If you are curious how the jurors are chosen for specific court cases, you need to know the ins and outs of jury selection. The court system does not just choose people randomly and have them sit in on an important trial – instead, there are many trial and error processes that you will have to go through so you can see if you are qualified for this specific court case. The judge and the attorneys will have to determine if you are eligible to sit in on trial and if you contain any biases that may prevent you from being able to judge the case.
Let’s see the basic 5-step process of jury selection and what you need to know!
5-step jury selection process
Go through the prerequisites
The first step of going through the jury selection process is to make sure those who are considered for the panel of jurors meet the basic prerequisites. These conditions have nothing to do with their views of the case or anything about their history – all it has to do with is making sure they are over 18 years old, they are a U.S. citizen, and they have the right to vote. Furthermore, they must be able to understand what the trial is about, understand the trial testimony, and be able to sit for the entire time the trial is occurring in the courtroom.
Voir dire process
The next step in the jury selection process is known as voir dire – this process is when the potential jurors go into the courtroom and sit in front of the judge who will be the head of the trial. The jurors will be analyzed to see if they can commit to the entirety of the court case, or if their personal/professional life impedes them from being able to stay for the duration of retrial. If someone has professional or personal commitments (i.e. sick family members), they might not qualify to be on the jury.
Question the jurors
The third step of the jury selection process is for the attorneys to question the jurors – the prosecuting and defense attorneys can both ask questions of the jurors to see how they respond to basic information regarding the trial. They will ask questions regarding the history of the jurors, their backgrounds, their biases, and anything that may discredit them.
Narrow down the list
The fourth step in the jury selection process is narrowing down the extensive list to a set of jurors that both the prosecuting and defense attorney can agree on.
Striking the jury
The last step in jury selection involves the prosecution and the defense attorneys both arguing about who they wanna have removed from the juror panel. Once both sides have “stricken” everyone who they do not want to be a part of the panel, the jury selection is complete.
The jury selection process is an important part of coming up with a jury of peers who can fairly analyze a person’s court case. By choosing people who are unbiased and able to provide a fair trial, the attorneys and judges can choose reputable jurors for the upcoming court case.