Rule 6.412 Selection of the Jury

(A) Selecting and Impaneling the Jury. Except as otherwise provided by the rules in this subchapter, MCR 2.510 and 2.511 govern the procedure for selecting and impaneling the jury.

(B) Instructions and Oath Before Selection. Before beginning the jury selection process, the court should give the prospective jurors appropriate preliminary instructions and must have them sworn.

(C) Voir Dire of Prospective Jurors.

(1) Scope and Purpose. The scope of voir dire examination of prospective jurors is within the discretion of the court. It should be conducted for the purposes of discovering grounds for challenges for cause and of gaining knowledge to facilitate an intelligent exercise of peremptory challenges. The court should confine the examination to these purposes and prevent abuse of the examination process.

(2) Conduct of the Examination. The court may conduct the examination of prospective jurors or permit the lawyers to do so. If the court conducts the examination, it may permit the lawyers to supplement the examination by direct questioning or by submitting questions for the court to ask. On its own initiative or on the motion of a party, the court may provide for a prospective juror or jurors to be questioned out of the presence of the other jurors.

(D) Challenges for Cause.

(1) Grounds. A prospective juror is subject to challenge for cause on any ground set forth in MCR 2.511(D) or for any other reason recognized by law.

(2) Procedure. If, after the examination of any juror, the court finds that a ground for challenging a juror for cause is present, the court on its own initiative should, or on motion of either party must, excuse the juror from the panel.

(E) Peremptory Challenges.

(1) Challenges by Right. Each defendant is entitled to 5 peremptory challenges unless an offense charged is punishable by life imprisonment, in which case a defendant being tried alone is entitled to 12 peremptory challenges, 2 defendants being tried jointly are each entitled to 10 peremptory challenges, 3 defendants being tried jointly are each entitled to 9 peremptory challenges, 4 defendants being tried jointly are each entitled to 8 peremptory challenges, and 5 or more defendants being tried jointly are each entitled to 7 peremptory challenges. The prosecutor is entitled to the same number of peremptory challenges as a defendant being tried alone, or, in the case of jointly tried defendants, the total number of peremptory challenges to which all the defendants are entitled.

(2) Additional Challenges. On a showing of good cause, the court may grant one or more of the parties an increased number of peremptory challenges. The additional challenges granted by the court need not be equal for each party.

(F) Oath After Selection. After the jury is selected and before trial begins, the court must have the jurors sworn.