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UNITED STATES v. CHILDRESS

February 19, 1990

United States of America
v.
Willie G. Childress, et al.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: RICHEY

 CHARLES R. RICHEY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 Upon examination of the pleadings and the record herein and after a series of hearings with counsel for the defendants and the government, the Court finds that the procedures for selecting a jury in the above-captioned case shall be as follows:

 1. The jury staff of the Clerk's Office shall mail 2,000 copies of the pre-screening questionnaire (Exhibit A) to the next available members of the jury venire. The Clerk's Office shall then excuse from jury service in this case any prospective jurors who indicated on the pre-screening questionnaire that they are unable to serve on an anonymous and sequestered jury in a trial lasting approximately eight weeks or that they have hearing or sight impairments.

 2. The prospective jurors who indicated on the pre-screening questionnaire that they can serve on an anonymous and sequestered jury in a trial lasting approximately eight weeks shall be directed to report to the courthouse prior to February 26, 1990 for the purpose of completing a comprehensive juror questionnaire (Exhibit B) under the supervision of the Clerk of the Court. Prior to distributing the comprehensive questionnaire to the prospective jurors, the Clerk of the Court shall read the preliminary statement, which is attached hereto as Exhibit C, to the prospective jurors. A court reporter shall be present while the prospective jurors receive instructions as to completing the questionnaires and while they complete them.

 3. After the prospective jurors have completed the comprehensive questionnaire, the Clerk of the Court shall detach the first and last pages of each questionnaire, and these pages shall be placed in the vault in the Clerk's office and should not be made available to anyone except for good cause shown to the presiding judge, with the exception of the Clerk for the purpose of compensating the jurors for their service. Once the first and last pages of the completed questionnaires are detached, the Clerk of the Court shall make photocopies of the questionnaires for the lawyers in the case and the Court. These photocopies shall be made available to counsel on February 23, 1990 at 4:00 p.m. for their review over the weekend and for use during the voir dire process, which shall commence at 9:30 a.m. on February 26, 1990.

 4. When the first group of jurors is brought into the courtroom on the morning of February 26, 1990, the Court will first read them a preliminary statement introducing the case (Exhibit D). The Court will then conduct an oral voir dire of the jurors based upon some of the suggestions received from the defense and government lawyers.

 5. Once the oral voir dire process has been completed, counsel for the government and each defendant shall provide the Deputy Courtroom Clerk with a written list containing the number(s) of any juror(s) that they wish to challenge for cause. At the top of these lists, counsel shall include their names as well as that of their clients. The Court requests that no more than one list be submitted for each defendant and for the government. Upon receipt of these lists, the Court will call each lawyer wishing to make a challenge for cause to the bench individually so that the lawyer can provide the Court with a succinct explanation of why a particular juror should be excused for cause. When a defense lawyer is called to the bench to explain his or her client's challenge(s) for cause, one lawyer for the government should also approach the bench. When a government lawyer is called to the bench to explain the government's challenges for cause, one defense lawyer, who will serve as a representative for all other defense lawyers, should also approach the bench. All counsel and each defendant will be provided with earphones in order that they can hear the bench conferences.

 The peremptory challenge process cannot begin until there are at least fifty-six (56) jurors in the courtroom. Once there are at least fifty-six jurors in the courtroom, they will be seated according to their juror numbers. The defense lawyers and the lawyers for the government shall then confer about any peremptory challenges that they wish to make. The defense lawyers shall then designate one defense lawyer to make all peremptory challenges on behalf of all defendants; the government lawyers shall also designate one lawyer for the government to make all peremptory challenges on behalf of the government.

 The jury will include twelve jurors and six alternates. For the initial twelve jurors, the Court will allow the defendants twenty-four peremptory challenges, and the government will be allowed fourteen peremptory challenges. *fn1" For the six alternates, the defendants and the government will both be allowed three peremptory challenges. *fn2" A pass by the defendants or the government does not constitute a strike. If both the defendants and the government pass, then the juror will be selected.

 SO ORDERED.

 February 19, 1990

 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

 Third and Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20001

 Pre-Screening Jury Questionnaire

 You have been selected as a prospective juror to sit in a criminal case which is scheduled to begin the end of February. It is estimated that the trial will last about eight weeks, although the trial could be shorter or longer. The sole purpose of this questionnaire is to assist the Court in determining your availability to sit as a juror in this case.

 The Court may require the jurors in this case to be anonymous and sequestered because it is expected that this case will be highly publicized. If you are selected as a juror and the Court decides to have the jury sequestered, you will be housed in sleeping and living quarters provided by the Court. All of your meals will be furnished at the Government's expense. Every effort will be made to assure your comfort, to enable you to meet urgent medical appointments, to provide you the opportunity to go to church or synagogue, to obtain fresh clothing, and to look at television, except where matters relating to this case are presented.

 Please answer all questions frankly and honestly, as it is your duty to serve as a juror if at all possible. You are to sign your questionnaire, and your answers will have the effect of a statement given to the Court under oath.

 You will be contacted later if you are needed for service, and you will be given further instructions at that time. In the meantime, please do not telephone the Court. Any questions you may have will be answered at the time you are contacted to report for service. Any jurors excused from service will be notified by postcard.

 Thank you in advance for your responses to this questionnaire; your responses will greatly assist the Court and counsel in the jury selection process.

 PLEASE COMPLETE THE QUESTIONNAIRE ATTACHED HERETO IMMEDIATELY AND RETURN IT AT ONCE IN THE ENCLOSED ENVELOPE.

 JUROR NO.

 1. Please print your full name and address:

 2. I can sit on a sequestered and anonymous jury in a trial that is expected to last about eight weeks.

 Yes No

 You only need to respond to the next question if your answer was "no" to question number 2.

 3. I cannot sit on a sequestered and anonymous jury in a trial that is supposed to last about eight weeks because:

  I am caring for an old or sick person at home.

 State relationship of person for whom you are caring:

  I have responsibilities at home to young children.

 State their age(s):

  There is serious illness in my immediate family which requires me to return home daily.

  I have problems with my own health.

 Please explain briefly:

  I have critical business responsibilities.

 Please explain briefly:

  I have definite vacation plans to ...


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