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Judge Moody: Jury Selection Procedures (Criminal)

Criminal jury trials normally have twelve regular and two alternate jurors. Depending upon the complexity of the trial, anywhere from 35 to 40 prospective jurors will be called to the trial. The parties will be given a random list of the prospective jurors' names. The parties will also be given copies of the questionnaire that prospective jurors fill out before they arrive in court. The Clerk will collect the copies of the questionnaire back from you after the jury is selected.

The clerk will call 12 prospective jurors at random and those persons will be placed in the jury box. Judge Moody will ask all voir dire questions; however, he will not ask any question appearing on the juror questionnaire previously answered by the prospective jurors.


After all questions have been asked of the first panel of 12 prospective jurors, counsel will be given time to consult with their client or case agent. Normally, the defense is given 10 peremptory challenges and the government is given 6 peremptory challenges. Government's counsel and defense counsel are to exercise their peremptory challenges simultaneously, without consulting each other, by writing on a slip of paper the juror's name and seat number to be challenged. If both sides strike the same juror, that strike counts against both parties. Counsel will then approach the bench and Judge Moody will ask each side if there are any challenges for cause and to submit their written peremptory challenges. There will be no "back strikes" of jurors once a panel has been passed except for unusual circumstances. Judge Moody will then excuse all prospective jurors who have been stricken and replace all stricken jurors at random from the remaining venire. This voir dire process will be repeated until 12 regular jurors and all alternate jurors have been selected.