The Jury Process
Most people audibly groan when they see the jury summons arrive in their mailbox. We get it. But our jury system is one of the crucial aspects of our society, and is what sets our nation apart from others.
By participating in the jury process, you are ensuring that our society continues to be fair and equitable for all who live here.
When someone becomes a juror, they become the voice and conscience of the community. The process of jury selection is complex, but here are the basics of what you can expect when you receive your summons.
- You’ll be given a date and time to arrive at the courthouse, be assigned a number, and be shown to a room with other potential jurors. The group of potential jurors are called the “venire.”
- Someone in the court system will explain the differences between civil vs criminal cases.
- Upon arriving to the courtroom the voir dire process will be explained by the judge. Voir dire is french for “to speak the truth” and it’s the process by which the judge or lawyers question the venire to see who will serve on the jury.
- Following the explanation of the process, the potential jurors will be asked various questions to identify any potential biases, prejudices, or preconceived beliefs that might affect the outcome of the case.
- Once questions have been asked and answered, each legal team will have the option to remove a few potential jurors from the pool. Attorneys do not have final say in the who actually sits on the jury, but they do have the opportunity to ask the court to remove jurors whose answers reveal that they may not be a good fit for the case.
- The final jury is chosen when the judge draws names from the group of potential jurors who have not been dismissed.