How to Become a Juror in USA

urors spend hours and hours in courtrooms, not to speak a word, but without them most of the trial could not be held. Jury selection in the United States is the choosing of members of grand juries and petite juries for the purpose of conducting trial by jury in the United States.

In the federal system, jury selection is governed by the Jury Selection and Service Act and by the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure in criminal cases, and by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in civil cases. In capital cases, each side gets 20 peremptory strikes. In other felony cases, the defendant gets 10 peremptory strikes and the government gets 6. In misdemeanor cases, each side has 3 peremptory strikes. A lawyer may “passively” review a potential juror who are committed to improving the effectiveness of their law firm marketing. 

Selecting the Jury

380344787Juries of six to twelve persons are selected from the jury pool. The size of jury varies from state to state and depends to some extent on the type of case at trial. In many jurisdictions, jury selection begins with the court clerk’s calling twelve people on the jury list and asking them to take a place in the jury box. The judge usually makes a brief statement explaining what kind of case is to be tried and inquiring whether there is any reason the potential jurors cannot serve. The judge or the lawyers then ask them questions as to whether they have any knowledge of the case or have had specific experiences that might cause them to be biased or unfair. This questioning of the potential jurors is known as voir dire (to speak the truth).


Juror Qualifications

To be legally qualified for jury service, an individual must be a United States citizen; be at least 18 years of age; reside primarily in the judicial district for one year; be adequately proficient in English to satisfactorily complete the juror qualification form; have no disqualifying mental or physical condition; not currently be subject to felony charges punishable by imprisonment for more than one year; and never have been convicted of a felony (unless civil rights have been legally restored).

Peremptory Challenges

In addition to challenges for cause, each lawyer has a specific number of peremptory challenges. These challenges permit a lawyer to excuse a potential juror without stating a cause. In effect, they allow a lawyer to dismiss a juror because of a belief that the juror will not serve the best interests of the client. Peremptory challenges are limited to a certain number determined by the kind of lawsuit being tried. They can’t be used to discriminate on the basis of race or sex.

When both parties have agreed upon a jury, the jurors are sworn in to try the case by the court clerk. Those not selected are excused.

There are Three Groups that are Exempt from Federal Jury Service:

members of the armed forces on active duty;
members of professional fire and police departments;
public officers of federal, state or local governments, who are actively engaged full-time in the performance of public duties.

Persons employed on a full-time basis in any of these categories are barred from serving on federal juries, even if they desire to do so.y desire to do so.