In the Derek Chauvin case, two jurors were recently dismissed because they were aware of the fact that Minneapolis paid a $27 million settlement to the family of George Floyd.

How do lawyers go about determining if a juror will be impartial with regards to recent bombshell info? It seems impossible to ask about without tainting the juror yourself. "Minneapolis recently paid a huge settlement to George Floyd's family, will that effect your ability to be impartial?" seems like a counter-productive question to ask. The last thing you want to do is tell them about it, but I don't see any way to ask about it without telling them.

The Chauvin case is just what inspired the question, I'm interested in the topic in general.

1 Answer 1


The process is mostly straightforward. The court or the attorneys will ask jurors questions during voir dire, and the jurors will answer.

The court may conclude that merely having knowledge of some fact is disqualifying and therefore excuse the juror. If knowledge of some fact is not inherently problematic, the court will inquire further, asking specifically whether the juror can evaluate the case impartically despite having that information. Jurors who say yes will generally be permitted to stay on; jurors who say no will be excluded.

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