The Champion

July 2009 , Page 27 

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Arguments Against the Open Inquiry Method of Jury Selection

By Kim Freter

The “open inquiry” method of jury selection should be a tactic of last resort because it fails to effectively assist in the selection of a jury that is defense-oriented or at least neutral. It is untenable and implausible in all but a handful of cases. Moreover, this method could serve to undermine a defense attorney’s credibility and ability to sell the theory of the case.

Relevance of Racial, Gender, or Ethnic Diversity in a Criminal Jury 

“Open inquiry” begins with the premise that attorneys should take steps to obtain a diverse jury. It is true that society at large may have an interest in a jury composed of members from different races, ethnicities, and genders. A criminal defendant, however, seeks only a jury that will find in his favor irrespective of the jury’s diversity. Thus, a defense attorney’s goal should be to select a jury that will vote in favor of the defendant, regardless of the jury’s racial, ethnic, or gender makeup. Defense lawyers want jurors who believe all police

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