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Questionnaire For A Tough Trial

While we're waiting for the judge to release the jury questionnaire in O.J. Simpson's robbery trial,* here's a questionnaire for collectors. Voir dire is under way in the Arizona trial of accused serial killer Dale Hausner, and Phoenix trial consultant Dennis Elias kindly sent me the questionnaire (PDF) they're using.

It's a long jury selection; it started on September 2 and it's still going. Maybe that's to be expected when you're questioning 3,000 potential jurors, looking for folks who can get through a nine-month trial and who haven't formed an opinion in the face of very heavy news coverage. (Think Washington Sniper goes west. Hausner didn't help; his own letter to a reporter is on line.)

The questionnaire (PDF) is 15 pages (longer when you add the witness list), a good basic criminal questionnaire with a death penalty section that's thorough without going on forever. In several places it goes beyond the obvious, asking for example not only "Have you ever known anyone who was killed, accidentally or otherwise?" but also "Have you, a family member, or close friend ever killed anyone, accidentally or otherwise?" You want to know both.

One comment

  1. A nice use of simple language, yet subtly persuasive. I especially like the reference to the “then unknown offenders” as if the offenders are clearly and presently known. Nice instruction for the prosecutors.

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