Jury service is critical to the courts’ mission. Once a jury pool is set and summonses go out to the prospective jurors, what happens next?
As the trial date approaches, some jury panels will be called in to fill out a more specific questionnaire, under oath, relating to a particular case. This often occurs in criminal cases that have received pretrial publicity or deal with very sensitive subject matter, like sexual assault. These written questionnaires help the judge and the lawyers determine whether an individual juror should be questioned outside the presence of the other jurors. This protects the juror’s privacy and also avoids an answer that might taint the rest of the jury pool.