Jury Basics

Jury Basics

The keystone of the justice system in the United States is the right to a trial by jury. This right is guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Georgia Constitution. The right to a jury trial has a long history. It was part of the civil liberties granted by King John of England on June 15, 1215, and was recorded in the document known as Magna Carta. Trial by one’s peers was designed to prevent too much power being in the hands of the king.

Juries continue to be important to the justice system. Jurors determine the facts of the evidence in the case presented to them. Jury duty is an opportunity to serve the community. We in the court system will try to make your experience as pleasant as possible. In exchange, we hope that you will be fair, impartial and dedicated in completing your jury duty.

You do not need any special skills or legal knowledge to be a juror. All you need is an open mind and a readiness to work with the other jurors to make decisions. You also need to be impartial — in other words, your decisions must not be influenced by personal feelings and biases.

Qualifications for Jury Service

Georgia law says you are qualified to be a juror if you:

  • Are a U.S. citizen
  • Are at least 18 years old
  • Can understand English enough to understand and discuss the case
  • Are a resident of the county that sent you the jury summons
  • Have not served on a jury in the last 12 months
  • Are not currently on a grand jury or on another trial jury
  • Are not under a conservatorship
  • Have had your civil rights restored if you were convicted of a felony or malfeasance while holding public office

No one is exempt because of his or her job, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, or economic status.

For individual Circuit and Court Basics, find your Court.

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