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West Virginia House Opposes Change in Selecting Jurors

juror box
Wikimedia Commons

West Virginia's House has voted down legislation that would have reduced the number of potential jurors that a defendant can remove before trial while increasing the number prosecutors can strike.juror box

Under current law, defendants can reject six jurors while prosecutors can reject two.

The bill defeated 58-40 would have limited defendants to five challenges while allowing prosecutors three.

Del. Justin Marcum, a Williamson Democrat and former prosecutor, urged colleagues to vote against the change.

He says prosecutors already have large advantages over defendants including deep pockets and the ability to run criminal background checks on all potential jurors.

Del. Roger Hanshaw, a Wallback Republican backing the change, says only eight other states give this advantage to defendants, though federal trials allow them 10 juror strikes and prosecutors six.

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