A trial in the Criminal Courts of Nashville Davidson County had an interesting outcome Monday. Four individuals were on trial for aggravated kidnapping as well as some other charges. During jury selection , it became apparent to defense counsel that there might not be enough jurors left to finish the jury selection process . .The defense attorneys excused an entire round of 12 jurors. The court was left with no alternative but to reset the case due to the fact there was not enough jurors to finish the process.
You might ask yourself why would the lawyers bring the case to a halt. First , the move appears to be tactical. It was my understanding that there were no plea bargain offers extended. So , why not delay the trial. Delay is the oldest defense . Sometimes things happen with a case over time. Both sides of the case are given 8 peremptory challenges that can be used to strike jurors for any reason.The purpose of the challenges is to let each side pick a jury that will be fair and unbiased.If there aren’t enough jurors , the case stops and your client can’t be convicted.
What happens next in this case ? Well does the right to a speedy trial now at issue? Can the bond be revisited ? Has double jeopardy attached ? As to the double jeopardy argument probably not since the jurors were not sworn in yet.
The case was reset for discussion. Only time will tell if it was the right call.