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NikkiSloan
09-05-2012, 12:29 AM
Two multi-part questions regarding Circuit Court trials in So. Florida.

Bail for character charged with 2nd degree homicide:
I've seen reference to pre-trial bail. If nothing changes, would bail be extended to allow the defendant to stay out on bail during his/her jury trial? If not, when does the pre-trial bail end - eg. at jury selection or Day One of a jury trial?


Jury Selection:
In my limited experience, the trial begins soon after jury selection is complete. Is this typical for a homicide trial?
If the trial has been scheduled and the jurors chosen, but something comes up causing a short (days or weeks) delay in the trial start date ... would the jury selection begin again from a fresh pool or would they call the originally selected jurors to sit?

Thanks in advance!

alleycat
09-05-2012, 12:34 AM
I can only tell you my experiences related to your second question (in Tennessee).

On the juries I've served on, the actual trial began soon after jury selection. I'm no expert, but I believe that one of the parties would have to have a VERY good reason for delaying the trial once it was underway. Those people in the black robes can be very irritable about someone messing up their court calendar. They are not going to let someone go off on a wild hunch or delay the trial because there MIGHT be new evidence; most cases takes months to get to trial anyway.

xC0000005
09-05-2012, 12:48 AM
My experience is worth exactly what you paid for it, but I got called (and selected) for a murder trial. Not one of those high profile, media driven cases, your more run of the mill, every day kind of murder.

Jury selection ended. We broke for lunch. Came back to begin, Lawyers reached plea deal.

WeaselFire
09-05-2012, 12:49 AM
Obviously bail is granted in a second degree homicide case, George Zimmerman is out on it right now. Bail only automatically ends when there is a violation of the terms or a case is closed, whether by conviction or not.

In Florida, juries are set at the beginning of the trial, so everyone is prepared for trial as soon as the jury is chosen. There should be no normal delay after that time. Sure, a hurricane could hit, the judge could be struck by lightning or whatever, but anything delaying more than a few days would be a mistrial and the jury disbanded.

Jeff

NikkiSloan
09-05-2012, 12:53 AM
Thank you Jeff!

And thanks to AlleyCat and xC0000005 for your thoughts.

jclarkdawe
09-05-2012, 02:59 AM
Two multi-part questions regarding Circuit Court trials in So. Florida.

Bail for character charged with 2nd degree homicide:
I've seen reference to pre-trial bail. If nothing changes, would bail be extended to allow the defendant to stay out on bail during his/her jury trial? If not, when does the pre-trial bail end - eg. at jury selection or Day One of a jury trial?

Bail can be granted or modified at any point prior to sentencing. And depending upon the circumstances, bail can be granted through appeals. Usually you would not change bail immediately before trial. A defendant in custody is a pain in the butt for the bailiffs, for a bunch of different reasons. Only reason you'd cancel it immediately before trial is major misconduct by the defendant.

Normally bail will be ended when the jury gives its verdict. This will be done after the jury is dismissed from the courtroom and escorted back to the jury room. This is done during the time gap to the jury of waiting in the jury room until the judge comes in to thank them. Sometimes the judge will revoke the defendant's bail prior to the jury leaving the room. But it's not a big issue to wait a few minutes, as the bailiffs immediately block the doors (subtly) as soon as the jury says "guilty." The bailiffs know what's coming down.

Jury Selection:
In my limited experience, the trial begins soon after jury selection is complete. Is this typical for a homicide trial?
If the trial has been scheduled and the jurors chosen, but something comes up causing a short (days or weeks) delay in the trial start date ... would the jury selection begin again from a fresh pool or would they call the originally selected jurors to sit?

Jury selection is only done after the parties have the case prepared, or the judge isn't going to grant any more continuances. The judge and attorneys already have blocked out the expected length of the trial in their calendars. Very rarely something major will come up, like a death in family or illness, but this is only going to be for a couple of days. If the trial has to be delayed for weeks, it will be continued and a new jury will be selected.

New evidence that comes up has to be dealt with around the trial. You meet with new witnesses after court or early in the morning. Very, very rarely will something come up that requires the trial to be continued and the jury will be called back after that continuance.

Thanks in advance!

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

NikkiSloan
09-05-2012, 07:55 PM
Thanks, Jim!
I'm thinking death in the family of the defense attorney (not one of these dream teams, just one guy). But I have some flexibility in the timing and might have it happen before jury selection begins.

Good to know, though, just in case I run into plotting trouble.