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Federal Courts Improve Use of Jurors

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The federal courts continue to improve their juror utilization rates, which in turn has led to savings for the Judiciary of nearly $300,000. 

For the 12-month period ended June 30, 2012, the national average of jurors not selected, serving or challenged (NSSC) on the first day of jury service was 37 percent, compared to 37.9 percent for the prior year. This translates to 3,450 potential jurors not brought to a courthouse unnecessarily. In the twelve-month period ended June 30, 2012, a total of 236,070 jurors were called.

A total of 52 districts improved their percentage of jurors NSSC from the previous year. Five districts improved their rate by 10 percentage points or more: Guam, Western District of Kentucky, Western District of Oklahoma, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and Western District of Virginia. Thirty-three districts met the Judicial Conference's approved utilization goal of an NSSC rate of 30 percent or less.

The continuing decline in NSSC rates may be related, in large part, to the effectiveness of juror utilization practices. After rates reached a high of 40 percent in calendar year 2009, the Judicial Conference Committee on Court Administration and Case Management provided guidance to courts aimed at decreasing the number of prospective jurors who are NSSC.  The Federal Judicial Center also reinstituted a series of workshops for courts on juror utilization and jury management.

 

NSSC Rates

Total

Percent NSSC on First Day 06/30/2012

37.0 %

Percent NSSC on First Day 06/30/2011

37.9 %

Total Jurors NSSC on First Day

87,328

Total Jurors Present on First Day

236,070

Percent Selected First Day

37.0 %

Percent NSSC on First Day 06/30/2012

28.3 %

Percent Challenged First Day

39.7 %

Percent Participating in Voir Dire

24.8 %

Percent Not Participating in Voir Dire

12.2 %