Challenges for Cause
Each party is afforded an opportunity to challenge any prospective panel member on the ground he or she fails to meet the statutory requirements or because of prior exposure to prejudicial information, personal biases or beliefs, education or profession. Jurors may also be challenged if, for some other lesser reason, they cannot fairly view the facts or apply the law that either side is entitled to rely upon or are otherwise prejudiced against either side. Challenges for cause are not limited in number, but rather by counsel’s ability to elicit sufficient evidence to complain. In capital cases jurors should be questioned regarding their ability to consider mitigating evidence separately, apart from any statutory elements for imposing the death penalty, and on that basis alone, if appropriate, find the defendant not guilty. See Penry v. Lynaugh, 492 U.S. 302, 109 S.Ct. 2934, 106 L. Ed.2d 256 (1989), abrogated on other grounds by Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304 (2002).