Superior Court Observation

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Superior Court Observation

By | March 2010
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Business Law 115
Superior Court Observation
The Superior Court session I observed was an alcohol impairment case. The defendant in this case, had been found guilty in District Court, but had filed an appeal to the District Court’s decision. The morning began with the juryselection process. The potential juror pool began with approximately 30 people. The Clerk of Court, Wendy Williams,drew twelve names at random form a bowl to begin the selection process. Once the initial twelve names were pulled, both attorneys had the opportunity to “interview” thepotential jurors. The prosecution attorney, Emily Cowen, began the process by asking each person to givesome general background information on themselves. This information included where they were from, how long they had lived in the Hendersonville area, their maritalstatus, occupation, etc. After getting this information, the prosecutor asked questions, such as: Did they feel they could hear the case and form an unbiased opinion? Had they ever served on a jury in the past? Had they ever had any negative experiences with any law enforcement officer? Other questions were asked more specifically referring to the DUI, such as: Did they have any family or friends who had been charged with DUI? The defense attorney, J. Michael Edney, then had the opportunity toask his questions. His questions had an emphasis on items such as whether they had a problem with alcohol use, etc… After the initial questioning, three potential jurors were dismissed. One was dismisseddue to being a past victim of a drunk driver. The second was dismissed due to religious beliefs and the third was dismissed by the prosecutor for reasons that were not obvious to an observer. The Clerk of Court drew three more names from the bowl and those potential jurors were basically asked the same questions as the initial twelve. Of this group of three, the defense attorney dismissed two. The first was apparently dismissed because his brother had...