The opinion of the court was delivered by: Garland E. Burrell, Jr. United States District Judge
ORDER RE: PROPOSED TRIAL DOCUMENTS
Attached are the voir dire questions and preliminary jury instructions.
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
VALETTA McMURRAY, Plaintiff, v. COUNTY OF SACRAMENTO; DEPUTY SHERIFF JAVIER BUSTAMANTE, and DEPUTY SHERIFF L. CULP, Defendants.
Thank you for your presence and anticipated cooperation in the jury selection questioning process we are about to begin. This process concerns the right to a trial by jury under the constitutional.
The court personnel who will assist me in this trial are on the platform below me. The Courtroom Deputy is Shani Furstenau. She is on the platform below me on my left side. Next to her is the Certified Court Reporter, Kimberly Bennett.
We are about to begin what is known as voir dire. The purpose of voir dire is to ascertain whether you can be a fair and impartial juror on this case. Near or at the end of the process, each party can use a certain amount of what are called peremptory challenges, which excuse a potential juror from sitting as a juror on this case. A potential juror can also be excused for other reasons.
1. Ms. Furstenau, please administer the oath to the panel.
2. Counsel, the Jury Administrator has already randomly selected potential jurors and placed their names on the sheet that has been given to each party in the numerical sequence in which they were randomly selected. Each juror has been placed in his or her randomly-selected seat.
3. I will ask a series of questions to the jurors as a group. If you have a response, please raise your hand or the number you've been given, which reflects your seat number. Generally, you will be given an opportunity to respond in accordance with the numerical order in which you are seated, with the juror in the lowest numbered seat responding first. If no hand is raised, I will simply state "no response" for the record and then ask the next question. If you know it is your turn to respond to a question, you may respond before I call your name or your seat number, by stating your last name or just your seat number, then your response. That should expedite the process.
4. This is a civil case, concerning the tasing and subsequent fatal shooting of Damion McMurray on the afternoon of October 15, 2008. The allegations are against two Sacramento County Sheriff's Deputies who responded to a call for service at the Dry Creek Apartments in Rio Linda, California. The plaintiff, Valetta McMurray, is the mother of Damion McMurray. She is claiming violations of civil rights under federal law and a state law wrongful death claim. Defendants deny liability.
Raise your hand if there anything about the allegations which causes you to feel that you might not be a fair juror in this case.
5. The parties have informed me that the evidence and argument portion of the trial should be completed in approximately ______ court days, after which the case will be submitted to the jury for jury deliberation. We will be in trial on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to about 4:30 p.m. But as soon as you begin jury deliberation, you will be expected to deliberate every day, except weekends, from 9:00 a.m. to about 4:30 p.m. until you complete your deliberation.
If you cannot participate as juror during these times, raise your hand.
6. Would plaintiff's counsel introduce herself, her client, and indicate any witness that her client may choose to call.
7. Defendants' counsel now has the opportunity to do the same thing.
Raise your hand if you know or have had any interaction with any person just introduced or named.
8. Raise your hand if you would tend to believe the testimony of a witness just because that witness is a law enforcement ...