Bill Text

Bill Information

PDF |Add To My Favorites |Track Bill | print page

AB-1541 Examination of prospective jurors.(2017-2018)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
Date Published: 04/24/2017 09:00 PM
AB1541:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 24, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 27, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1541


Introduced by Assembly Member Kalra

February 17, 2017


An act to amend Section 223 of the Code of Civil Procedure, relating to jurors.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1541, as amended, Kalra. Examination of prospective jurors.
Existing law requires the court, in a criminal case, to conduct the an initial examination of prospective jurors. Upon completion of this initial examination, existing law grants counsel for each party the right to examine any of the prospective jurors, as specified. Existing law authorizes the court to limit the oral and direct questioning of prospective jurors, as specified.
This bill would require the court to utilize, as part of voir dire in a criminal case, a written questionnaire that is to be completed by all prospective jurors who are not excused for hardship. hardship and to be provided to each party prior to oral questioning on voir dire. The bill would also authorize the court, in the exercise of its discretion, to limit the oral and direct questioning of the initial panel of prospective jurors by counsel to one hour by each party. require each party to receive at least one hour for oral questioning of the initial jury panel.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 223 of the Code of Civil Procedure is amended to read:

223.
 In a criminal case, the court shall conduct an initial examination of prospective jurors. As part of voir dire, the court shall utilize a written questionnaire, that may include questions approved by the Judicial Council, which shall be completed by each prospective juror who is not excused for hardship. Each party shall be provided a copy of the completed questionnaire prior to oral questioning on voir dire. The court may submit to the prospective jurors additional questions requested by the parties as it deems proper. Upon completion of the court’s initial examination, counsel for each party shall have the right to examine, by oral and direct questioning, any or all of the prospective jurors. The court may, in the exercise of its discretion, limit the oral and direct questioning of the initial panel of prospective jurors by counsel to one hour by each party. prospective jurors by counsel. The court may specify the maximum amount of time that counsel for each party may question an individual juror, or may specify an aggregate amount of time for each party, which can then be allocated among the prospective jurors by counsel. Each party shall have a minimum of one hour for oral questioning of the initial jury panel. Voir dire of any prospective jurors shall, where practicable, occur in the presence of the other jurors in all criminal cases, including death penalty cases. Examination of prospective jurors shall be conducted only in aid of the exercise of challenges for cause.
The trial court’s exercise of its discretion in the manner in which voir dire is conducted, including any limitation on the time which will be allowed for direct questioning of prospective jurors by counsel and any determination that a question is not in aid of the exercise of challenges for cause, is not cause for a conviction to be reversed, unless the exercise of that discretion results in a miscarriage of justice, as specified in Section 13 of Article VI of the California Constitution.