Hi, Katy Preen! Thanks for your response and explaining the British system to American readers. I’m inclined to think it’s far superior to ours, or indeed France’s, which is very similar to America’s.
In France, mayors put together an annual jurors’ list by drawing names at random from the electoral roll among constituents who are over 23. Then, a special commission does a second draw, taking into account the folks who cannot serve for a whole host of rasons and those who asked to be excused.
For example, you can be excused if you’re over 70 and have issues — my gran had to do that due to substantial hearing loss, and for a whole host of other reasons. (And if you’re summoned and don’t show, there’s a massive fine of a few thousand euros.)
From this annual list, 35 jurors and 10 back-up jurors are summoned for every criminal case but lawyers can choose to exclude jurors, much like in the U.S.
Being on the electoral roll of a French city is the reason why French citizens who reside abroad can’t be called for jury duty as double electoral registration (in France as well as with a local consulate) is no longer allowed.
Apologies if that was a little long, but civic life is a topic very close to my heart.