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* Voir dire is usually more efficient because some cause challenges can be determined before oral voir dire and many topics covered in the SJQ may not require additional questioning.
A few basic instructions need to be included on the cover sheet to an SJQ. They should offer a brief explanation of e questionnaire's purpose and an admonition against talking about the case involved or about anything asked in the questionnaire.
As noted earlier in the list of SJQ benefits, jurors seem to take questionnaires ore seriously than oral voir dire, in part, perhaps, due to the oath they sign.
What if the judge refuses to use an SJQ? Then lawyers should be prepared with a reasonable alternative that will protect juror privacy while eliciting needed information on sensitive topics.
These questionnaires (usually referred to as SJQs) are given to jurors in addition to the usual brief questionnaires just before jury selection begins.
Even though voir dire in federal courts is usually more limited than in state courts, federal courts have led the way in using SJQs. Perhaps this is because SJQs administered before jury selection can save time that would otherwise be spent in oral voir dire.
* Where a court is not convinced that public awareness of a case is sufficiently widespread to require extensive or individual voir dire, juror responses to SJQs call provide compelling data demonstrating the actual level of juror awareness of the case.
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- Sjostrom, Victor David
- Sjöström, Victor David