Striking a Prospective Juror In Virginia
In Virginia, a defendant in a criminal case "is entitled to a panel of jurors free from exception before exercising peremptory challenges." Cressell v. Commonwealth, 32 Va. App. 744, 755, 531 S.E.2d 1, 6 (2000).
"Any reasonable doubt as to a juror's qualifications must be resolved in favor of the accused." Breeden v. Commonwealth, 217 Va. 297, 298, 227 S.E.2d 734, 735 (1976).
"On appellate review, we give deference to the trial court's determination whether to exclude a prospective juror, because the trial court was able to see and hear each member of the venire respond to the questions posed." Lovitt v. Commonwealth, 260 Va. 497, 510, 537 S.E.2d 866, 875 (2000).
"Thus, we review a trial court's decision whether to strike a prospective juror for cause for an abuse of discretion and that ruling will not be disturbed on appeal unless it appears from the record that the trial court's action constitutes manifest error." Cressell, 32 Va. App. at 755, 531 S.E.2d at 6.
"In conducting our review, we consider the juror's entire voir dire, not merely isolated statements." Lovitt, 260 Va. at 510, 537 S.E.2d at 875.