Criminal and civil defendants alike are guaranteed a jury trial by both the US and Georgia constitutions. A jury decides or finds facts in a case by listening to testimony and analysing evidence. Discuss your case with an esteemed and seasoned Stewart Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys.
Trials before a jury only go on when enough prospective jurors show up to hear the case. Read on to learn about the jury selection process and potential ways to avoid serving.
Selection of Jurors
We must first verify your eligibility before sending out a summons. All of the following conditions must be met before you can serve on a jury:
- The United States of America now counts you among its citizens.
- You must be at least 18 years old.
- You have an adequate command of the language to follow and participate in the discussion of the case.
- The county where you were served with a summons is where you legally reside.
- You have missed jury duty over the past year.
- It is safe to assume that you are not serving on a grand jury or any other type of trial jury at the moment.
- In this case, you do not have a conservator.
- If you were a public official who was convicted of a felony or misbehaviour in office, your civil rights have been reinstated.
You will be sent a jury summons once your eligibility has been verified. The date and location of your jury duty appearance will be specified in the summons. At the appointed time, you must produce the summons as proof that you have complied with the request. Further documents may be required upon check-in.
If it is determined that a juror is unable to serve, they will be excused. While there are several grounds for dismissing a juror, the most common is that they lack the ability to objectively assess the case. A juror shall be disqualified from serving if they have a personal or professional connection to any other member of the panel.
The ‘voir dire’ procedure is utilised by the parties to guarantee a fair jury is selected. Jurors respond to questions from attorneys for both sides during this stage. These inquiries are designed to eliminate any possibility of prejudice among the jury members and ensure that they are able to render a fair verdict.