BRETHREN-L ArchivesArchiver > BRETHREN > 2003-01 > 1042829215
Subject: Re: [BRE] 1796 Grand Juror in Somerset County, PA
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 2003 13:46:55 EST
My understanding of both Petit and Grand Jurors is the same collection of
names as used today: any voting tax-payer can be called for jury duty.
Occupation is not a priority as the juror system is based on the rule to be
tried by a "jury of your peers". For this reason, unless there is a change
of venue, a jury is called from the locality [usually a county as locality,
from all townships within the county] in which the "accused" lives. In
today's juries, there is a questionairre in which you could be asked your
occupation, as well as specific details that have been agreed upon by both
lawyers, such as "Have you ever been injured in a traffic accident?" [if the
case involves a personal injury/accident case, for example]. Or, have you
ever been hurt by a defective product? Do you believe in the death penalty?
These are just examples of questions.
On occupation, a juror MIGHT be excluded if they are of a certain occupation
that could /might influence their decisions. An attorney might not want a
nurse on the jury in a medical malpractice case, for example... but your
occupation does not immediately exclude you! Each attorney has a certain
number of times to exclude a juror without giving a reason.
So this is my understanding of the system. Our ancestor farmers were the
"jury of peers" from the county area and did serve on both Petit and Grand
Juries. As far as Brethren jurors, my Brethren Minister served in his county
for the specific jury term to which he was called. So it is not unusual, in
my experience [my family was also from PA by the way].
Maybe there is a site online where you could read about jury selection, jury
terms, history of juries, etc. ? Probably any good search engine would give
info. Just an idea.