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A party selecting jurors for trial must be given latitude to intelligently use its peremptory challenges to seat a jury that, to the greatest extent possible, is free from bias. Here, because the trial court refused to allow two permissible lines of questioning, we reverse the court of appeals’ judgment upholding the trial court’s ruling and remand this case for a new trial.

This is an appeal from a civil commitment proceeding in which a jury found Seth Hill to be a sexually violent predator. See TEX. HEALTH & SAFETY CODE ch. 841 (providing for the civil commitment of certain violent sexual offenders). The State had the burden to prove that Hill (1) was a “repeat sexually violent offender” and (2) “suffer[ed] from a behavioral abnormality” that made him “likely to engage in a predatory act of sexual violence.” Id. § 841.003. As such, much of Hill’s trial focused on his sexual history, which formed the basis for the State’s expert witness’s conclusion that Hill suffered from a behavioral abnormality. During its pretrial deposition of Hill, the State explored Hill’s sexual activity with other inmates in an all-male facility. In the deposition, Hill admitted to these acts. The State’s expert testified at trial that “if somebody has heterosexual preferences and then they later begin practicing homosexual acts, it infers that there is an instability within their personality which again, is more evidence of why I diagnosed [Hill] with a personality disorder.”

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