Is a fair trial possible for a sex crimes case?

On Behalf of | Oct 10, 2022 | Sex Crimes, Sex Offenses |

Every person accused of a crime has the right to a fair trial. But upholding this right can be tricky, especially in high-profile cases.

Arrests and criminal indictments are generally public information. News outlets will report them openly. This exposes your case to the general public, who also is the pool of people from which you will get jurors. It can make it tough to ensure that you will have a fair and unbiased jury to hear your case. But will this impact what happens when you go to court?

Jury instruction

When the court official confirms a jury, it will give them instructions to follow when considering your case. Among these in Missouri is a bias warning. This instruction tells jurors that they can only consider the facts of the case. They cannot rely on stereotypes or other prejudices when making a decision. They also need to consider only the details presented in the courtroom.

Of course, telling people not to be biased is no guarantee they will not be that way. So, the instruction is merely a formality that lets jurors know their obligation.

Selection

The best opportunity to avoid bias on a jury is when you select them. Both the defense and prosecution have the chance to review jurors. They can even ask them questions to reveal their intentions and thoughts. You have the right to dismiss jurors who you feel make be biased due to exposure to the case prior to coming to court. Jury selection is incredibly important in a sex crimes case because you will want to weed out anyone who may have strong feelings about sexual crimes in general or who may have been a victim themselves. You want to consider any history a juror may have that could color the way he or she feels about sex crimes because they could project that onto you.

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