A new episode of the superpodcast Ask Pudge is now online for your listening pleasure. Feel free to Ask new questions of Pudge here, for future episodes.
1 : Do you know any of the lawyers, or the defendant, in this case; have you had any dealings with their law firms; or have you heard anything about them?
2 : The defendant, Mr. Libby is the former Chief of Staff and National Security Advisor of Vice President Cheney. Do you have feelings or opinions about the Bush Administration or any of its policies or actions, whether positive or negative, that might affect your ability to give a former member of the Bush Administration a fair trial?
3 : In July 2003, there were press accounts discussing former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's trip to Niger (a country in Africa) and his criticism of the Bush Administration concerning the reasoning for the United States going to war in Iraq. In those accounts it was revealed that former Ambassador Wilson's wife (Valerie Plame) worked at the Central Intelligence Agency (the CIA). After the articles were published, a federal investigation commenced to determine whether any violations of the law had been committed by the disclosure to the news media, and if so, who disclosed the information. Arising out of this investigation, was the issuance of the grand jury indictment charging Mr. Libby, who as I indicated was Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff and National Security Advisor, with obstruction of justice, perjury, and making false statements to Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agents and a grand jury resulting from statements Mr. Libby made during the investigation. Do you personally know anything about this case?
3b : Have you read or heard anything about this case in the news media?
3c : Is there anything that I have said about this case that may affect your ability to be fair and impartial in this case?
4 : Do you know anyone else in the courtroom, including any of your fellow jurors?
5 : Do you know any of the potential witnesses, and other individuals who may be mentioned during the trial?
6 : Some of the possible witnesses will be former and present members of the Bush Administration, including Vice President Richard Cheney. Would the fact that former or present members of the Bush Administration will be witnesses in this case impair your ability to be a totally fair and impartial juror?
6b : Would you have any difficulty fairly judging the believability of former or present members of the Bush Administration?
6c1 : Do you have any feelings or opinions about Vice President Cheney, whether positive or negative, that might affect your ability to be fair in this case or that might affect your ability to fairly judge Vice President Cheney's believability?
6c2 : Please describe any feelings you have about Vice President Cheney.
6c3 : Sir?
6c4 : Very well, please describe your thoughts about Vice President Cheney.
6c5 : Based on what you know at this time, do you believe that the administration misled the American people to justify going to war?
6c6 : Could you put the credibility of a Bush administration official on par with any of the other witnesses?
6c7 : Have you been following any of the recent political scandals involving Jack Abramoff, William Jefferson, Tom DeLay, Cynthia McKinney, or Mark Foley?
6c7 : Do you have particularly strong feelings about the war in Iraq?
6c8 : Fine. Please describe your thoughts about the war in Iraq.
6c9 : What is your political party preference? Democrat, Republican, Independent or other?
6d1 : So you are a Republican, but you do not have a preference for the Republican Party, and that you favor the war in Iraq. And yet you believe you would be fair and impartial in this case?
6d2 : If you were refereeing your son's basketball game, would you be a little bit more in favor of his team than the other team?
7 : Several witnesses who will testify in this case are members of the news media. Would you have any difficulty fairly judging the believability of a person who is a member of the news media?
7a1 : Do you read blogs?
7a2 : Which ones?
7a3 : What do you do for a living?
7a4 : Wait, you work for a popular blog, but don't read blogs?
7a5 : You have a degree in journalism? Did you ever work as a journalist?
7a5a : When? Anywhere since college?
7a5b : What types of stories have you covered?
7a6 : Do you feel you would be biased too much in favor of journalists?
7a7 : Do you feel you have any sympathy toward journalists that might bias you?
8 : Do you feel that you might have any difficulty being fair and impartial in this case due to the race or ethnicity of anyone who is involved in this case?
9 : Would you have any problems accepting and applying the legal principles of reasonable doubt, presumption of innocence, and burden of proof?
10 : Do you feel that a defendant should have to prove his innocence?
11 : Do you feel that merely because the defendant has been charged with criminal offenses in this case probably means that he is guilty?
12 : Every defendant in a criminal case has the absolute right not to testify, and if a defendant decides not to testify, you cannot in any way hold that against him or consider his decision not to testify in deciding whether the government has proven that he is guilty. Could you accept and follow this principle of law?
13 : A defendant is not required to call any witnesses. Would the decision by a defendant not to call witnesses cause you to conclude that he is guilty?
14 : If you are selected as a juror in this case, you must have the ability and the willingness to discuss the facts of the case with your fellow jurors during the jury's deliberations. Do you think you can do this?
15 : If you are selected as a juror in this case, you must have the ability to make your own independent decision about the defendant's guilt or innocence. Do you think you can do this?
16 : If you are selected as a juror in this case, you will be instructed that if you find that the government has proven beyond a reasonable doubt every element of an offense with which the defendant is charged, it is your duty to find the defendant guilty of that offense. On the other hand, if you find that the government has failed to prove any element of an offense beyond a reasonable doubt, you must find the defendant not guilty of that offense. Would you have a problem following this instruction?
17 : At this time, I want to ask you some questions about your beliefs or opinions about human memory. Do you believe that everyone's memory is like a tape recorder and therefore all individuals are able to remember exactly what they said and were told in the past?
17b : Do you feel that a person could not honestly say something about a matter he or she truly believed to be the truth when that person several months earlier actually said something totally different about that same matter?
17c : Do you believe that it is impossible for a person to mistakenly believe that he or she was told something by one person when in fact the person was actually told the information by someone totally different several months earlier?
17d : Do you believe that it is absolutely impossible for a person to believe very strongly that he or she has certain memories about something, even though it is determined that those memories are inaccurate?
18 : Would you have any difficulty fairly judging the credibility of a law enforcement witness?
19 : Have you, close friends, or close relatives ever served as a law enforcement official or applied for employment for such a position (a police officer, law enforcement officer, prosecutor, prison guard or official, probation officer, parole officer, or a private security officer or guard)?
20 : Have you, close friends, or relatives had interactions with the police or other law enforcement officials, whether positive or negative, that might impair your ability to give either side in this case a fair trial?
21 : Are you a lawyer or have you ever studied law?
22 : Have you, close friends or close relatives ever served as a defense attorney, defense investigator, or in some other capacity where you or they provided services to people charged with crimes, or applied for employment in such positions?
23 : Do you have any feelings about prosecutors, defense lawyers or people accused of crimes that might affect your ability to be a fair juror in this case?
24 : Have you or any of your close friends or relatives ever been employed or applied for employment with the CIA or any other national intelligence agency?
25 : Have you ever held a position in which you had access to classified information?
26 : Have you ever participated in any type of anti-crime activity or victims' rights organizations (neighborhood watch, the Orange Hats Program)?
27 : Have you ever participated in any type of inmate assistance or ex-offender programs?
28 : Have you ever participated in any efforts to either increase or lessen the punishment of individuals who are convicted of criminal offenses?
29 : Have you ever served as a grand juror or a petit juror in a criminal case?
30 : Have you, close friends, or close relatives ever been the victim of a crime, a witness to a crime, or someone charged with a crime, regardless of what may have happened to the case?
31 : Do you have any religious, moral or philosophical beliefs that would affect your ability to sit as a juror in a criminal case and be fair and impartial to both the government and the defendant?
32 : Do you have any health problems that might impair your ability to sit as a juror in this case?
33 : Are you taking medication that might impair your ability to sit as a juror in this case?
34 : Do you have any problems hearing or seeing?
35 : Do you have any problems understanding or speaking the English language?
36 : This trial could take up to 4 to 6 weeks to complete. Would you be unable to sit as a juror in this case due to the anticipated length of the trial?
37 : I anticipate there will be a fair amount of news and other media coverage about this case. One of the things you will have to do if you are selected as a juror in this case is to avoid all contact with the news or other media coverage of this case. Therefore, throughout the trial, if you are a member of the jury, you will not be able to read the newspaper before it is screened by court staff and you will have to avoid watching or listening to the news and any other media programs. Do you think you would be unable to do these things if you were selected as a juror?
38 : Do you for any reason feel you could not sit as a juror in this case and be fair to both parties?
38a : Judge, I'd like to excuse this juror for cause. He knows and thinks way too much. Thank you, your honor. And thank you for your time, sir.