A Dilemma Of The Jury Selection Process?

1875 words - 8 pages

Have you ever been asked to serve as a jury member? Usually, most people have a negative feeling toward juror duty. Some of them might lack a full understanding of the important role of the jury, as they are not specialists in this professional field. The jury selection process also causes people to be impatient because, once prospective jurors are summoned in order to verify their impartiality, they have to be examined by both judges and lawyers. Potential jurors feel inferior during the selection process because they are excused with or without reasons. In fact, serving as a jury member is very important because every citizen has the responsibility to contribute to society by participating in civil activities. However, there are some potential problems in our jury selection process, such as the difficulty of the court to summon a certain group of people. Furthermore, the question of prospective jurors is not effective enough to eliminate incompetent jurors. Also, lawyers abuse their peremptory challenges, which allow them to dismiss potential jurors without reason. Subsequently, the jury pool is not representative enough and this hinders the court's ability to deliver justice.Jury summons is the first stage in the jury selection process. Potential jurors are notified by mail and they have to appear on a certain date and time. The main sources for jury summons come from voter registration lists and driver license lists (Baum 192). The sources of jury summons are so limited that they exclude minorities and others, and thus these groups of people are excluded from the judicial process. Obviously, people who don't register to vote may miss being selected by the jury pool center. According to voter statistics, only 67.1% of eligible citizens registered to vote in 1988 (Internet 1). In other words, more than 30% of people who possess eligibility didn't register. This indicates that a large group will be excluded from the jury selection process during the summons stage. Additionally, people who move a lot and do not change their information in the state office or Department of Motor and Vehicle (DMV) may miss their jury summons. This makes it difficult for the court to contact this group of people. Minorities are likely to be in these excluded groups since they cannot afford to buy a house or apartment (Internet 5). Therefore, they do not have a fixed address and are more likely to have an inaccurate DMV or state office record. Moreover, minorities change jobs more often; consequently, depending on their new workplace, they need to move to a residence by their workplace. Hence, the court will have difficulty trying to contact these minority groups who move frequently.Another problem with the summons process is that upper income people often excuse themselves from attending jury duty. It is true that jury duty pays little to jurors. People who earn a lot of money would not sacrifice their salary and holidays to serve as a jury member since many...

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