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statute.1 In several States the constitution prescribes qualifications; in others it provides for their prescription by the legis lature.2
Where the constitution prescribes qualifications, the legislature is powerless to restrict them.3 The legislature may, however, abolish the common law qualifications and provide others.4
Jurors, to serve in the United States courts in each State, respectively, must have like qualifications as jurors of the highest court of law of such State.5
1. Power to prescribe other than the common law requirements by abolishing the freehold or property qualifications is fully established. See Thompson on Trials, § 10.
2. The constitution of Tennessee provides that no political test can be required of jurors (c. 1, 6.) And that of Mississippi, that no property qualifications can be required (c. 1, 13.) That of New Hampshire, that great care should be taken that none but qualified persons should serve on juries and that they should be fully compensated (c. 1, 21.) That of Vermont, that great care should be taken to prevent corruption or partiality in the choice of juries, (c. 2, 31.)
By the constitutions of Virginia (c. 3, 3) and Florida (c. 4, 23), no person can serve on a jury who is not a qualified elector of the State. In Texas (c. 16, 12), California (c. 20, 11), and Nevada (c. 4, 27), the legislature is to pass laws excluding persons from serving on juries in the same cases in which they are excluded from voting. 3. Maloy v. State, 33 Tex. 599; Brennan v. State, 33 Tex. 266; Wilson v. State, 35 Tex. 365. Contra, Lester v. State, 2 Tex. App. 432.
In Chahoon v. Com., 20 Gratt. (Va.) 733 (1871), it was held, that § 3 of art. 3 of the Virginia constitution, which provides that "all persons entitled to vote and hold office, and none others, shall be eligible to sit as jurors," does not operate propria vigore, and without any legislation on the subject, to repeal all existing laws in conflict therewith, and until such legislature is had, the existing law continues in force.
In Arkansas, it was held, that the provisions of the constitution (1868), prescribing the qualification of jurors did not take from the legislature the power to direct in what manner the question of qualification should be determined by the courts, and the statute (Gould's Dig., ch. 98, § 25) regulating
this matter is not in conflict with the constitutional provision, nor was it abrogated by the code of practice prior to the amendment of 1871. Whitehead v. Wells, 29 Ark. 99 (1874). See Rafe v. State, 20 Ga. 60, and Jesse v. State, 20 Ga. 156, in regard to the constitutionality of the act of February 28th, 1856.
A provision in a State constitution that no person shall be eligible as a juror who is not entitled to vote and hold office applies only to disabilities imposed by that constitution, and not to those imposed by the fourteenth amendment to the constitution of the United States. Sands v. State, 21 Gratt. (Va.) 871 (1872).
4. Kirwin v. People, 96 Ill. 206; Com. v. Dorsey, 103 Mass. 403; Byrd v. State, 1 How. (Miss.) 163; State v. Wilson, 48 N. H. 398.
The legislature may define the mode of ascertaining such qualifications. Whitehead v. Wells, 29 Ark. 99.
in Rhode Island, Gen. Stat., ch. 189, § 1, the word "liable" is tantamount to "qualified," and the section defines the qualification of jurors as well as the liability to serve. State v. Davis, 12 R. I. 492.
Making certain qualifications necessary to be possessed by an individual, to constitute him a juror, necessarily disqualifies a person not possessing those qualifications, although the prisoner assent to his sitting as such. Guykowski v. People, 2 Ill. (1 Scam.) 476.
5. Act of congress, July 20th, 1840 (5 Stats. at L. 394). Literal conformity to the mode of selecting and drawing jurors prescribed by the State laws is not required; substantial conformity is sufficient, and that only as far as practicable. U. S. v. Tallman, Blatchf. (U. S.) 21 (1872). See Sands v. State, 21 Gratt. (Va.) 871 (1872).
The act of congress of June 23rd, 1873 (18 Stats. at L. 254, ch. 469). relating to the Territory of Utah, and
The common law qualifications relating to residence, property and mental condition have been, some abolished, some greatly modified in England and in the United States.
The qualifications prescribed by statute refer to residence, political status, property, mental condition, tenure of public office, previous service as juror and other circumstances.
Residence and Political Status.-A great variety of qualifications is found in the different States in regard to citizenship and length of residence. The first requisite, in all cases, is residence within the county, sometimes without political privileges.1
It is generally requisite that a juror be an elector of the county.2
known as the Poland law, does not profess to prescribe all the qualifications of jurors in that territory, and it supersedes and controls the territorial laws only so far as it prescribes a new qualification of the same kind as embraced in the territorial law. Conway v. Clinton, 1 Utah T. 215 (175).
1. In Missouri, a person summoned as a juror had been living in the county about two months, having come thither from another State, with the intention of making it his permanent home. He was held qualified under a statute requiring every juror to be "a male citizen of the State and a resident of the county." State v. Francis, 76 Mo. 681.
In Arkansas, "a resident in the county, and a citizen of the State, is competent to serve as a juror, although his residence has not been of sufficient length to confer upon him political privileges." Anderson v. State, 5 Ark.
In U. S. v. Nardello, 4 Mackey (D. C.) 503, it was decided that one who lived in Washington, although he spent his vacations and voted in Virginia, was a "resident" of Washington under District of Columbia Rev. Stat., § 872. See also Zickefoose v. Kendall, 12 W. Va. 23; Sweeney v. Baker, 13 W. Va. 158.
As to residence in the same town, in an action of forcible entry and detainer, see Dutton v. Tracy, 4 Conn. 79.
The provision in a city charter that the jury shall be taken from the freemen of the city and not from the body of the county is not repugnant to the Connecticut constitution (art. 1, § 21), declaring that the right of trial by jury shall remain inviolate. Colt v. Coes, 12 Conn. 243.
v. Jackson, 27 Kan. 581; s. c., 41 Am. Rep. 424.
Where it was ascertained after the verdict that two of the jurors had voluntarily borne arms against the government of the United States during the war of the rebellion, and, their consequent disabilities not having been removed, they were not electors of the
State of Kansas, and therefore were not proper persons to serve as jurors, this was held not to be an absolute disqualification; and ground sufficient for their discharge from the jury before the swearing in, but not sufficient for granting a new trial, or for arresting the judgment after the verdict. U. S. Rev. Stat., § 820; U. S. v. Hammond, 2 Woods (U. S.) 197.
In The People v. Peralta, 4 Cal. 175, in construing the act (Stat. 1852, 7, § 1), which provides that a juror who is not an elector of the county for which he is summoned is incompetent to serve (Sampson v. Schaffer, 3 Cal. 107), it was held that residence (as it affects the statutes of an elector) depends upon intention as well as fact, and mere inhabitancy for a short period, without the intention of acquiring a domicile, is insufficient. See also People v. Stonecifer, 6 Cal. 405; Lask v. Ú. S., 1 Pinn. (Wis. T.) 77 (1839).
The fact that a qualified voter under the constitution had not paid his poll tax or registered his name at the time of the trial does not make him an incompetent juror in such cause under the registry law, where the time within which a voter was required to register his name had not expired. State v. Salge, 1 Nev. 455; State v. Waterman, 1 Nev. 543.
A person who has taken no sten toward naturalization is prohibited by
2. Hart v. State, 14 Neb. 572; State the Florida constitution from being a
But no length of citizenship is required as a qualification of juror.1
Alienage is generally a ground for excluding a juror (whatever the citizenship of the parties).2 But where an elector may be a foreigner not yet naturalized but intending to be, the simple fact of alienage does not disqualify a juror.
Property.-Freehold still exists as a requirement in some States, as in Virginia and North Carolina. In Alabama and Mississippi, a juror must be either a freeholder or a householder. On the other hand, in Indiana, a freeholder merely is not competent to sit upon a petit jury; he must be a householder."
In New Mexico the law requires a juror to be the owner of real estate.8 In other States he must be the owner of taxable property.9
juror. And if after the jury is sworn, and before any testimony is taken, such an one is discovered to be on the jury, the court should discharge him, supply his place with a competent person and have the entire jury sworn anew. Keech v. State, 15 Fla. 591. See also Judson v. Eslava, M`nor (Ala.) 2.
1. Byrd v. State, 2 Miss. (1 How. 163.)
2. See supra, this title, JURY DE MEDIETATE LINGUÆ. In Kentucky, such a jury (composed one half of foreigners) may still be directed to be returned by the court. G. L. Kentucky, 1879, p. 571, § 6.
3. Under the act of February 14th, 1846, a juror in a criminal case must be a freeholder in the county. Day's Case, 3 Gratt. (Va.) 629; Dowdy v. Com., 9 Gratt. (Va.) 727.
4. Tales jurors must own real estate of freehold situate in the county. State v. Cooper, 83 N. C. 671. A mortgagor in possession is within the act requiring tales jurors to be freeholders. His title is an equitable freehold; and the act does not require a juror to have a legal freehold. State v. Ragland, 75 N. C. 12 (1876).
A tenant by the courtesy initiate is a freeholder in the sense of that term as applicable to the qualification of jurors. State v. Mills, 91 N. C. 581.
A statutory requirement of freehold qualification for talesmen will not by implication be extended to members of the regular panel. Thompson on Trials, § 53: State v. Wincroft, 76 N. C. 35.
5. The tenant and occupant, by yearly letting, of a room used as a sleeping apartment, is not a freeholder or householder within the meaning of the Alabama Code, § 3583, which prescribes
7. Bradford v. State, 15 Ind. 347; Carpenter v. Dame, 10 Ind. 125. See Kerwin v. The People, 96 Ill. 206.
In Tennessee, a citizen of one county who owns freehold lands in another, or who is the owner of an occupant right to lands situated in another county, is a good and lawful juror of the county in which he resides. State v. Bryant, 10 Yerg (Tenn.) 527.
8. As an "owner," a juror is qualified if he is in possession of, or has a qualified interest in, real estate. Territory v. Young, 2 New Mex. 93.
9. While the California Civil Code, § 198, requires that a juror be "assessed" on the last roll etc., the federal courts in California will accept a juror who pays the taxes, though on the roll the assessment is in the name of another. U. S. v. Hackett, 29 Fed. Rep 848.
In South Carolina, it is sufficient if a tax of three shillings has been paid in the preceding year. State v. Marvey, 2 Hill (S. Car.) 379; State v. Williams, 2 Hill (S. Car.) 381. But a poll tax is not sufficient. State v. Jennings, 15 Rich. (S. Car.) 42; State v. Pratt, 15 Rich. (S. Car.) 47. See U. S. v. Reynolds, 1 Utah T. 226.
The provisions of the territorial statute that a person shall not serve as a petit juror unless he is the owner of taxable property, is express. The quali
In New York, ownership of either real or personal property is a necessary qualification.1
In Texas and Mississippi a juror must be a householder, a requirement which is not in conflict with the Mississippi constitution, art. 1, § 13, which directs that no property qualification shall ever be required of any person to become a juror.3
Education.-In Texas the ability to write is prescribed by the code of procedure as one of the qualifications of a juror.4 Elsewhere, ability to understand and speak the English language is sufficient.5
Previous Service as Juror.-The time within which such service renders one ineligible to serve again as a juror is regulated by statute.6
Certain public officers are disqualified from serving on a jury.
fication must exist when he is offered. Conway v. Clinton, 1 Utah T. 215 (1875). See also State v. Doan, 2 Root (Conn.) 451.
1. Act of 1847; Ladd v. Prentice, 14 Conn. 109. See Frisry v. People, 2 Abb. (N. Y.) App. Dec. 215 (1866). New York Rev. Stat. 411, § 13, Where, upon challenge of a juror, it appeared that when placed on the jury list he was the owner of a farm, for which he was assessed, but was not assessed for personal property, and that before the trial he sold his farm, taking back a mortgage; it was held that he is not eligible. The ownership of personalty must be evidenced by the assessment roll. Kelley v. People, 55 N. Y. 565 (1874).
2. That a person has rented a store and slept in it does not make him a householder, so that he can serve on a jury. Brown v. State, 57 Miss. 424.
See contra, Robles v. State, 5 Tex. App. 346, where the term "householder"-as used in the law defining the qualifications of jurors-was held to apply to one who "rents a room and boards." As to a citizen householder and voter of an unorganized county, See Groom v. State, 23 Tex. App. 82.
3. Miss. Code, 1871, § 724; Nelson v. State, 57 Miss. 286.
4. The ability "to write" is not satisfied by the proposed juror's ability to write his name and nothing more. The statute contemplates that the juror shall be able to express his ideas in writing. Albert Johnson v. The State, 21 Tex. App. 368. This is a qualification furthest removed from the letter of the common law, though not perhaps from its spirit. 5. Fisher v. Philadelphia, 4 Brews.
(Pa.) 395; Etheridge v. State, 8 Tex. App. 133.
But in Com. v. Hunnemore, 2 Brews. (Pa.) 598 (1867), it was held that a juror is not disqualified by inability to state his age; nor, in the absence of statute, by inability to read.
6. Brewer v. Tyringham, 14 Pick. (Mass.) 196; Purd. Dig. (Pa.), "Juries," pl. 62.
The U. S. Rev. St., § 812, which provides that no person shall be summoned as juror more than once in two years, does not intend that twentyfour months must elapse between the close of the term at which a juror is summoned and serves and the beginning of the next term at which he is competent to serve. U. S. v. Reeves, 3 Woods C. Ct. 199.
Texas jury law, 1876, p. 83, § 26. Garcia v. State, 5 Tex. App. 337 (A2).
7. County commissioners are disqualified by Florida Laws, ch. 3010, § 3. This is not a privilege at the option of the officer. But a judge of a town court is not rendered incompetent to serve as a juror in the supreme judicial district. Page v. Lewis, 26 Me. 360.
Officers of United States.-Nor are officers of the United States disqualified, though they have a right to be excused. State v. Quimby, 51 Me. 395.
Councilmen.-In Pennsylvania, in The City of Scranton v. Gore, 23 W. N. C. 419 (1889), it was held that under the act of April 16th, 1840 (P. L. 411), the fact that a person is a member of the council of a town which is a party to the case does not disqualify him as a juror; and if he has been excluded on account of holding such office, the judgment obtained after the trial must be reversed, although his rejection does
Character. Statutes generally provide that the jurors drawn shall be "sober, intelligent and judicious," or similar qualities.1 Age does not disqualify unless the person is under twenty-one or over seventy years of age.2
V. EXEMPTION FROM JURY DUTY.—Certain classes of persons are exempt by statute from service on juries. The classes exempt are substantially the same in all of the States. The privilege has reference either to occupation, public or private,3 and to age.4
not appear to have prejudiced the plaintiff in error.
Deputy Sheriff.-A deputy sheriff is not disqualified. Burns v. State, 12 Tex. App. 270. Coroner. Nor a coroner. Jackson v. State, 74 Ala. 26.
Grand Jurors.-A grand juror of the panel who found a bill, is not competent to try the case. Greenwood v. State, 34 Tex. 334. See infra, this title,Challenges for Cause; Implied Bias.
Most of the States have statutes expressly or impliedly enacting that exemptions by them created shall not be considered grounds of challenge. See Thompson on Trials, § 10.
1. Bright Pur. Dig. (Pa.), tit. “Juries," pl. 2. Except in prosecutions for bigamy or polygamy, under some statutes of the United States, a person is not disqualified as a juror under § 5 of the act of congress of March 22nd, 1882, by reason of his being a bigamist or polygamist; neither is such a person disqualified under §8 of that act, as the position of a juryman is not such an "office or place of public trust, honor or emolument" as is contemplated by said section. People v. State, 3 Utah 396.
This qualification will be treated at length under Challenge for Cause, infra.
Belief.-A nonbeliever cannot serve as a juror in Maryland. Shane v. Clarke, 3 Har. & M. (Md.) 101.
2. Williams v. State, 67 Ala. 183; Murphy v. People, 37 Ill. 447
3. The classes generally exempt are: Professors and students in colleges; teachers and pupils in schools; clergymen in charge of churches; judges of the several courts; attorneys at law while practicing their profession; practicing physicians; county commissioners; officers of the State government; sheriffs and their deputies; clerks of courts and coroners; justices of the peace and constables during their term of office; keepers of mills, ferries and tolls; presidents, directors and officers
of incorporated banks; railroad officers; steamboat officers; members of fire companies; officers of the penitentiary; superintendent and physician of (insane) hospital and his assistants; all mail contractors, mail agents and public stage drivers; telegraph operators; members of the militia. Ala. Rev. Code (1867), § 4064; New York Code of Remedial Justice, § 1030; Rev. Stat. Mass., ch. 218, § 8; Bragg v. People, 78 Ill. 328 (1875); Bloom v. State, 20 Ga. 443 (acts of 1854 and 1856, in regard to fire companies); Stat. 1836 (Mo.) M'Gunnegle v. State, 6 Mo. 367.
Exemption from serving on juries as a member of a fire company is an exemption from a special venire. State v. Whitford, 12 Ired. (N. Car.) L. 99.
Members of fire companies in cities of Georgia are not now exempt. Ex parte Rust, 43 Ga. 209.
2 N. Y. Rev. Stat. 415, § 33, exempting persons in the actual employment of any “iron manufacturing company" does not apply to companies engaged in making articles from iron manufactured. 1871, People v. Holdridge, 4 Lans. (N. Y.) 511.
4. The exemption is usually to those over sixty years of age. Such exemption is a privilege which he may waive below the age of seventy years. Williams v. State, 67 Ala. 183; Murphy v. People, 37 Ill. 447; State v. Miller, 2 Blackf. (Ind.) 35; (Stat. Ind. 1824).
Honorary member of the Columbus guard not exempt. Act 1845 (Ga.); Stewart v. State, 23 Ga. 181.
Nor the president of a company of lessees of a penitentiary convicts, within meaning of Georgia code, § 4805; Lockett v. State, 61 Ga. 44.
Nor a commissioner of navigation as a tales juror. State v. Hogg, 2 Murph. (N. Car.) 319; Ex parte Hogg, 2 Tagl. (N. Car.) 254.
Nor a commissioned officer in the U. S. navy. State v. Ingraham, 1 Cheves (S. Car.) 78.