Breaking the Spell Of the Magic Question During Voir Dire

Most defense attorneys who have picked a jury have encountered a judge’s improper rehabili-tation of a biased juror during voir dire. When partiality be-comes apparent, some judges try to salvage the situation and protect the record by asking questions designed to demonstrate the juror’s willingness to obey the law and reach a verdict based on only the application of that law to the facts of the case. Patrick Barone and Michael Skinner offer suggestions to practitioners to help combat the practice of improper juror rehabilitation during voir dire.