Click Here for Free Consultation

The Arizona Assault Defense Attorney’s Problem with Jury Bias and Hate Crime

Jury selection can be a complicated component in the defense strategy of an assault defense attorney in Arizona. A recent case brought up a string or jury excuses that were far from run of the mill, many of them relating to racial tension and the issue of illegal immigration. Out of a selection of 130 perspective jurors, only 5 were selected and the rest were excused. Either they didn’t meet the requirements of the prosecution, or they posed legitimate concern to the assault defense attorney of the accused.

The case involved Jeffrey Conroy, 19, who had been accused of killing Marcelo Lucero, a 37 year old Ecuadorian immigrant who had been stabbed to death in a hate crime. Lucero was attacked by 7 teenagers who allegedly made a sport of targeting immigrants. Lucero’s death prompted outrage and exposed the racial tensions of region, and many Latinos came forward to speak out about a string of muggings that had been aimed at Hispanics in the area. It created a scenario that made it hard for his assault defense attorney to find an unbiased jury which to try him.

As Conroy went on trial, jury selection proved difficult, partly because of the views on immigration that were held by some perspective members of the jury, as well as those who might have been motivated out of racial concerns. Certain points of jury selection had the sound of a call in talk radio show as perspective jurors were interviewed by the prosecution and the assault defense attorney.

Most of the jury responses answered questions posed by Justice Doyle. He pointed out that some testimony would be provided by illegal immigrants, and that the potential witnesses that have been named in court include some or all of the other men who participated in the attack and have since pleaded guilty.

Several potential jurors were dismissed because they had strong views on illegal immigration and would be unable to respond in an unbiased way, a dismissal made in the interest of the prosecution. Others were excused because they had Hispanic family members or were Hispanic themselves and might therefore side with the victim and his family in a way that prevented an unbiased viewpoint, a dismissal made in the interest of the assault defense attorney.

Still others stated they had followed the case in the news, and had already formed sound judgments as to Conroy’s guilt or innocence.

For example, one man confided that he grew up in a racist environment and that he doubted his ability to render a fair and impartial decision. Another had been the victim of verbal abuse aimed at his Puerto Rican heritage, which he allowed could affect the decision he made in the jury box.

Plus, as any assault defense attorney realizes, people often answer jury questions in an effort to appear to have a bias, simply to get out of serving on a jury. Jury duty isn’t as exciting as a courtroom drama on television. While serving on a jury may be a citizenship duty, it is no picnic.

These are challenges that are always presented in any case to an assault defense attorney of Arizona and prosecution team in finding an unbiased jury, but they become even greater in the instance of hate crime that involves racial issues.

About the Author
David Michael Cantor is an AV rated (the highest possible rating) lawyer and a Certified Criminal Law Specialist per the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. For more information about an Arizona assault defense attorney, visit our site.

Call Us 24/7 (602) 307-0808
or
Request a Free Consultation

Fill out the form below to receive a free and confidential initial consultation.

Click here for important legal disclaimer.

CURRENT/PAST ASSOCIATIONS & AWARDS


10.0 Superb Rating AVVO Criminal Defense

10.0 Superb Rating
AVVO Criminal Defense

AV-Highest Rated Preeminent Lawyers Martindale-Hubbell

AV-Highest Rated Preeminent Lawyers
Martindale-Hubbell


Life Member
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Super Lawyer Criminal & DUI Defense

Super Lawyer
Criminal & DUI Defense


Board Certified in DUI Defense Law **
National College for DUI Defense

Ranking Arizona

Voted #1 (2020)
Ranking Arizona

Nation's Top 1% Attorney National Association of Distinguished Counsel

Top 1% Attorney
National Association of Distinguished Counsel

Top 100 Trial Lawyers (Criminal Defense) American Trial Lawyers Association

Top 100 Trial Lawyers
(Criminal Defense)

American Trial Lawyers Association

Top 10 DUI/DWI Law Firm American Institute of DUI / DWI Attorneys

Top 10 DUI/DWI Law Firm
American Institute of DUI / DWI Attorneys

Client Satisfaction Award American Institute of DUI / DWI Attorneys

Client Satisfaction Award
American Institute of DUI / DWI Attorneys

Top 100 Lawyer American Society of Legal Advocates

Top 100 Lawyer
American Society of Legal Advocates

Member National College for DUI Defense

Member
National College for DUI Defense

Top 10 Attorney National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys

Top 10 Attorney
National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys

Charter Member Trial Masters

Charter Member
Trial Masters

Member DUI Defense Lawyers Association

Member
DUI Defense Lawyers Association

Lifetime Charter Member Best Attorneys of America

Lifetime Member
Best Attorneys of America

Member American Bar Foundation

Member
American Bar Foundation

Sustaining Member Arizona Trial Lawyers Association

Sustaining Member
Arizona Trial Lawyers Association

America's Top 100 Criminal Defense Attorneys

Member
America's Top 100 Criminal Defense Attorneys

Member American Association for Justice

Member
American Association for Justice

Life Member Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice

Life Member
Arizona Attorneys for Criminal Justice

Superior DUI Attorney National Advocacy for DUI Defense

Superior DUI Attorney
National Advocacy for DUI Defense

Superior DUI Attorney National Advocacy for DUI Defense

2019 Litigator of the Year
(Criminal Law)

American Institute of Trial Lawyers

Member Since 1989 American Bar Association

Member Since 1989
American Bar Association

DUI Expertise

Best DUI Lawyers in Phoenix
Expertise

DM Cantor

Call 24/7 602-307-0808

40 N Central Ave, Ste 2300
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Click here for Directions

For Family Law questions please go to Cantor Law Group.

"We Outwork the Other Side™"
"We Outwork the Other Guys™"

Call Now Button