JURY SELECTION DISCOVERY
Given the limited voir dire afforded Counsel in Federal criminal trials, Counsel would be well advised to utilize alternative methods to gain relevant information about prospective panel members.
US v. Hasimoto, 878 F.2d 1126 (9th Cir. 1989) (holding defense counsel entitled to juror tax information prior to selecting jury based on 26 U.S.C. ‘ 6103(h)(5) which creates a statutory right to juror tax information in “Tax Criminal Cases”).
One should argue that the unfair imbalance in data available to the prosecution regarding jurors entitles the defense to the prosecution’s jury selection data.
See Lasavio v. Mayber, 496 P.2d 1032 (Col. 1972) (en banc) (holding police records of prospective jurors utilized by prosecution, should be discoverable by the defense, “[t]he requirements of fundamental fairness and justice dictate no less.”);
Commonwealth v. Smith, 215 N.E.2d 897, 901 (Mass. 1966) (holding that such information “should be as available to the defendant as to the district attorney);
People v. Aldridge, 209 N.W.2d 796 (Mich. App. 1973) (stating information compiled by prosecutor regarding prospective juror’s adverse contacts with police discoverable under Brady);
People v. Murtishaw, 631 P2d 446 (Ca. 1981) (en banc) (holding that depriving one unable to afford such investigations of prospective jurors, discovery of such jury dossiers compiled by the prosecution violated “due process” noting that such an historic “pattern of inequality reflects on the fairness of the criminal process”).
A Court, in extraordinary circumstances, further crippled the defense by disallowing a community attitudinal survey to help prepare for intelligent jury selection based on how issues are determined on a demographic basis.
US v. Lehder-Rivas, 669 F. Supp. 1563, 1567 (M.D. Fla. 1987).