Jury Service and Accessing Court Services Remotely in a (Post) Pandemic America: Results From a New National Public Opinion Poll (June 18, 2020)
This webinar outlined key findings on how Americans feel about the state courts during the time of a global pandemic. The session reviewed shifting attitudes towards the use of remote technology to receive court services; addressed findings about how many Americans say they have access to the tools to use those remote services; provided data on how safe people feel about reporting for jury service; and reviewed how effective Americans think masks, social distancing and other protective measures will be in making sure a trip to the courthouse is a safe experience.
Technology Options for Jury Trials and Grand Jury Proceedings (June 3, 2020)
The first step in resuming jury trials involves summoning and qualifying a pool of prospective jurors from which to select juries. In addition to suspending jury trials since mid-March, most courts stopped mailing jury summonses. This webinar provided information to help jury operations ramp back up, including recommendations for excusal, deferral, and FTA policies. It also addressed concerns about jury pools that may underrepresent racial and ethnic minorities due to their increased risk of severe health consequences from the coronavirus.
Webinar on Resuming Jury Trials (May 22, 2020)
This webinar focused on state and local efforts to resume jury trials and grand jury proceedings. Panelists discussed the development and implementation of new policies to manage jurors and jury trials; the experience of courts in pilot tests of remote jury trials and grand jury proceedings; and innovative ways to ensure social distancing and other public health and safety measures with prospective jurors.
Supreme Court of Arizona administrative order
Effective May 8, 2020, the Supreme Court of Arizona issued an Administrative Order concerning court operations during the COVID-19 emergency. Provisions governing jury trials and grand jury proceedings include the reduction of peremptory challenges in non-capital felony trials from 6 to 2 per side, in civil cases from 4 to 2 per side, and in misdemeanor cases from 6 to 1 per side. It also authorizes judicial leadership in the trial courts to use technology to select grand and petit juries remotely rather than by in-person appearance, and to conduct jury trials remotely.
Help us learn how COVID-19 is affecting jury yields in state, local, and federal courts
We anticipate that jury yields will decrease dramatically over the next several months as people at high-risk of infection request to be excused or deferred from service or fail to appear entirely. Because the pandemic so unprecedented, we have very little insight about how many more jury summons court should mail to compensate for decrease jury yields. NCSC's Center for Jury Studies is asking courts to “crowdsource” information about the impact of COVID-19 to help courts better anticipate the impact by participating in a national survey on jury yield. The survey collects information about the average jury yield before the pandemic and monthly jury yield since March 2020. Specifically, we are asking courts to provide detailed information about summoning and qualification, including undeliverable, nonresponse/FTA, excusal, and deferral rates. To view a Word version of the survey, click here. We also hope to be able to be able to provide information on jury yields over time as the pandemic abates. To participate, click here. After a sufficient number of courts have entered information, the NCSC Center for Jury Studies will publish findings overall and by court type, court size, and type of jury operations on the COVID-19 webpages on this page and in Jur-E Bulletin. Thank you for your assistance. Stay safe!
Managing Juries and Jury Trials During the COVID-19 Pandemic, March 26, 2020
Topics addressed during the webinar included ramping jury operations back up after trial suspensions; compensating for reduced jury yields; recommended deferral and excusal policies; implications of the pandemic for fair cross section; social distancing in the jury assembly room and courtrooms; public outreach to calm fears and encourage jury service; aspects of jury service that might be done online.