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Substitute Senate Bill No. 694

PUBLIC ACT NO. 96-179

AN ACT CONCERNING JURY SELECTION, JURY QUESTIONNAIRES, ORIENTATION OF JURORS, JURY DUTY AND CERTIFICATION FOR REVIEW BY THE SUPREME COURT.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 51-217 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) All jurors shall be electors, or citizens of the United States who are residents of this state HAVING A PERMANENT PLACE OF ABODE IN THIS STATE and ARE listed in the records of the Department of Motor Vehicles as persons to whom motor vehicle operators' licenses have been issued OR, FOR THE JUROR SELECTION PROCESS COMMENCING SEPTEMBER 1, 1997, APPEAR ON THE LIST COMPILED BY THE JURY ADMINISTRATOR UNDER SUBSECTION (b) OF SECTION 51-222a, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 3 OF THIS ACT, who have reached the age of eighteen. A person shall be disqualified to serve as a juror if such person (1) is found by a judge of the Superior Court to exhibit any quality which will impair his capacity to serve as a juror, except that no person shall be disqualified on the basis of deafness or hearing impairment; (2) has been convicted of a felony within the past seven years or is a defendant in a pending felony case or is in the custody of the Commissioner of Correction; (3) is not able to speak and understand the English language; (4) is the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of the State, Treasurer, Comptroller or Attorney General; (5) is a judge of the Superior Court, Appellate Court or Supreme Court or is a federal court judge; (6) is a member of the General Assembly, provided such disqualification shall apply only while the General Assembly is in session; (7) is seventy years of age or older and chooses not to perform juror service; or (8) is incapable, by reason of a physical or mental disability, of rendering satisfactory juror service. Any person claiming a disqualification under subdivision (8) of this subsection must submit to the Jury Administrator a letter from a licensed physician stating the nature of the disability and the physician's opinion that such disability prevents the person from rendering satisfactory juror service. In reaching such opinion, the physician shall apply the following guideline: A person shall be capable of rendering satisfactory juror service if such person is able to perform a sedentary job requiring close attention for six hours per day, with short work breaks in the morning and afternoon sessions, for at least three consecutive business days.

(b) The Jury Administrator may determine, in such manner and at such times as he deems feasible, whether any person is qualified to serve as juror under this section and whether any person may be excused for extreme hardship.

Sec. 2. Section 51-220a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Electronic data processing and similar equipment may be used in the selection, drawing and summoning of jurors under this chapter. At his election, the Jury Administrator may enter into a computerized data processing file the names of persons selected by jury committees of towns within any judicial district and the names of persons selected from the records of the Department of Motor Vehicles pertaining to motor vehicle operators' licenses as provided in section 51-222a, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 3 OF THIS ACT, OR, FOR THE JUROR SELECTION PROCESS COMMENCING SEPTEMBER 1, 1997, THE NAMES OF PERSONS APPEARING ON THE LIST COMPILED UNDER SUBSECTION (b) OF SAID SECTIONin order to perform the following tasks with the use of equipment, including electronic data processing equipment: (1) The drawing by lot or by random of the names of jurors to be summoned to any court location and the addressing and mailing of summonses for such jurors; and (2) the furnishing to the clerk of court, where the jurors are summoned to appear, a set of slips containing the names of the jurors, a list in alphabetical order by town and by name within the town of the jurors summoned to appear and such other documentation as the Jury Administrator deems feasible.

Sec. 3. Section 51-222a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Annually, upon the request of the Jury Administrator, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall supply the Jury Administrator with the latest updated file of licensed motor vehicle operators for the state. [Such list shall be used as a supplement to the names of persons submitted by town jury committees pursuant to section 51-221.] FOR THE JUROR SELECTION PROCESS COMMENCING SEPTEMBER 1, 1997, AND ANNUALLY THEREAFTER, UPON THE REQUEST OF THE JURY ADMINISTRATOR AND SUBJECT TO ANY PROVISION OF THE GENERAL STATUTES PROHIBITING THE DISCLOSURE OF THE IDENTITY OF INDIVIDUALS, THE COMMISSIONER OF MOTOR VEHICLES SHALL SUPPLY THE JURY ADMINISTRATOR WITH THE MOST RECENT UPDATED LIST OF RESIDENTS OF THIS STATE WHO ARE LICENSED MOTOR VEHICLE OPERATORS OR REGISTERED MOTOR VEHICLE OWNERS UNDER CHAPTER 246, THE COMMISSIONER OF REVENUE SERVICES SHALL SUPPLY THE JURY ADMINISTRATOR WITH THE MOST RECENT UPDATED LIST OF RESIDENTS OF THIS STATE WHO HAVE A PERMANENT PLACE OF ABODE IN THIS STATE AND ARE SUBJECT TO TAXATION ON PERSONAL INCOME UNDER CHAPTER 229, THE COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SERVICES SHALL SUPPLY THE JURY ADMINISTRATOR WITH THE MOST RECENT UPDATED LIST OF RESIDENTS OF THIS STATE WHO ARE RECIPIENTS OF PUBLIC ASSISTANCE AND THE LABOR COMMISSIONER SHALL SUPPLY THE JURY ADMINISTRATOR WITH THE MOST RECENT UPDATED LIST OF RESIDENTS OF THIS STATE WHO ARE RECIPIENTS OF UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION UNDER CHAPTER 567.

(b) FOR THE JUROR SELECTION PROCESS COMMENCING SEPTEMBER 1, 1997, THE JURY ADMINISTRATOR SHALL COMPILE A LIST OF NAMES THAT, SUBJECT TO ANY PROVISION OF THE GENERAL STATUTES PROHIBITING THE DISCLOSURE OF THE IDENTITY OF INDIVIDUALS, INCLUDES, BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO, NAMES OF RESIDENTS OF THIS STATE APPEARING ON THE MOST RECENT UPDATED LIST OF OPERATORS OF MOTOR VEHICLES LICENSED PURSUANT TO CHAPTER 246, OWNERS OF MOTOR VEHICLES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO CHAPTER 246, RESIDENTS SUBJECT TO TAXATION ON PERSONAL INCOME UNDER CHAPTER 229, RECIPIENTS OF PUBLIC ASSISTANCE, AND RECIPIENTS OF UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION UNDER CHAPTER 567. IF THE JURY ADMINISTRATOR, IN COMPILING THE LIST OF NAMES UNDER THIS SUBSECTION, DETERMINES THAT ANY OF THE SPECIFIC LISTS OF NAMES SET FORTH IN THIS SUBSECTION CANNOT BE INCORPORATED INTO SUCH COMPILED LIST, HE SHALL NOTIFY THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE REASONS THEREFOR NOT LATER THAN FEBRUARY 1, 1997.

[(b)] (c) On or before February first of each year, the Jury Administrator shall begin to compile a combined list of names for each town in the state. The compilation of such list shall be performed in the following manner: (1) The Jury Administrator shall compare the names on the jury committee list for each town submitted under section 51-221 with the names of licensed motor vehicle operators for each town received under subsection (a) of this section OR, FOR THE JUROR SELECTION PROCESS COMMENCING SEPTEMBER 1, 1997, WITH THE NAMES ON THE LIST COMPILED UNDER SUBSECTION (b) OF THIS SECTION. The Jury Administrator shall delete, where possible, [those names on the jury committee list for each town that also appear on the licensed motor vehicle operators' list for such town] DUPLICATE NAMES in order to insure that names occurring on [both lists] ANY LIST are given only a single chance to be selected. (2) The Jury Administrator shall determine what percentage of the voter list of each town is selected to meet the requirement established for such town under section 51-220. He shall then use such percentage to draw a list of names from the licensed motor vehicle operators' list for such town OR, FOR THE JUROR SELECTION PROCESS COMMENCING SEPTEMBER 1, 1997, THE LIST COMPILED UNDER SUBSECTION (b) OF THIS SECTION. (3) The Jury Administrator shall then (A) combine the names from each town jury committee list that did not appear on the licensed motor vehicle operators' list for such town with the list of names selected from the licensed motor vehicle operators' list for such town OR, (B) FOR THE JUROR SELECTION PROCESS COMMENCING SEPTEMBER 1, 1997, AFTER REMOVING DUPLICATE NAMES, COMBINE THE REMAINING NAMES ON ALL LISTS.

[(c)] (d) At his election, the Jury Administrator shall select, by random or by rotation, from the list compiled as provided in subsection [(b)] (c) of this section, the number of names required by section 51-220. These names for each town in the state and the names of persons whose jury service was continued from the previous jury year shall constitute such town's final list of prospective jurors for service starting the next succeeding September. The final list for each town shall contain the name and street address of each prospective juror.

[(d)] (e) If the Jury Administrator determines at any time that there is a need to supplement the number of names on the final list of jurors for each town within a judicial district, the Jury Administrator, so far as he is able, shall select in proportion to the population of each town, by random or by rotation, from the names not selected pursuant to subsection [(c)] (d) of this section such number of prospective jurors as he determines is necessary.

Sec. 4. Section 51-224 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

If the jury committee of any town or city fails to send in a list of names of jurors as provided in section 51-221 or fails to comply with an order of the Jury Administrator as provided in subsection (f) of section 51-221, or if the Jury Administrator determines there is a need for additional jurors, the Jury Administrator shall, so far as he is able, select from the electors of the town or city and from the licensed motor vehicle operators' list OR, FOR THE JUROR SELECTION PROCESS COMMENCING SEPTEMBER 1, 1997, FROM THE LIST COMPILED UNDER SUBSECTION (b) OF SECTION 51-222a, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 3 OF THIS ACT the names of as many persons as are necessary to make up the number of jurors provided for that town or city, who are in his judgment qualified and eligible to serve.

Sec. 5. Subsection (c) of section 51-232 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(c) The Jury Administrator [may enclose with the summons] SHALL SEND TO A PROSPECTIVE JUROR a juror confirmation form and a confidential juror questionnaire [, including] SUCH QUESTIONNAIRE SHALL INCLUDE questions eliciting THE JUROR'S NAME, AGE, RACE AND ETHNICITY, OCCUPATION, EDUCATION AND information usually raised in voir dire examination. THE QUESTIONNAIRE SHALL INFORM THE PROSPECTIVE JUROR THAT INFORMATION CONCERNING RACE AND ETHNICITY IS REQUIRED SOLELY TO ENFORCE NONDISCRIMINATION IN JURY SELECTION, THAT THE FURNISHING OF SUCH INFORMATION IS NOT A PREREQUISITE TO BEING QUALIFIED FOR JURY SERVICE AND THAT SUCH INFORMATION NEED NOT BE FURNISHED IF THE PROSPECTIVE JUROR FINDS IT OBJECTIONABLE TO DO SO. Such juror confirmation form and confidential juror questionnaire shall be signed by the prospective juror under penalty of false statement. Copies of the completed questionnaires shall be provided to the judge and counsel for use during voir dire or in preparation therefor. Counsel shall be required to return such copies to the clerk of the court upon completion of the voir dire. Except for disclosure made during voir dire or unless the court orders otherwise, information inserted by jurors shall be held in confidence by the court, the parties, counsel and their authorized agents. Such completed questionnaires shall not constitute a public record.

Sec. 6. (NEW) (a) All oral, written or audio-visual material presented to the juror pool with respect to the orientation of such pool shall, to the extent reasonably necessary and appropriate for the orientation of such juror pool, describe the responsibilities of jurors, describe the procedures in the courts and discuss the laws of this state. All oral remarks made to the juror pool during the orientation of such pool which describe the responsibilities of jurors, describe the procedures in the courts and discuss the laws of this state shall be recorded in a manner approved by the Office of the Chief Court Administrator.

(b) In any civil or criminal action tried before a jury, all parties, or their counsel, shall have the right to examine any written materials, any audio-visual materials and any recording or transcription of oral remarks made or given to the juror pool during orientation which describe the responsibilities of jurors, describe the procedures in the courts and discuss the laws of this state. The court may permit counsel to be present during the orientation of the juror pool.

Sec. 7. Section 51-237 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Each juror, duly chosen, drawn and summoned, who fails to appear shall [be fined ninety dollars] HAVE COMMITTED AN INFRACTION, but the court may excuse him from the payment thereof. If a sufficient number of the jurors summoned do not appear, or if for any cause there is not a sufficient number of jurors to make up the panel, the court may order such number of persons who qualify for jury service under section 51-217 to be summoned as may be necessary, as talesmen, and any talesman so summoned who makes default of appearance without sufficient cause shall [be fined ninety dollars] HAVE COMMITTED AN INFRACTION.

Sec. 8. Section 51-197f of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Upon final determination of any appeal by the Appellate Court, there shall be no right to further review except the Supreme Court shall have the power to certify cases for its review upon petition by an aggrieved party or by the appellate panel which heard the matter and upon the vote of [two] THREE justices of the Supreme Court so to certify and under such other rules as the justices of the Supreme Court shall establish. The procedure on appeal from the Appellate Court to the Supreme Court shall, except as otherwise provided, be in accordance with the procedure provided by rule or law for the appeal of judgments rendered by the Superior Court, unless modified by rule of the justices of the Supreme Court.

Sec. 9. This act shall take effect September 1, 1996, except that sections 1 to 4, inclusive, and sections 6 to 8, inclusive, shall take effect October 1, 1996.

Approved May 31, 1996. Effective as provided in section 9.

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