How are jurors selected? Jury selection process in Mifflin County begins when a name is randomly selected from the per-capita tax records. Those selected to participate are sent a summons which is a court order stating the required time and place to appear. The information contained on the juror questionnaire is confidential except for disclosures made during the jury selection process and is not given to anyone except the Judge, the Judge’s Clerk, the parties and the lawyers. After a jury is selected, all copies of the questionnaire are returned to the Clerk and destroyed. Original questionnaires are kept sealed until completion of service as a juror, at which time the originals are also destroyed, unless otherwise ordered by the court. Because the questionnaire is part of the jury selection process, any false statement in your answer is subject to the penalties of law.
The jury pool is composed of those people summoned to appear on a particular day. Juries are selected from the jury pool.
In criminal cases, the jury is made up of 12 jurors except in rare cases of the parties agreeing to fewer. In civil cases, the jury can consist of as few as six jurors or as many as twelve. Alternate jurors may also be chosen to avoid unnecessary delays or expense in the event of the incapacity of a juror.
What kinds of cases will I hear as a juror? Jurors hear either criminal or civil cases. In criminal cases, the district attorney acting on behalf of the citizens of Pennsylvania prosecutes a case against an individual or an entity accused of a crime. The district attorney is also referred to as the prosecutor. The person or entity accused of the crime is referred to as the defendant.
In civil cases, an individual, entity or governmental agency brings a suit against another individual, entity or governmental agency. The party initiating the lawsuit is referred to as the plaintiff and the party defending the suit is the defendant.
What is voir dire? Voir dire is a French term that refers to the preliminary examination of an individual’s qualifications to be a juror. Voir dire is sometimes conducted by the Judge and sometimes by the lawyers. The purpose is to find out whether any views held by the potential juror hinder his or her ability to act impartially. Therefore, it is very important to answer these questions honestly.