Although juries are meant to be impartial, individuals often carry hidden biases or prejudices. This can make it difficult for some defendants to get a fair trial. If you feel like your conviction was a result of juror bias, contact our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich today to see how we can help with your appeal.
How Does Jury Selection Work?
First, you should be aware of your legal rights when it comes to a jury trial. In California, you are entitled to a jury panel made up of 12 people. The judge and attorneys from both sides ask potential jurors questions in a process called voir dire to determine if the jurors are free of bias or if there are any other reasons why they cannot serve on a jury. Under the law, the judge and attorneys can excuse potential jurors for various reasons until 12 people are accepted as jurors for trial. In approving these jurors, the judge and attorneys are agreeing that these individuals are qualified to impartially and intelligently decide the issues in the case.
What Should My Jury Look Like?
The final chosen jury does not need to be representative of your community, but the jury pool – or the original pool of potential jurors from whom jurors are chosen – must. For instance, if your city is 70% Black but your jury is 70% White, the jury pool will be regarded as representative so long as it was drawn from a population that was roughly 70% Black. However, attorneys are not permitted to disqualify potential jurors based solely on their race or gender. You may be able to prove that the prosecution excluded particular jury pool participants on the basis of their race or gender and appeal your case on those grounds if you can demonstrate that this discrimination had a significant and unfavorable impact on the outcome of your trial.
Can I Appeal a Conviction Due to Juror Bias?
Due to the potential for bias in certain cases, you should ensure that you have a skilled criminal defense attorney experienced in the voir dire process. During the voir dire process, defense lawyers ask potential jurors questions in order to uncover any hidden biases and attempt to exclude as many of these jurors as possible. By filtering out as many of these individuals as possible, your attorney can provide you with a fairer trial.
It can be challenging to overturn a decision on the grounds that the jury was biased toward you. Courts examining these appeals typically check to determine if the prejudice led to a “harmless error,” which means that even while the juror was probably prejudiced, that prejudice did not directly affect the result of your case. In some cases, however, you may be able to file for an appeal due to juror bias. Grounds for such an appeal include hidden agendas or judicial mistakes. If your appeal is granted, you will be eligible for a new trial with a new jury, or your sentence may even be reversed.
Contact Wallin & Klarich Today
If you believe that you or your loved one was convicted due to a biased jury, contact Wallin & Klarich as soon as possible to see how we can help. At Wallin & Klarich, we seek to protect your rights and prove your innocence. With 40+ years of experience, our attorneys have helped thousands of clients in a wide range of cases, and we have the skills and resources to help you avoid hefty fines and jail time.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, Torrance, West Covina, Los Angeles, and San Diego, you are sure to find an available and convenient attorney near you.
Discover how our team can assist you. Contact us today, toll-free at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free consultation with a skilled defense attorney.