There are several facets of the criminal justice system that can have a profound effect on your case. One of these is the selection of a jury if you are facing a criminal trial. Understanding how the jury is selected can help you to better understand what is going on.
There are two types of jury selections that occur. The first of these is the random selection of possible jurors. This is done through jury duty notices that are sent out randomly to people on the lists that the federal or state district maintains for business purposes. The notices that are sent out include information that includes a date and time that the person must appear for jury duty.
The second type of jury selection is a more deliberate process. In this case, the attorneys and the court have to narrow down the possible jurors to the jury of 12 members that will hear the case. It is crucial for the potential jurors to be interviewed to determine if each one can properly serve on the jury without prejudice. Interview questions can include those that have to do with their background and beliefs.
As the jury selection process moves forward, the attorneys can challenge the suitability of each juror. This is done if the attorney thinks there is something about the juror that would lead him or her to be prejudiced about the case.
If you are facing a jury trial, make sure that your attorney is keeping your interests in mind during the jury selection. For example, if you are accused of hitting a police officer, you probably wouldn’t want a police officer as a member of the jury.
Source: FindLaw, “How Are Potential Jurors Selected?,” accessed April 01, 2016