A Dilemma of the Jury Selection Process?

Essay by brianiszincCollege, UndergraduateA-, November 2002

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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%...