Jury – Pre-Trial Selection – Suggested Improvements
Over the course of the past twenty years, the desirability of trial by jury has been a subject of constant debate. In contrast, the matter of jury selection has been given little direct attention. Yet it is obvious that if consideration is given to improvements in selection procedure aimed primarily at raising the calibre of the jury panel, disappointment in the judicial process due to the general ineptness of jurors can be decreased. It is true that the fate of a litigant often is entirely within the discretion of the jury. This is not necessarily a reason for the abandonment of trial by jury, however, but rather a reason for increased care in the selection of jurors.
Although very few states employ identical methods of jury selection, in all states the procedures used are at least similar. Thus the deficiencies discovered in the process of pre-trial selection in one state may often be typical of faults attributable to the statutes governing this area in almost every other state. This comment, then, while designed primarily as a critical analysis of Michigan legislation, is intended as a possible basis for evaluation and reform of other state acts as well.