Starting January 1, 2015, all trial attorneys in the state of New Hampshire will have the right to question panels of prospective jurors as part of jury selection. Civil attorneys have been able to conduct panel voir dire since 2005. By signing the bill into law in June, Governor Maggie Hassan has extended the right to criminal attorneys.
Many criminal defense attorneys would agree that the best method for determining how to exercise peremptory challenges is through voir dire. This new law now gives criminal defense attorneys that ability, without needing to rely on a judge's discretion.
NH Superior Court Chief Justice, Tina Nadeau, said the process can lead to better justice in the state. She said, "I have to say that I do think it results in fairer juries." She further said that she encourages lawyers who conduct voir dire to ask the trial judge afterwards whether he or she thinks it was effective. Attorneys can also ask jurors for their feedback 30 days after the trial has concluded.
To see the full article announcing the new law, visit the New Hampshire Bar Association's website. Have you recently been accused of a crime in the state of New Hampshire? Immediately retaining an attorney will enable you to protect your rights. Contact a New Hampshire criminal defense lawyer at Wilson, Bush & Keefe, P.C. for immediate and effective legal representation.