Jury Pool Law and Legal Definition

Composing a jury pool is the first step of jury selection in some jurisdictions. A jury pool is selected from among the community using a reasonably random method. Typically, lists of prospective jurors are compiled from registered voters on the electoral roll. Some states use the list of licensed drivers, while some others draw names from lists of customers for utilities and even welfare recipients. The initial list prepared is called the source list. From the source list, a locality randomly draws a second list referred to as ‘master wheel’ or ‘qualified wheel’ depending upon the statute for that state. These lists are replenished at intervals as required by the law for that state. Questionnaires are sent to those on the ‘wheel’ lists for determining whether a particular individual is qualified to serve on a jury.

The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled it is necessary for a jury to be comprised of a “fair cross section of the community” in order to satisfy the trial right guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment of impartiality. The Federal Jury Selection and Service Act of 1968 also emphasize the same. In order to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court rulings and the federal statute, most states have changed their laws so that a broad cross section will make up the jury pool.