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Arizona Task Force To Study Possible Jury Selection Changes

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Possible changes to Arizona’s jury selection system to make sure that trial juries include a fair cross-section of local communities will be the focus of a newly created task force created by state Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Brutinel.

Brutinel on Wednesday issued an order creating the task force and instructing it to collect demographic data on jury composition and to make recommendations on areas related to the selection of jurors.

Those include whether the current source lists for potential jurors are adequate and whether jury pay should be raised so more potential jurors could serve.

The task force also is supposed to consider whether lawyers’ peremptory challenges of jurors systemically reduce the representation of minorities and whether the peremptory challenge rules should be changed.

Brutinel said in the order that the task force was created as part a commitment to promoting public trust and confidence in the jury system.

The task force was ordered to present a report with recommendations to the Arizona Judicial Council by Oct. 1.

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