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Southfield, Mich. — Nov. 30, 2015 — Neil Rockind, founder of Southfield-based criminal defense law firm, Rockind Law and author of the essay and TEDx presentation, Joy of the Jury, notes that jury selection in high profile police shooting and brutality cases, such as the Baltimore police incident with Freddie Gray, create jury selection challenges for both prosecutors and defense attorneys.
“Jury selection is the most important part of a trial. It is the primary opportunity for lawyers to engage the jurors and get a better understanding of their thought process,” Rockind said. “The challenge of jury selection in police brutality cases is that each side is trying to find jurors that it would not typically seek. The defense is looking for law and order types while the state wants jurors who agree that police officers need to be treated the same as other defendants in criminal trials.”
At the same time, Rockind also notes the pressure on both sides of the law to uphold and preserve the sanctity of the jury as the backbone of the U.S. legal system.
“The overarching responsibility with jury selection, and indeed the trial itself in the Baltimore case and other similarly police brutality and shooting cases, is to protect the integrity of the criminal justice system,” Rockind said. “In cases like this, the public pressure for the jury to get justice for the victim is immense – and challenging. Is there a fear of riots if they acquit? How about showing your face on your block or in your church? There is so much pressure to reach a verdict for the wrong reasons, and the lawyers can’t be afraid to address those pressures.”
Rockind is also a contributing author of the commentary and practice tips section of the Michigan Standard Jury Instructions book published by the Institute of Continuing Legal Education (ICLE).
About Rockind Law
Rockind Law is a Southfield, Michigan-based criminal defense law firm aggressively pursuing justice for individuals facing criminal charges, including white collar crime, drunk driving, narcotics and assault. To find out more about the firm’s services and resources, visit http://www.rockindlaw.com/.