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challenge for cause

n. a request that a prospective juror be dismissed because there is a specific and forceful reason to believe the person cannot be fair, unbiased or capable of serving as a juror. Causes include acquaintanceship with either of the parties, one of the attorneys or a witness, the potential juror's expression during voir dire (questioning of the prospective jurors) of inability to be unbiased due to prior experience in a similar case (having been convicted of drunk driving, being a battered wife, etc.), any obvious prejudice, or inability to serve (such as being mentally disturbed). The judge determines if the person shall be dismissed. Challenges and dismissal for cause differ from peremptory challenges, which each side may use to dismiss potential jurors without stating any reason.

See also: juror  jury  panel  peremptory challenge  venire  voir dire 

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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications