Chapter 17 – Voir Dire
Voir dire consists of oral questions asked of prospective jurors by the judge, the parties, or the attorneys, or some combination thereof. This oral questioning, often supplemented by a prior written questionnaire, is used to determine whether a potential juror is biased, knows any of the parties, counsel, or witnesses, or should otherwise be excluded from jury duty. Definition of voir dire: a preliminary examination to determine the competency of a witness or juror Examples of voir dire in a Sentence Recent Examples on the Web In court, each person is sworn in and then questioned one by one in a process known as voir dire.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'voir dire. Send us feedback. See more words from the same year. Accessed 22 Apr. More Definitions for voir dire. What made you want to look up voir dire? Please tell us where you read or heard it including the quote, if possible. Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions hearong advanced search—ad free!
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Save Word. Definition of voir dire. Examples of voir dire in a Sentence Recent Examples on the Hearijg Others do initial screening online and vir dire in person. Here's what to expect," 8 Mar. First Known Use of voir direin the meaning defined above. History and Etymology for voir dire Anglo-French, literally, to speak the truth. Keep scrolling for more. Learn More about voir dire. Time Traveler hexring voir dire The first known use of voir dire was in See more words from the same year.
Style: MLA. Legal Definition of drie dire Entry 1 of 2. Legal Definition whxt voir dire Entry 2 of 2. OrtizP. History and Etymology for voir dire Noun Anglo-French, wjat speak the truth. More from Merriam-Webster on voir dire Britannica.
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Voir dire French for "to speak the truth." The process through which potential jurors from the venire are questioned by either the judge or a lawyer to determine their suitability for jury service. Also the preliminary questioning of witnesses (especially experts) to determine their competence to testify. A Voir Dire is a hearing to determine a question of law, including the admissibility of evidence. It is typically held during a trial but is considered a separate hearing from the trial itself. It is known as a "trial within a trial" and designed to determine an issue separate from the trial on matters of procedure or admissibility of evidence. A voir dire is commonly referred to as a "trial within a trial". It is a hearing in which a court determines questions of fact and law after hearing evidence from witnesses.
Voir dire is the process by which potential jurors are chosen from a pre-selected jury pool. During this phase of jury selection, the attorneys for each party, as well as the judge, ask questions of each potential juror to determine whether he or she has any bias regarding the case, or other reason he or she should not be chosen. To explore this concept, consider the following voir dire definition.
Historically, the legal term voir dire referred to an oath required of all jurors to tell the truth, or to say what is true. This meant that the juror promised to be impartial and honest in hearing testimony, viewing evidence, and in rendering judgment. In past centuries, a challenge against any potential juror would be tried by other jurors already chosen, rather than by decision between the parties and the judge.
Every American citizen has a duty to serve on a jury if requested, and lists of potential jurors in each jurisdiction are compiled by the court. Jury pools are obtained from such sources as voter registration, the department of motor vehicles, records of the Secretary of State, and sometimes records from the department of public health. This mandatory service is necessary to guarantee each individual accused of a crime to an impartial trial of his peers, and to fairly judge the circumstances in civil lawsuits.
Potential jurors are notified by mail of the date and time to report to the courthouse for jury selection. Once there, each person is brought into the room and questioned by the parties or their attorneys, as well as the judge to determine whether he or she has any bias about the case, or about either party to the case. While most reasons people might give as a hardship making it difficult for them to serve on a jury, few of these excuses are actually considered valid.
In some extreme cases, however, the court may dismiss a potential juror for undue hardship, and this is done on a case-by-case basis. In addition, the court will generally excuse an individual over 70 years of age from jury duty if requested. In the U. Questions are intended to weed out people who have strong opinions about the subject matter, who already have personal knowledge about the case, or who may have a bias for or against either party to the trial.
Individuals who work in certain professions, such as law enforcement, are often dismissed, as they tend to have preconceived ideas about certain issues, especially in criminal matters. In a criminal trial, a potential juror who is prejudiced against the punishment that might be levied, should the defendant be found guilty, is likely to be dismissed.
Mary has been called as a potential juror in the case of a fatal accident caused by a drunk driver. The driver is being tried for two counts of second degree murder. During the voir dire process, the defense attorney asks Mary if she has ever known anyone who was involved in a drunk driving accident.
This is because she is highly likely to be biased against the defendant before ever hearing any evidence. Because they can dismiss only a small number of people, it is not uncommon for attorneys to wait until the end of voir dire to dismiss individuals on peremptory challenge. During both civil and criminal trials, either party may introduce expert witnesses to give testimony about any variety of issues.
Any time a witness is called as an expert in some field, the opposing party has an opportunity to first question him about his qualifications, what institutional employment he has held, and perhaps what expert publications he has made that qualify him to offer expert testimony.
This is known as voir dire of an expert witness. This then requires additional court proceedings in which the judge will rule on whether the witness may offer expert testimony or not. Commonly asked voir dire questions include:. Voir Dire November 3, by: Content Team.