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DNA - A Prosecutor’s Practice Notebook Inventory

Strategic Voir Dire

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Introduction to Strategic Voir Dire

Photo of jurors discussing dna evidence
National Institute of Justice (NIJ) (see reuse policy).

Many potential jurors are familiar with the forensic applications of DNA evidence through popular television programming and will acknowledge it as a valuable tool in seeking justice. During voir dire, it is important for the prosecutor to elicit jurors' expectations about DNA and the source of their knowledge. This process will allow the prosecutor to educate jurors regarding common non-forensic uses of DNA typing, such as medical applications, paternity, mass disaster identification, and the identification of military personnel. Jurors' understanding of DNA and its many non-forensic applications is critical. It enhances the credibility and reliability the evidence holds with them. 

In this topic you will learn about conducting a preliminary examination of prospective jurors to determine their competence or suitability as a member of the jury. Prosecutors in states where attorney voir dire of potential jurors is not allowed will gain insight into common juror concerns and potential areas that can be addressed throughout the use of written questions submitted to the court for consideration.

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