Is an Unbiased Jury Possible with Sex Crime Cases?

Question: Is it possible to get an unbiased jury in a sex crimes case in Wisconsin?

Answer: Sex crime cases are particularly difficult for jury trials. You have to be very sensitive to the emotions that are going on and that people have, and prior experiences as well as a lot of what people hear in the media and throughout. But I think that jurors in sex crime cases, if you set it up properly beginning in voir dire, in the jury selection process, they can be more fair than what the perception is. I think you do have to work very hard in jury selection to educate the jury about what the issues are, and you do have to look very carefully at what potential juror’s history is so that you can look at people who might not be able to be fair in that kind of a situation and have those—you can ask the judge to strike those people for cause because they’re just not able to separate themselves and the emotions that they have. And that’s all part of the jury selection process. I think if you have a very good jury selection process, it is possible to have a pretty good jury in a sex crime case, actually.

 

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