Both the State of Oklahoma and the defendant(s) are entitled to jurors who approach this case with open minds and agree to keep their minds open until a verdict is reached. Jurors must be as free as humanly possible from bias, prejudice, or sympathy. Jurors must not be influenced by preconceived ideas as to the facts or as to the law.

From this point until the conclusion of this trial, do not discuss this case with any other person, including family and friends. You should not read or listen to any media discussing this case nor research this case in any way, including through the internet or any other tools of technology. Nor should you use any of these means to communicate to others about the case. It is important that this case be decided solely on the evidence you receive in this courtroom.

You are undoubtedly qualified to serve as a juror but you may not be qualified to serve as a juror in this particular case. Hence, the law permits unlimited challenges for cause. Moreover, the law grants both the State and the defendant(s) 3/5/9 peremptory challenges. A peremptory challenge permits either the State or the defendant to excuse a prospective juror for any reason allowed by law. If you are excused from being a juror in this particular case, it is no reflection on you. You well may be chosen to serve as a juror in another case.

Committee Comments

The United States Supreme Court has held that the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits peremptory challenges on the basis of race or gender. J.E.B. v. Alabama ex rel. T.B., 511 U.S. 127, 130-31 (1994) (gender); Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79, 85-86 (1986) (race). See also Purkett v. Elem, 514 U.S. 765, 767 (1995) (setting out 3 step analysis that trial court should use in ruling on objection to peremptory challenge); Powers v. Ohio, 499 U.S. 400, 402 (1991) (criminal defendant may object to race-based peremptory challenges even though the excluded jurors and the criminal defendant are not of the same race); Neill v. State, 1994 OK CR 69, ¶ ¶ 17-23, 896 P.2d 537, 546-47 (procedure for ruling on objections to peremptory challenges); Black v. State, 1994 OK CR 4, ¶ ¶ 16-17, 871 P.2d 35, 41 (Batson hearing was required even though some black jurors remained on the jury); Green v. State, 1993 OK CR 30, ¶ ¶ 6-9, 862 P.2d 1271, 1272-73 (applying Powers v. Ohio).

(2013 Supp.)