?What Is Jury Selection
When hearing about famous legal cases, we are fixated on the verdict delivered by the jury. However, except for the fact that if selected we all have a legal duty to perform jury duty, most of us do not have an understanding of jury selection in California. This selection is a procedure that selects random members of a court’s community to hear the evidence and testimony of a case, and then deliberate and reach a legal verdict. If someone is selected as a potential juror, they have an obligation to serve as a jury member. This process is incredibly vital for a case since if a jury is improperly selected, then justice is not truly served
Choosing The Jury
The process begins before the start of the trial. Prospective jurors are summoned to a courtroom with the judge and attorneys. It is at this point that they are questioned in order to ascertain their impartiality and lack of bias or prejudice; this specific process is referred to as voir dire. If a juror does not meet the aforementioned criteria, he or she can be excused from the trialby receiving a for cause or preemptory challenge.
Excusing The Jury
For cause challenges can be used for instances of General Qualifications, Implied Bias, and Actual Bias. General qualifications implies that the juror did not satisfy the general qualifications necessary such as not being over 18 years old, holding incorrect residency or citizenship, and so on. With regards to bias, both implied and actual, the juror has to exhibit bias that will stop them from acting impartially upon either party. Both the defense and plaintiff have unlimited for cause challenges.
Preemptory challenges are used to excuse a juror without any reason. No explanation will be necessary as the court will remove the juror immediately. Preemptory challenges allow for a party’s lawyer to excuse a juror that has certain characteristics that may make them more likely to favour the other side. Furthermore, while both parties have unlimited for cause challenges, they are only permitted six preemptory challenges.