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Impeachment and the Importance of Fair Juries

Impeachment and the Importance of Fair Juries

Lawyers, like members of the public at large, have strong feelings for or against the impeachment of President Trump. But if there’s one thing they can agree on, it’s how it brings home the importance of a fair, neutral jury in any fact-finding process.

Democrats favoring impeachment have complained that Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell will not be a fair juror for the upcoming impeachment trial - and has said so. McConnell replied by asking rhetorically whether anyone thinks several Democratic senators will be fair. Basically, each side is now accusing the other of making up their minds before they hear the case.

Biased Juries in Personal Injury Trials

This is a trial lawyer’s nightmare. Experienced trial lawyers know that making sure you have a fair jury is the key to the entire trial. Without fair jurors, your client is likely to lose regardless of how great a job you do presenting the case. You’re simply not going to win over people who refuse to be open to what you have to say.

Conversely, even if you do a poor job, you can win with jurors who are determined to go your way. Even an inept, bumbling lawyer can win when jurors have decided to root for that lawyer’s side before the trial starts. This is gratifying for the winning side, of course, but no one could say that it’s fair.

Both personal injury attorneys at Roman & Gaynor are Board Certified in Civil Trial Law and have decades of trial experience under their belts, giving our firm an edge in the courtroom.

Selecting a Fair Jury in Trial Proceedings

Under the U.S. Constitution, impeachments are always tried with senators as jurors. That means both sides get stuck with the senators we’ve got. Fortunately, there’s more integrity built into our “regular” trials than our impeachment proceedings. Regular courthouse clients have the right to a fair and impartial jury. There is no fixed group of people, other than peers, who get that task.

That means prospective jurors can be removed from the jury pool when they have a bias or conflict of interest that could prevent them from fair decision-making. That’s not to say those people are bad or mean spirited, of course; it just means something about their experiences make them the wrong person for jury service in a particular case.

Procedures vary in courts throughout the country, but many of them (Florida state courts included) give lawyers a chance to ask jurors questions about their biases, prejudices, or beliefs. While jury selection is not flashy the way that good cross-examination can be, many lawyers believe it is much more important to the outcome. Again, even the most dazzling evidence is not going to turn someone who’s not receptive to it.

Respecting the Jury’s Decision

Good lawyers spend much time and effort in planning and carrying out their jury selection process. They’re not arrogant enough to think they can win with any group of people pulled off the street. Every person has beliefs and biases which affect how they process information, and one of the best features of our justice system is that it recognizes and allows for that. Problems occur occasionally, but in most cases, we respect the verdicts reached by jurors who’ve made it through the winnowing process.

We might all feel better about impeachment if our senators had to go through a jury selection process too. Instead, both sides are likely to view it as a rigged game, and no one will be happy with the results.

If you’ve been injured in Florida, your case may go to trial before a jury. Call on the experienced trial lawyers at Roman & Gaynor to receive the dedicated representation that has recovered billions of dollars in compensation for our clients.

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