American Thinker\Clarice Feldman:
So many of this week’s top news stories involve legal matters in Washington, D.C. that I’m making it the focus of this week’s column.
There’s the Roger Stone case, the decision to close the investigation into Andrew McCabe over the Horowitz referral that indicated that he had lied to the FBI about the Clinton email leak, and Congressman Jerry Nadler’s calling Attorney General William Barr as a witness in an upcoming hearing.
(a) The Problem with DC juries
Washington, D.C. has a relatively small population from which jurors must be found for the federal and local grand juries, petit juries, and civil juries. People who serve on these juries must be citizens with no felony convictions, people with no connection to the attorneys or parties, and must have no bias respecting the matter tried. Since almost 80% of the city are Democratic voters, often employed by the government or are connected to law enforcement or have family members who are, the ability to expeditiously find panels in criminal cases is limited. Worse yet, the chance of an unbiased panel in a case involving Republican figures is minimal. If you think this puts Republican figures at far greater risk than Democrats, you are certainly not wrong. Recall if you will the prosecutor who publicly stated the Starr special counsel’s office believed Hillary Clinton had lied to the grand jury, but because ethical prosecutors are not to bring cases they have no reasonable likelihood of winning and no D.C. jury would convict her, they were declining to prosecute her.
Potential jurors are given questionnaires to fill out under oath, on penalty of perjury, in an effort to determine any biases. After which they may be called still under oath in a process called voir dire to answer further questions from the judge and lawyers to determine if they should be excused or empaneled to sit on the jury. Prosecutors get to strike peremptorily six people from the jury and the defense gets to strike 10. In addition, on its own initiative, the court can strike any for cause.
h/t Forcibly Deranged.