If you are preparing for a criminal trial, it is normal to feel some nervousness over the jury selection process—one important detail to keep in mind that jurors have to represent a cross-section of the community.
According to the United States Courts, the jury selection process cannot target people of a certain race, age, national origin or political affiliation.
Juries in a criminal trial
In a criminal jury, there are 12 jurors and their alternates. The jury listens to the details of the case, witness testimony, arguments for and against your case and determines the outcome. Juries have to reach a unanimous decision to reach a guilty verdict. The burden is on the prosecution to prove that you committed a crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
Jury selection before a criminal trial
The jury selection process is random. Every district randomly selects citizen’s names. These lists may come from registered voters or driver’s licenses from a specific district. When randomly selected, the potential juror fills out a questionnaire. The questionnaire determines his or her qualifications. If qualified, the juror appears for jury duty.
Jury selection from the jury pool
If someone receives a summon for jury service, it does not mean that he or she will serve on the jury. When the court summons a group of qualified jurors, they go to the courtroom to speak with the judge and the attorneys. The attorneys and judge will ask the potential jurors different questions. The questions narrow down the jurors. Those selected cannot have strong prejudices about those involved in the case. Likewise, the jury cannot have a connection to the case. Attorneys can dismiss jurors for any reason.
When it comes to a criminal jury, it may not be necessary to negotiate a plea or plea negotiation.