FEDERAL COURTS USING TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE JUROR EXPERIENCE

From: Courts Today

In a concerted effort to make it easier for people to serve as jurors, the federal Judiciary is embracing technologies aimed at reducing wait times, paperwork, and trips to the courthouse.

“We want jurors to have positive experiences with the courts,” said Paul Lombardi, jury supervisor for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. “We recognize that while jury service is an important civic duty, it can be seen as an inconvenience, which is why we have implemented systems to foster better communication between the jurors and the court.”

One of the major innovations in recent years was adoption Judiciary-wide of an electronic records management system, which makes it easier to form jury pools without requiring people to trek to their local courthouses. The Jury Management System stores jury questionnaire information and runs a computer algorithm to create a random pool of qualified people.  Prior to the electronic system, the selection process was paper-based, and court staff would manually process questionnaire data and use a jury wheel, similar to a bingo wheel, to form jury pools.

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