Section 12-16-145

Alternate juror selection and qualification plan; master list; random selection; disqualification.

Notwithstanding any provision of Title 12, Chapter 16, the presiding circuit judge, with the consent of the circuit judges of the court, may elect to utilize the following alternate juror selection and qualification plan after notice to the Administrative Director of Courts, which eliminates the master jury box and the interposition of the jury commission in the qualifying process, and embraces and combines the qualification and summoning process, as follows:

The jury commission shall meet and cause to be compiled and maintained a master list of persons in the county, together with their residence addresses, who may be called for jury service. The list shall be compiled and maintained, avoiding duplication as far as possible, from one or more of the sources named in Section 12-16-57 to include persons whose listings will foster the policy and protect the rights provided in Sections 12-16-55 and 12-16-56. This list shall be compiled prior to the implementation of the alternate plan and shall be revised by December 31 of each even-numbered year thereafter.

When jurors, grand or petit, are needed for any future term or terms of court, at least 20 days prior to the first day on which the prospective jurors are to serve, the presiding circuit judge or a circuit judge designated by him shall cause to be randomly drawn from the master list the names of prospective jurors in a number he deems sufficient to obtain the juries needed for the term or terms for which the names are drawn; provided, however, if prior to the first day of service, it appears that an insufficient number of the prospective jurors summoned will be available to constitute the juries for the period for which their names were drawn, the court shall cause the names of additional prospective jurors to be drawn randomly and cause them to be summoned for service forthwith. The prospective jurors whose names are drawn, along with any other person whose jury service has been postponed to such time, shall be summoned by first-class mail notwithstanding any other provision of law; the cost of summoning the prospective jurors under this alternate plan shall be an expense of the court.

Prior to the date on which a prospective juror has been summoned to appear, the presiding circuit judge, or a court official designated by him, shall have the authority to disqualify the prospective juror or to excuse or postpone his service to any future date, notwithstanding the provisions of any other law.

On the day the prospective jurors have been summoned to appear in court, a circuit judge shall examine the prospective jurors on oath touching upon their qualifications as jurors and either qualify or disqualify them in accordance with the provisions for qualification contained in Section 12-16-60. Those persons qualified and whose jury service is not excused or postponed shall become the venire from which grand or petit juries are chosen in accordance with other provisions of law.

The presiding circuit judge, with the consent of the circuit judges of the court, may at any time elect to discontinue use of the alternate plan and to proceed according to other available provisions of this article.

(Acts 1981, No. 81-788, p. 1381, §6.)