Judge Defends Peremptory Challenges
A Poughkeepsie judge, George Marlow, reminded listeners during a Law Day speech that "the jury system is our best hope for justice most often and our best protection against tyranny." He also spoke out against proposals to limit both the questioning of potential jurors and the exercise peremptory challenges (the ability to strike prospective jurors who seem to a lawyer to be potentially unfair).
"What could ever be more critical to a fair trial than a nonpolitical, impartial, patient, fair and decent jury of free women and men?" Marlow said. "A jury may be picked by the smartest, most prepared lawyers on this planet. But if there are a few wolves in sheep's clothing seated in that box and the lawyers aren't given the leeway to ferret them out ... no amount of competent lawyering can ever prevent the oncoming train of injustice these wolves may be driving."
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