When a prosecutor asks a defense counsel a question in voir dire about rape and sexual assault, is the defense counsel's failure to object to the questions?

California, United States of America

The following excerpt is from People v. Mendoza, 24 Cal.4th 130, 6 P.3d 150, 99 Cal.Rptr.2d 485 (Cal. 2000):

Defense counsel's failure to object to these questions was not deficient performance, because the prosecutor's questions were within the bounds of proper voir dire. At the time of defendant's trial, permissible voir dire questions encompassed matters on which the population holds strong views that may affect deliberations, and included reasonable inquiries into specific prejudices as a basis for a challenge for cause. (People v. Noguera (1992) 4 Cal.4th 599, 645-646, 15 Cal. Rptr.2d 400, 842 P.2d 1160.)5 A question directed at obtaining knowledge as the basis for an exercise of a peremptory challenge, we said, was not objectionable "merely because of its additional tendency to indoctrinate or educate the jury." (People v. Williams (1981) 29 Cal.3d 392, 408, 174 Cal.Rptr. 317, 628 P.2d 869.) Here, the prosecution's questions concerning circumstantial evidence enabled it to learn whether prospective jurors could understand and draw inferences from such evidence; the questions regarding rape being an assaultive or sexually motivated crime and whether a rape of an elderly victim by a young man established mental illness

[99 Cal.Rptr.2d 510]

addressed possible specific biases prospective jurors might harbor and were matters about which members of the population could have strong views that could affect jury deliberations.

[99 Cal.Rptr.2d 510]

Other Questions

In what circumstances will a defense counsel object to a prosecutor's argument that a witness who withdrew from questioning because she was not engaging with the questioning, is entitled to continue questioning? (California, United States of America)
In what circumstances will the court require a defense counsel to object to a motion where the trial atmosphere was poisonous, and the defense counsel did not object at all? (California, United States of America)
When a prosecutor criticizes a defense attorney's conduct at trial, can the prosecutor be found guilty of misconduct if the prosecutor's arguments are not in the context of the defense counsel's conduct? (California, United States of America)
What is the test for a defense counsel's objection to an allegation of misconduct by a prosecutor in a sexual assault case? (California, United States of America)
Does a prosecutor's ineffective assistance of counsel result in defense counsel's failure to object? (California, United States of America)
Is a prosecutor's comment that defense counsel was seeking to "distract the jury from the evidence as an attack on counsel's integrity a fair response to defense counsel's remarks? (California, United States of America)
In a sexual assault case, in what circumstances would the jury have considered a defense counsel's closing argument that the prosecutor's rebuttal to the closing argument had the trial court sustained an objection? (California, United States of America)
Does a defense counsel's failure to object to a prosecutor's reasonableness comments necessarily constitute ineffective assistance of counsel? (California, United States of America)
What is the relevant evidence that the prosecutor and defense counsel may have to present to the jury at the penalty phase of a sexual assault case? (California, United States of America)
What is the test for a defense counsel's failure to object to the prosecutor's misstatements regarding provocation? (California, United States of America)

Whitelogo nobg 300dpi sm

"The most advanced legal research software ever built."

Trusted by top litigators from across North America.