Error by Denying a Challenge for Cause In Texas

In Jones v. State, 982 S.W.2d 386 (Tex. Crim. App. 1998) the Court of Criminal Appeals overruled the standard that was previously applied in analyzing harm resulting from the erroneous granting of a challenge for cause. See id. at 394. The Court noted that the existing standard was contrary to the policy that courts should follow: the liberal granting of challenges for cause. See id. The Court asserted, "The venire comprises so many jurors who are clearly qualified that it is unnecessary to err by denying a challenge for cause on a close question." See id. The Court then adopted a new harm standard to be applied when a juror is erroneously excused. Such error will only require reversal if the record shows that the error deprived the defendant of a lawfully constituted jury. See id.