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Jury Selection & Voir Dire

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This report summarizes the results of a Center survey of district court judges to assess the frequency with which jurors used social media to communicate during trials and deliberations in the past two years, and to identify strategies for curbing this behavior. The survey was conducted at the request of the Judicial Conference Committee on Court Administration and Case Management. The survey also assessed the frequency with which attorneys use social media to conduct research on potential jurors during voir dire. The survey is a follow-up to one conducted in 2011 on jurors’ use of social media; attorneys’ use of social media was not addressed in the original survey.

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The Benchbook is an ongoing compilation of information that federal judges have found useful for immediate bench or chambers reference in civil and criminal proceedings. It contains sections on such topics as assignment of counsel, taking guilty pleas, standard voir dire questions, sentencing, and contempt. The sixth edition, published March 2013, adds new sections on disclosure of exculpatory information under Brady v. Maryland, civil case management, and restraint of dangerous defendants (“shackling”). Also included are a complete revision of the sentencing section that now provides a sample sentencing “script” for judges to follow, Padilla-based warnings to non-citizen and sex offense defendants, and updated jury instructions that deal with jurors’ use of social media and electronic devices. The Benchbook is prepared under the guidance of experienced district judges and may be used on-line, downloaded to a computer or other electronic device, or printed out in loose-leaf format.
 

United States v. Batiste (S.D. Fla. 1:06-cr-20373).

This document is among Selected Orders and Other Case Documents that, in turn, are among the Center's resources on National Security Cases.

Archival Copy on File

An ongoing compilation of information that federal judges have found useful for immediate bench or chambers reference in civil and criminal proceedings. The Benchbook contains sections on such topics as assignment of counsel, taking guilty pleas, standard voir dire questions, sentencing, and contempt. It is prepared under the guidance of experienced district judges and is produced in loose-leaf format for easy supplementation. The fifth edition, published September 2007, includes new entries for the Crime Victims' Rights Act and preliminary injunctions, a revised grand jury charge, and updated plea and sentencing colloquies following United States v. Booker.

Superseded by Benchbook for U.S. District Court Judges, Sixth Edition (2013).

United States v. Holy Land Foundation (N.D. Tex. 3:04-cr-240).

This document is among Selected Orders and Other Case Documents that, in turn, are among the Center's resources on National Security Cases.

United States v. Benkahla (E.D. Va. 1:06-cr-9).

This document is among Selected Orders and Other Case Documents that, in turn, are among the Center's resources on National Security Cases.

United States v. Moussaoui (E.D. Va. 1:01-cr-455).

This document is among Selected Orders and Other Case Documents that, in turn, are among the Center's resources on National Security Cases.

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