The Champion

July 2009 , Page 9 

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The Champion's Jury Issue: People Power in a Democracy (Inside NACDL)

By Norman L. Reimer

Read more Inside NACDL columns.

No one devotes more time thinking about juries than the practicing criminal defense attorney. For those in that slim segment of the legal profession who represent the accused, virtually every bit of client advice hinges on an analysis of the likelihood of success with a jury. Indeed, in an era in which severe, mandatory sentences magnify the risk of trial, the lawyer’s assessment of the client’s chances of obtaining a favorable jury is the most vital function the lawyer performs for the client. Even though the percentage of cases tried is small, the jury looms large in every defense lawyer’s practice. Is there any defense lawyer who is not already pondering how an imaginary jury would react even before the first client meeting has concluded?

This “jury issue” of The Champion recognizes that a lawyer’s ability to confidently and effectively select a jury that will give a client the best chance for acquittal is essential — not just for the cases that go to trial, but also to determine whi

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