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View Diary: Who We Are: The Public Arraignment of the Boston Terror Suspect (276 comments)

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  •  It does (0+ / 0-)

    But generally speaking, federal prosecutors don't like seeking the death penalty in states that don't have it.

    Aside from that, even in a federal case, the jury pool will come from the local population.  It's far more difficult to find a jury that would impose the death penalty in Massachusetts than it would be in, say, Texas.

    28, white male, TX-26 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 08:28:16 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  If you don't believe in the death penalty (0+ / 0-)

      you get screened out as a potential juror.  It doesn't matter if they need to go through 50 jurors--they will find 12.

      •  Eh...that's not exactly true. You can be removed (0+ / 0-)

        for cause if you categorically refuse to apply the death penalty without regard to the law.  But if you just have reservations about the death penalty or a personal belief that it is wrong (but would still apply the law), you CAN'T be removed from the jury.

        •  OK, well I was screened out on a capital murder (0+ / 0-)

          case because I said I was opposed to it, though I told them I felt I could render a verdict fairly.  I suppose I did say that I could not vote for a death penalty sentence, so I was dismissed.

          It was a big case, the courtroom was full of attorneys, various court officers and staff, the defendant, and me, alone in the jury box explaining my views.  I was impressed they took such care to make a decision.

          •  Ah ok, but just to be clear, you were screened (1+ / 0-)
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            Be Skeptical

            out because you said you wouldn't apply the death penalty under any circumstances (that is, you are unable to apply the law), not because you expressed disapproval of it.  It seems like a trivial distinction, but it actually makes a world of difference.  If you were excluded simply because of your disapproval of the death penalty, the defendant is entitled to reversal of his conviction under Witherspoon v. Illinois.  

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