 14. Frank E1der is seventy-five. He is retired. He is hard of hearing. He believes there is too much crime and it must be stopped. He has organized a crime watch in his neighborhood. 15. Alice Brooks is thirty-five. She is a housewife with two children. She works as a volunteer with an agency that aids high school dropouts. 16. James Valdez is twenty. He has a part-time job at an auto body shop while he attends computer training school. He is an outstanding soccer player and believes in keeping physically fit. 17. Mark Benally is sixty-five. He is president of the country club and enjoys playing golf. He is the vice-president at a local bank but plans to retire next year. 18. David Starr is fifty-one. His son was arrested on DWI charges and convicted two months ago. He is the sales manager at a large department store. 19. Christine Chee is twenty-five. She is separated from her husband and currently lives with two friends. She is a waitress at the Blue Bunny Restaurant. 20. Clyde Otero is seventy-three. He is retired. His wife is in a nursing home. He was in a car accident a few years ago, but it didn't go to court. His son is a successful attorney. Handout 4 Rubric for Evaluation Lesson 19 Proficient 3 Apprentice 2 Novice 1 Incorrect or No attempt Objective 1: Students read handout Students read handout one Students read handout one Student makes To understand one and teacher conducts and teacher conducts a and teacher conducts a no attempt or the procedure a discussion of jury discussion of jury discussion of jury answers involved in selections. Student will selections. Student will selections. Student will incorrectly selecting a fair identify (orally or identify (orally or written) identify (orally or written) and impartial written) three of the two of the juries used for one of the juries used for jury juries used for trials. trials. trials. Handout 1 Objective 2: Arrange the classroom to Arrange the classroom to Arrange the classroom to Student makes To enhance resemble a courtroom. resemble a courtroom. resemble a courtroom. no attempt to reasoning skills Assign a judge, two or Assign a judge, two or Assign a judge, two or participate in the three prosecution three prosecution three prosecution courtroom attorneys, two or three attorneys, two or three attorneys, two or three procedure Handout 2 defense attorneys, a defense attorneys, a defense attorneys, a defendant, a bailiff and defendant, a bailiff and defendant, a bailiff and Handout 3 twenty potential jurors twenty potential jurors twenty potential jurors (cartoon) (twenty-nine roles total). (twenty-nine roles total). (twenty-nine roles total). Distribute handout two Distribute handout two Distribute handout two and go over the and go over the and go over the proceedings in the proceedings in the teacher proceedings in the teacher teacher directions (page directions page 191). directions page 191). 191). Debrief the lesson Debrief the lesson with Debrief the lesson with with “How would you “How would you define “How would you define define the term the term “impartial jury”? the term “impartial jury”? “impartial jury”? What What classes of citizens What classes of citizens classes of citizens fail to fail to appear on jury lists? fail to appear on jury lists? appear on jury lists? What other methods might What other methods might What other methods be used to select potential be used to select potential might be used to select jurors? Use handout three jurors? Use handout three potential jurors? Use (cartoon) at the end of the (cartoon) at the end of the handout three (cartoon) activity. This lesson is activity. This lesson is at the end of the activity. teacher evaluated. teacher evaluated. This lesson is teacher evaluated.
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