Jury Selection Rules in Chicago

jakob-owens-96965-unsplash-copy-200x300The Office of Jury Administration is in charge of producing qualified teams of jurors for trials in Chicago. Jurors play a big role in ensuring that all citizens’ rights are protected during trial. Jury service is a crucial and serious responsibility that all US citizens share.

The aim of the court is to ensure that the jury’s service is easy and reliable. To attain this, the jury administration’s office implements smooth and innovative exercises aimed at making the jurors’ convenience and comfort a priority. Jurors can sometimes be summoned for direct service in criminal cases or as part of a reserve of jurors.

When jurors report for a service, they are expected to serve for at least one trial. A juror is given a random panel number. The panels are also divided into random groups of six or 18 jurors. The juror then takes part in the orientation process while outlining the trial process, which includes watching a video with pertinent information. When a case is ready to begin, a deputy sheriff is sent by the judge to summon the appropriate and applicable jurors in the jury room. These are usually determined by previously answered questionnaires. By the end of the first day of service, a juror will be in the jurors pool, or still in a court for jury selection. If this does not happen, then one is often excused from additional services.

A judge normally needs a team with 6, 12, 18, or even 36. The jurors selected by panel number are then sent to a courtroom to answer questions from the attorney and the judge to define their potential on being fair and keeping an open mind during a trial. A panel with 12 jurors is chosen. Sometimes two alternate jurors are also selected. The group is to be present during the whole trial process.

Barack Obama Does His Civic Duty

Recently, the former President of the United States Barack Obama was summoned for jury duty in Chicago. Arriving early and guarded by federal agents in their motorcade, the former President did his civic duty. His panel was dismissed in less than two hours.

Similar to all prospective jurors in Cook County in Chicago, the former President was offered $17.20 for taking part. He later said that he would donate it. While he is the most recent president to be called for jury responsibility, he is not alone. George Bush was called for jury duty in Dallas in 2015, after serving as President. Bill Clinton also responded to the call in New York City in 2003. Like Obama’s, Bush and Clinton’s panels were also not selected.

Celebrities have also taken part in jury duty in recent years, including Oprah Winfrey who served at a trial of a man charged with murder.

In Chicago, if you serve on a jury, you may not have to serve again for a whole year. A similar situation may apply if you are summoned but not selected. Jurors selected are required to sit on a panel in a specific courtroom for a specific case for the period of that trial. As the judge processes the evidence and issues directions to the selected jury according to the law, the jurors take charge in deciding the facts while adhering to the law and giving a final result. For experienced legal advice, you can call David Freidberg Attorney at Law at 312-560-7100.

(image courtesy of Jakob Owens)