Juror Law and Legal Definition

A juror is any person who actually serves on a jury. Potential jurors from the area where a case is heard are chosen from various sources such as registered voters, automobile registration or telephone directories. The names are randomly and they are sent a court summons to appear for possible service. Before a trial begins the names of jurors are assigned to a trial court, and a further selection process is made. State law and judges vary regarding acceptable reasons to be excused from jury duty.

If chosen, a juror receives a small amount of pay per day of service and payment for automobile mileage from home to court. Questions are asked by the judge and attorneys (called "voir dire") during jury selection to weed out those whom they may challenge for cause, on stated grounds, such as a relation to the defendant, knowledge of facts related to the case, or other reasons indicating potential bias. A lawyer may also make a limited number of peremptory challenges, in which the attorney may remove a juror they suspect is biased without stating the basis for the challenge.

In a high-profile criminal case in which the jury might be influenced by public comment or media coverage during trial, the court may order the jury be sequestered (kept in a hotel away from family, friends, radio, television and newspapers.) Once selected, the jury (usually with several alternates) takes an oath to act fairly and without preconceptions. At the close of the evidence and after the summations of counsel the judge instructs the jury concerning the verdict.