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UNITED STATES v. CHILDRESS

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA


February 19, 1990

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

The opinion of the court was delivered by: RICHEY

PROCEDURES FOR JURY SELECTION

 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

  Exhibit A

 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.

  State relationship of family member who is ill:

  I have problems with my own health.

 Please explain briefly:

  I have critical business responsibilities.

 Please explain briefly:

  I have definite vacation plans to be away.

 When are you leaving?

 When are you returning?

 If there is anything else the Court should know that will have an effect on your availability to serve as a fair and impartial juror in this case, please explain briefly:

 I hereby declare under the pain and penalty of perjury that all of my answers are true and correct to the best of my knowledge, information, and belief.

 (Your signature)

 Exhibit B

 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA JUROR QUESTIONNAIRE (for a criminal case)

 Juror No.

 Upon your oath or affirmation you shall give true and complete answers to all questions. The information requested by this questionnaire will be used to assist the Court and counsel in the jury selection process and to complete said process as efficiently as possible.

 Please complete the questionnaire by printing your answers legibly in the spaces provided. Do not discuss the questionnaire or your answers with fellow jurors; your answers are to be your answers, and your answers alone. Bear in mind that your answer to each question must be correct and complete. This page and page twenty-three (23) will be maintained by the Clerk of the Court and not be given to anyone including the Court or the lawyers for either side except in special circumstances or for good cause as determined by a Judge of this Court. Pages two (2) through twenty-two (22) will be made available to counsel and the Court.

 PLEASE PRINT YOUR LAST NAME

 1) Please print your full name:

 2) Please print your address:

  Juror No.

 3(a) In what quadrant of the city do you live?

 (b) NE NW SE SW

 How long have you lived at your current address?

 (c) Do you own your own home?

 Yes No

 4(a) How old are you?

 (b) In what state were you born (if you were not born in the United States, please provide the country in which you were born)?

 5) How long have you lived in the District of Columbia?

 6) What is the highest grade you completed in school?

 If you attended college, list your major areas of study.

 7) Do you have any difficulty reading, speaking, or understanding the written or spoken English language?

 Yes No

 If "yes," briefly explain:

 8) Do you have any health problems, such as vision problems, hearing problems, or any current physical or emotional problems?

 Yes No

 If you have such a problem, please explain:

 9(a) Are you currently:

 Employed full-time (over 30 hours per week)

 Employed part-time (5 to 30 hours per week)

 Unemployed

 Unemployed but looking for work

 Retired

 A student

 A homemaker

 (b) If you are employed or were employed, please describe any jobs or occupations that you have held over the past ten years, without giving the names or addresses of your employers.

 (c) Were you a supervisor and, if so, how many people did you supervise?

  10(a) What is your current marital status?

 Married

 Separated

 Divorced

 Widowed

 Never married

 (b) If you are married, is your spouse currently:

 Employed full-time (over 30 hours per week)

 Employed part-time (5 to 30 hours per week)

 Unemployed

 Unemployed but looking for work

 Retired

  A student

  A homemaker

  (c) If your spouse is or was employed, please describe any jobs or occupations that your spouse has held over the past ten years, without giving the names or addresses of your spouse's employers.

  11) Describe generally the occupations of your adult children, without providing the names or addresses of their employers.

  12) Have you ever served in the military?

  Yes No

  If "yes," please list the branch, your rank at the time of discharge, and the place and date of your service.

  13(a) Have you, or has any member of your immediate family, ever studied the law, had any legal training, or been employed by a law firm engaging in the practice of law?

  Yes No

  (b) If "yes," will you agree to put such study and training aside and accept the law applicable to this case as the Court gives it to you?

  Yes No

  (c) If "no," please explain briefly:

  14) Have you, or has any member of your immediate family, ever been involved as a party to or appeared as a witness in any court proceeding (civil or criminal) or in any investigation by a federal or state authority or by an official legislative body or agency?

  Yes No

  If "yes," please explain briefly:

  15(a) Have you ever served on a grand jury?

  Yes No

  If "yes," how many times?

  When?

  Were any of the cases drug or homicide cases?

  Yes No

  (b) Have you ever been a petit juror before?

  Yes No

  If "yes," how many times?

  When?

  How many civil cases?

  How many criminal cases?

  Were any of the cases drug or homicide cases?

  Yes No

  16) Would your experience in any situation covered by 14 and 15, above, affect your ability to be a fair and impartial juror in this case?

  Yes No

  If "yes," please explain:

  17(a) During the course of the trial, evidence will be introduced in the form of tape recordings of telephone conversations obtained either by a court-authorized wiretap or the consent of one of the parties to the conversation. In these conversations, you may hear evidence from an accomplice -- that is, a person who is alleged to have participated in the crimes charged. You may also hear evidence from informants and law enforcement agents who will testify that they acted in an undercover capacity in order to collect evidence for the Government. The use by the Government of these procedures is lawful. The jury should consider such evidence along with the other evidence in the case, giving it as much or as little weight as you think it deserves. Would you have any difficulty being able to evaluate this evidence as instructed by the Court?

  Yes No

  If "yes," please briefly explain:

  (b) In some of the tape recordings, the parties being recorded may use profanity, curse, and swear. Would the use of such language prevent you from evaluating this evidence as a fair and impartial juror?

  Yes No

  If "yes," please explain:

   18) Have you, or has any member of your immediate family or a close friend, ever been employed by or received training from any local, state or federal law enforcement agency, including but not limited to the following: (Check as many as apply for each category) Close Close Self Relative Friend F.B.I. U.S. Attorney ___ ___ ___ District Attorney ___ ___ ___ Internal Revenue Service ___ ___ ___ Drug Enforcement Administration ___ ___ ___ Military Police ___ ___ ___ Prison Guards ___ ___ ___ State Troopers ___ ___ ___ Police Department ___ ___ ___ Sheriff's Department ___ ___ ___ U.S. Marshal ___ ___ ___ Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms ___ ___ ___ Immigration & Naturalization Service ___ ___ ___ Customs Service ___ ___ ___ Federal Court System ___ ___ ___ District of Columbia ___ ___ ___ Court system or a ___ ___ ___ state court system ___ ___ ___ Department of Justice ___ ___ ___ Other law enforcement agency not listed above ___ ___ ___

19900219

© 1992-2004 VersusLaw Inc.



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