1997 Regular Session
To: Judiciary B
By: Representative Chaney
House Bill 411
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 13-5-1, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE THE QUALIFICATIONS FOR JURORS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 13-5-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
13-5-1. Every citizen not under the age of twenty-one (21) years, who is either a qualified elector, or a resident freeholder of the county for more than one (1) year, is able to read and write, and has not been convicted of an infamous crime, or the unlawful sale of intoxicating liquors within a period of five (5) years * * *, is a competent juror. No person who is or has been within twelve (12) months the overseer of a public road or road contractor shall, however, be competent to serve as a grand juror. The lack of any such qualifications on the part of one or more jurors shall not, however, vitiate an indictment or verdict. Moreover, no talesman or tales juror shall be qualified who has served as such talesman or tales juror in the last preceding two (2) years, and no juror shall serve on any jury who has served as such for the last preceding two (2) years. No juror shall serve who has a case of his own pending in that court, provided there are sufficient qualified jurors in the district, and for trial at that term.
In order to determine that prospective jurors can read and write, the presiding judge shall, with the assistance of the clerk, distribute to the jury panel a form to be completed personally by each juror prior to being empaneled as follows:
"1. Your name ____ Last ____ First ____ Middle initial
2. Your home address ____
3. Your occupation ____
4. Your age ____
5. Your telephone number ____ If none, write none
6. If you live outside the county seat, the number of miles you live from the courthouse ____ Miles
Sign your name"
The judge shall personally examine the answers of each juror prior to empaneling the jury and each juror who cannot complete the above form shall be disqualified as a juror and discharged.
A list of any jurors disqualified for jury duty by reason of inability to complete the form shall be kept by the circuit clerk and their names shall not be placed in the jury box thereafter until such person can qualify as above provided.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.