If you are facing a criminal trial, there are a lot of factors that you have to think about. One of these is who is going to sit on the jury that will hear and decide your case. Jury selection is a big part of this process, so learning a bit about the process can help you as you go through the process of selecting jurors.
There are two phases to the jury selection process. The first is a completely random process. The governing authority pulls information from various rolls that the state maintains. Random people are selected to report for jury duty. These jurors have to report to the formal selection process unless they are excused ahead of time.
The second phase of the jury selection process is more involved. In this phase, the prosecutor and the defense attorney work with the judge to find the participants of the jury. During this phase, potential jurors are usually interviewed to find out more about them and their beliefs.
As jurors are interviewed, attorneys can challenge the juror. Each side has a predetermined number of peremptory challenges, which means the side doesn’t want the juror on the jury. A reason doesn’t have to be given if one side opts to use one of these challenges.
Another challenge is the challenge for cause. In this case, the side would state the reason they don’t feel the person should sit on the jury. This could be because they have ties to the case, such as a former police officer sitting on a jury for a person accused of attacking an officer.
The jury selection process is very involved and can have a profound impact on your case. Be sure that you understand what is going on at each step.
Source: FindLaw, “How Are Potential Jurors Selected?,” accessed Jan. 26, 2017