Jury Selection Process

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Justice is a fundamental right that is extended to all Americans by the constitution. As a result, elaborate instructions and processes of serving justice have been developed for many centuries. This is what has come to be commonly referred to as the trial process. In a bid to ensure fairness to all in courts, the American justice system created the jury service, an institution that has become an important and fundamental part of the courts. Selection of a jury Before the commencement of a trial, a jury selection process first takes place. Juries comprise of between 6 and 12 persons. The jury size differs from state to state. It is also dependent on the type of cases. Civil cases have a standard size of six jurors. This number can however…show more content…
Firstly, random selection takes place whereby the federal district or states randomly chooses names from lists that are kept by the state in its normal business operations. The chosen individuals then receive a notice through the mail informing them of the dates they should appear in court. In the second step of the jury selection process, groups of jurors are called by the court clerk for questioning. The judge talks to the jurors informing them of what the case is about and the names of the involved individuals. The attorneys together with the judge question the jurors in order to determine whether or not they are unbiased, and if they might have any reasons that may make them render unfair judgment. This process is referred to as voir dire. It helps the attorneys and the court to narrow down the jury pool. Voir die varies in different states. In the event that a jury pool becomes too large, judges randomly pick some people to be excused from…show more content…
It is the duty of the foreperson to ensure that the counting of votes is done properly. In civil cases, a verdict is reached when three-quarter of the jurors come to an agreement. Verdicts from criminal case must be unanimous. When a verdict is reached, the foreperson notifies the court and provides it with the signed verdict form. Juries have the power to come up with verdicts that acquit defendants despite having judicial instructions and evidence that are to the contrary. They have a right to return verdicts from their own moral compasses, acquitting defendants who they perceive as morally upright but legally guilty. This power is called jury nullification. Most juries are unaware of this since the legal community generally prefers that jurors not to be informed of jury nullification, but can exercise the power without prompting. In the event that the jury fails to reach a verdict, and the jurors are convinced that it will be impossible to come to an agreement, the foreperson should notify the court. The judge then decides to either dismiss the jury, send the jurors back to deliberation, or take any another action that he or she deems appropriate. When the jury is dismissed, the case is rendered a mistrial, and the case may be tried once again with a new

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