criminal focus Death-Qualified Jurors: Is the Process Flawed? by Francie Koehler, CLI, CCDI “ 4 FAVOR DEATH? A little known but essential fact about serving as a juror on a capital case is that one is required to support execution by the State, a process referred to as “death qualifica-tion.” This qualification is a process whereby potential jurors are questioned about their beliefs concerning capital punishment (Capital Punishment in Context, Nd.). During voir dire , people summoned to serve as jurors are queried whether anything would prevent their fair and impartial determination when deciding an individual's fate, specifically on a death verdict (Butler, 2008). On its face, this concept seems to contradict a person's right to a jury of peers or jurors who are objective and without bias. Any individual with reservations about imposing death will most likely be disqualified (Basu, 2015; Butler, 2008; Conrad, 2000). A trial involving a capital offense is conducted as two trials. The first trial is to determine whether the accused is guilty or not guilty and is referred to as the guilt phase. If convict-ed, there is a second trial known as the penalty phase. The jury then hears evidence re-garding both the aggravating and mitigating factors concerning the defendant. During deliberation, the jury then decides whether the accused receives life in prison without any prospect of parole or receives death as punishment. In a capital trial, although the trial judge is the ultimate authority, the responsibility for sentencing lies on the shoul-ders of the jury. It is interesting to note that a capital trial is the only instance when the jury either decides the punishment or is even aware of the probable penalty. In all other criminal trials, the jury is prohibited from receiving any knowledge of the anticipated sentence (Kaufman, 2011). the legal investigator ARE THEY PREDISPOSED TO Is the process flawed? Surely there is a better way to move forward with capital crimes. An alternative would be to charge "special circumstances without a penalty of death."