On January 19, 2023, NAPCO facilitated a webinar called “Eliminating Shadows and Ghosts: Ways to Improve Inclusiveness and Representativeness in Juror Summonsing”.
State and local trial courts have expressed heightened interest in assessing and improving the demographic representation of jury pools over the past several years. This concern became more urgent in 2020 in light of events causing the American public to question fairness and equality in the criminal justice system. Underrepresentation of people of color may result from multiple factors in the jury summonsing process, including nonresponse, undeliverable mailings, disqualification, and excusal rates.
It is imperative that the first step, the master jury list from which the names of prospective jurors are initially selected, be as representative as possible. A poorly created master jury list will only compound problems with representation in subsequent steps. Developing and maintaining master jury lists that are (a) broadly inclusive of the jury-eligible population, (b) geographically and demographically representative of their communities, and (c) containing accurate and up-to-date records is critical for safeguarding public confidence in the courts. These three standards are the cornerstone of an ideal master jury list.
Join us for this 75-minute online seminar to learn about the latest research and procedures developed by the National Center for State Courts that trial court leaders need to know and do to ensure their master jury lists are as inclusive, representative and accurate as possible. Since master lists are developed from state and local executive branch source records such as drivers’ licenses, voter registration, income tax, sewer/water, welfare, and property tax data, solid relationships between the court and those agencies are extremely important. Presiding judges and court executive officers are key players, along with state court administration, in doing so.
- Paula Hannaford-Agor, Director
Center for Jury Studies, National Center for State Courts
- Hon. Glenn A. Grant, Director
Administrative Office of the Courts, New Jersey Judicial Branch
- Michelle Goodman, Staff Attorney
Indiana State Jury Committee, Office of Court Services