So your New York Criminal case is heading to jury selection. At jury selection both your criminal defense attorney and the prosecutor will have an opportunity to question potential jurors chosen from the jury pool. (Jury selection itself will be discussed in a later blog). How is the jury pool assembled? Where does the commissioner of jurors for the county your case is be tried in get the names of people to summon for jury duty?
Potential jurors’ names are selected from such lists as voter registration, drivers’ license holders, registered motor vehicle owners, tax payers, those on public assistance, those collecting unemployment and/or those who have volunteered for jury duty. NY Jud. Law § 506. Therefore, that old-time belief that if you don’t vote you won’t be chosen for jury duty is no longer the case. Because one might be discouraged from voting for fear of being selected for jury duty does violate one’s right to vote. Marcus v. Levin, 198 A.D.2d 214, 603 N.Y.S.2d 323 (2nd Dept. 1993).
From the above mentioned lists, the commissioner of jurors randomly selects the names of potential jurors. This random selection may be done mechanically or by any other method to ensure random selection. NY Jud. Law § 507. The randomly selected individuals will make up the jury panel from which your jury will ultimately be selected.