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How is a jury chosen?

On Behalf of | Feb 5, 2018 | Criminal Defense

One important aspect of criminal cases in Louisiana is your right to a jury trial. This means a group of people from your area who have no special legal training or knowledge will decide if you are guilty. When you decide to have a jury trial, the process to select the jury will begin. 

According to the American Bar Association, jury selection begins with the court calling in a group of potential jurors from a list that is constructed by the state. A judge will then review jurors to see if they meet the basic criteria for jury service. This may include removing anyone who has a criminal record or who has a bias based on personal circumstances. Your lawyer and the prosecutor may also interview potential jurors and excuse them if they find a valid reason to do so.

Each attorney also will have the option to remove jurors for no reason at all. This is called a peremptory challenge. Your lawyer may decide to remove certain jurors based on characteristics, such as age, because he or she believes that characteristic would make the juror more likely to convict you. 

Once the required number of jurors is selected from the jury pool, the jury is officially chosen. Jurors are sworn in and given basic instructions to help them as they hear your case. Jurors are not allowed to discuss the case outside of jury room deliberations. Jurors can be excused during your trial if they break any rules or are otherwise found unfit to serve. This information is for education and is not legal advice.