Libby Trial: Juror Pool

The court is in recess until 2:15 and the peremptory challenge round isn’t scheduled to get underway until 3. As Matt Apuzzo observes, though, the 36 candidates who made it past the for-cause challenges are an interesting lot:

Jurors in the CIA leak trial will be drawn from a pool that includes two men with advanced degrees from MIT, several retirees, an art historian, an opera singer and a number of people who have strong opinions about the Bush administration’s war policies.

A number of critics made it into the pool, however. Some doubted the president’s honesty about Iraq. Others questioned his policies. Most potential jurors didn’t have strong feelings, however, or said they could set them aside and be fair.

Defense attorneys can dismiss 12 jurors Monday afternoon for any reason. Prosecutors can dismiss eight.

It’s not quite true that they can be dismissed “for any reason,” as the Supreme Court has ruled that peremptory challenges can not be used with the apparent purpose of excluding members of particular racial groups (see Swain v. Alabama and Batson v. Kentucky) or genders (see J.E.B. v. Alabama).

Still, one presumes that those who have expressed bias one way or the other about the Bush administration will be summarily dismissed. The only way they got struck in the first round is if one side or the other could get them to admit that they likely wouldn’t be able to render a fair verdict.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Its always interesting to see which potential jurors get tossed by which side. And of course the order is key. The higher the number of the juror in the pool, the more likely the jury pool will be chosen before they are selected.

  2. madmatt says:

    And how exactly does this reflect the city this trial is held in? 60% white jury in a 90% black town….this is rigged from the start and proof is sitting in that jury box. Why shouldn’t theman be judged by bush critics, they make up 70: of the country these days.