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How is the Jury Selected?

how is jury selected

Jury duty may sound confusing if you’re a newly registered voter or have just received your first jury summons. You may be curious about the entire jury selection process and what purpose you will serve to the court.

If you’re wondering how the court builds its jury panel for a specific case, however, then this blog post will summarize everything you need to know about the jury selection process and answer your questions.

What is a Jury?

During criminal or civil litigation, the court will contact a random group of people to serve as jury members. The purpose of these selected individuals is to act as impartial decision-makers and to determine the guilt or innocence of the defendant in criminal cases or make a ruling on civil matters.

Generally, there are two types of juries, and they are:

  • Trial jury: Often called petit jury, this civil or criminal jury comprises six to twelve jurors. The trial is often conducted in public, but deliberations are made in private.
  • Grand jury: This jury is often called when dealing with federal criminal charges. This jury is usually made up of 16 to 23 individuals, and they help the judge to determine probable cause for the defendant to commit the crime.

Are Juries Different Across the U.S.? Does Every State Have Different Jury Setups?

Although most juries in the United States follow the general structure, some states have different requirements when looking for prospective jurors.

For example, an individual with a previous conviction or a criminal offense history cannot serve as a jury member in New Jersey. In contrast, an individual with a history of a felony conviction may qualify for jury duty in California. This new ruling in California was enacted in Senate Bill 310.

How is Jury Selected in New Jersey?

If you’re curious about the jury selection process of the New Jersey court, here’s a simple guide to help you:

  • Jury Pool: Potential jurors are determined using a source list or a national database, such as the voter registration records. Prospective jurors are selected randomly using a comprehensive system that initially qualifies all prospects.
  • Jury Summons: If you’re part of the jury pool, you will receive a formal letter summoning you to the court for peremptory challenges. If you’re dealing with a significant life event, you may request to be excused from jury duty.
  • Voir Dire: During the voir dire, the trial judge, defense attorney, and other participants of the jury selection process will may ask questions of all potential jurors to determine if they can be fair and impartial jurors. Attorneys may strike jurors by exercising two types of challenges, which are: the challenge for cause and a peremptory challenge.
  • Jury Service: If you’re chosen after the voir dire, you will join the jury box and help the judge prosecute the criminal or civil defendant.

How to Know if You’ve Been Called for Jury Duty

If you’re a potential juror, you’ve received an official summons from the court to complete their impartial jury. You may relieve yourself from jury duty if you meet one of the state’s qualifications to decline jury duty.

Contact Rossetti, DeVoto, PC for More Information

If you’re dealing with a personal injury lawsuit and about to undergo a jury trial, our experienced personal injury attorneys can help. Contact us now to schedule your free case evaluation with one of our proficient personal injury lawyers! To read more of our content, visit our Blog Page!

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