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Who could be a member of a jury in a criminal law case?

On Behalf of | Dec 2, 2022 | Criminal Defense

The state of Georgia has specific requirements for eligibility when it comes to jury members. Every American has a right to an unbiased jury, and the state-designed laws to identify people who will provide an unbiased review of the facts regarding a criminal case.

In a criminal case, both the prosecutor and the defense attorney have a say in who ends up on the jury.

What makes someone eligible for jury duty?

According to the State of Georgia, members of a jury must be at least 18 years old and a United States citizen. They must discuss and understand the case with proficient English, even if it is their second language. The jury summons is only sent to residents of that county, and they must wait a year between cases.

Jury members cannot be on another trial jury or on a grand jury. They cannot be under a conservatorship. If convicted of malfeasance or felony while serving public office and had their civil rights restored after, they are ineligible for jury duty.

How are jury members selected?

Potential jurors are randomly selected from a group of eligible residents. Those who are full-time students or over 70 may be exempt from jury duty.

Once the county summons a juror, they will appear in court and answer a series of questions by lawyers and the court to determine if they can provide an honest, impartial, fair jury for a defendant. If either the prosecutor or the defense attorney has concerns about a potential juror, they have the option to strike the person from the jury, although there is a limit to how many jurors they can strike.