May 9, 2010
Every American that has registered to vote or has a drivers license can at any time be called to serve on a jury. There are mixed feelings about being called for duty. Some Americans see it as a nuisance that will disrupt their lives. Others see it as an opportunity to serve their country. Being called to serve, and actually serving is two different matters. A jury is ultimately selected by the judge, prosecutor and defending attorney. How they are they picked? How are they released? Maybe this paper will answer a few of these questions.
The selection of a jury is the process that occurs right before the actual trial, and after the trial initiation and the arraignment and plea. Only about 10 percent of actual arraignments see an actual trial, because 90 percent of cases that are preparing for trial end up accepting a plea bargain (Schmalleher, 2009).
Any one who is accused of a crime and will stand trial is allowed by the Sixth Amendment the right to an impartial jury. For a jury to be impartial, it is not always true that they have no prior knowledge of the case at all. In the case of a highly publicized trial, it can be almost impossible to find 12 people who know nothing about the case at hand or the accused. Some jurors will be excused based on how suitable they are judged to be for the case, and some may be excused because of reasons beyond their control (Schmalleger, 2009). I have been called to serve jury duty one time in my life. At the time I had 2 small children at home, one of them just being diagnosed with the Swine Flu 2 days prior. When I told the judge this, he told me not to touch anyone on the way out of courtroom, and wished my child well. It was not that I didn’t want to serve; I felt my place was with my child, and was glad the judge agreed.
After the judge has done his initial weeding out of people who have been called to serve within 2 years, people who...