A review of Standefer v. State, 59 S.W.3d 177 (Tex. Crim. App. 2001).

jury selection

What is a commitment question?

A question that binds or commits a prospective juror to a verdict based on a hypothetical set of facts is a commitment question. “Often, such questions ask for a “yes” or “no” answer, in which one or both of the possible answers commits the jury to resolving an issue a certain way.”

When is a commitment question proper?

Questions that include facts that are necessary to establish challenge for cause are proper, even though they are commitment questions.

When is a commitment question improper?

To be proper, then, a commitment question must contain only those facts necessary to test whether a prospective juror is challengeable for cause.