What Is a Jury Commissioner?
A jury commissioner is part of a group of officials in a jury commission. A jury commission is charged with the responsibility of selecting prospective jury members to serve as the jury for particular cases. The commission typically reviews information about the individuals who have been called in for jury duty.
Most selection of potential jurors is computerized, so there could be any random assortment of individuals called upon to possibly serve. The jury commission has a list of the individuals the computer has selected to call in and they assess each individual’s ability to serve as jurors. They go over proof of employment and salary information, and conduct interviews of the potential jurors.
Many people attempt to get out of jury duty by arguing that they cannot miss work, educational or other prior engagements. The jury commission evaluates these claims and makes decisions as to the final list of individuals who may serve as jurors.
How to Become a Jury Commissioner
The process for becoming a jury commissioner varies state to state. In some states, jury commissioners are elected, and in other states they are appointed by judges within the court systems or by the state governor. An individual attending college in order to become a jury commissioner should select a major in law or criminal justice.
Both bachelor’s and associate degrees will be applicable. In an individual chooses to run for election as a jury commissioner, he or she should attempt to demonstrate an ability to make clear and logical decisions, refrain from letting personal opinion enter into a decision and knowledge of the jury selection process.
Jury commissioners have much power, as they are able to select individuals who can potentially send other citizens away for many years, or, in some states, even convict them to a death penalty. A good jury commissioner should be an honest, reliable and a responsible person.
Jury Commissioner Career Outlook & Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall employment of judges, magistrates and other judicial workers is projected to increase more slowly than the average rate for the United states. The rate of employment will vary by specialty, however. Officials of these kinds can expect intense competition for appointment or election. The bureau estimates the employment rate to increase by 4%, while the national average is around 8% growth.
According to the Bureau, judges, magistrate judges and magistrates had median annual wages of $110,220 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent made from $51,760 to $141,190. The top 10 percent earned over $162,140, and the bottom 10 percent made under $32,290. Median annual wages in the industries with the highest numbers of judges, magistrate judges, and magistrates were $126,080 for workers in state government and $77,390 for those in local government in 2008.
Jury commissioners with the most experience and the best track records will have the most job security.