Jury Selection

scales To begin a jury trial, a panel of prospective jurors is called into the courtroom. The prospective jurors were selected randomly from a list of voter registrations and a list of driver registrations from Bexar County. The panel members are sworn to answer questions about their qualifications to sit as jurors in the case. This questioning is called the voir dire. Voir dire is a way for the parties to select a fair and impartial jury.

Under the justice system, jurors may be questioned by each of the lawyers before they decide to remove a certain number of jurors from the jury panel. For example, the prosecutor may ask you questions to see if you are connected to the trial or if you have any prejudice or bias toward anyone in the trial. Other questions will determine whether any panel member has a prejudice or a feeling that might influence them in rendering a verdict. A juror may be excused from the panel if it is shown that the juror cannot act impartially concerning the case to be heard. In addition, each side is allowed to remove a given number of jurors from the panel without having to show any reason. The trial jury will be the first six of the remaining jurors on the panel.

If you are not selected to serve on a jury, in most cases, you will be excused by the jury clerk within approximately two to three hours. If you are selected to serve on a jury, you will serve for the duration of the trial. The average trial runs one to two days.