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NCJ Number: 119347 Find in a Library
Title: Voir Dire (From Representing...Battered Women Who Kill, P 321-325, 1989, Sara Lee Johann and Frank Osanka -- See NCJ-119339)
Author(s): S L Johann; F Osanka
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: Charles C. Thomas
Springfield, IL 62704
Sale Source: Charles C. Thomas
2600 South First Street
Springfield, IL 62704
United States of America
Type: Issue Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In cases where battered women kill their abusers, jurors must be selected who will be sympathetic to the defendant's situation.
Abstract: The jury will make important decisions on whether to acquit or convict the defendant; whether to convict of murder, manslaughter, or some lesser offense; and whether the defendant should be found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. The defense attorney will likely need the court's permission to conduct an extensive voir dire. A model voir dire in cases of battered women who kill, proposed by Eisenberg and Seymour, suggests that: jurors with authoritarian personalities may relate better to a woman's self-defense claim because they may patronize her and be more tolerant of violence or weapon use; juror attitudes toward spouse abuse and rape should be determined; jurors who sex role stereotype may discount violence toward women; and prosecutors may strike people who have had experiences similar to those of the defendant. Voir dire is aimed not only at obtaining information about potential jurors but also at educating them about their responsibilities and the law. Questions to be asked of potential jurors in cases where the defendant is a battered woman accused of a violent crime against her abuser are delineated.
Main Term(s): Voir dire
Index Term(s): Jury selection; Legal remedies for battered women
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