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NCJ Number: 51803 Find in a Library
Title: JUROR QUALIFICATION ACT OF 1978
Journal: ALABAMA LAWYER  Volume:39  Issue:3  Dated:(JULY 1978)  Pages:327-330
Author(s): J E THORNTON
Corporate Author: Alabama State Bar
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: Alabama State Bar
Montgomery, AL 36101
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE HISTORY OF ALABAMA'S JUROR QUALIFICATION ACT OF 1978 IS TRACED, WITH SPECIAL ATTENTION TO THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE ALABAMA STATE BAR ASSOCIATION.
Abstract: IN 1972, THE U.S. SUPREME COURT HELD THAT IT WAS UNCONSTITUTIONAL FOR STATES TO SYSTEMATICALLY EXCLUDE ANY IDENTIFIABLE CLASS OF CITIZENS FROM GRAND OR PETIT JURY DUTY. AT THAT TIME, ALABAMA LAW PROVIDED 34 SUCH CLASS EXEMPTIONS. IN 1975, A COURT RULED SPECIFICALLY AGAINST THE ALABAMA LAW AUTOMATICALLY EXCUSING WOMEN FROM JURY SERVICE UNLESS THEY VOLUNTARILY ELECTED TO SERVE. ALABAMA'S RESPONSE TO THE PROBLEMS CREATED BY DECISIONS IN THE AREA OF SELECTION FOR JURY BOXES BEGAN WITH THE PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE SECTION OF THE ALABAMA STATE BAR ASSOCIATION. FIVE YEARS OF RESEARCH AND DRAFTING CULMINATED IN THE INTRODUCTION OF JUROR SELECTION BILLS IN BOTH HOUSES OF THE STATE LEGISLATURE IN 1977. IN THE COURSE OF THE BILLS' LEGISLATIVE HISTORY, SUGGESTIONS THAT LAWYERS AND JUDGES BE EXEMPTED FROM JURY DUTY WERE STRUCK DOWN, AS WAS A REQUIREMENT THAT JURORS BE ABLE TO READ THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE. BOTH BILLS DIED ON THE 1977 LEGISLATIVE CALENDAR AND WERE REINTRODUCED IN 1978, WHEN, WITH SOME AMENDMENTS, THEY WERE PASSED. IT IS EMPHASIZED THAT THE BILLS WERE NOT HASTILY DRAWN AND REPRESENTED THE COMBINED EFFORTS OF LAWYERS AND JUDGES. (LKM)
Index Term(s): Alabama; Jury selection; Legislation; State laws
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