What are alternate jurors?

Sometimes, when the judge believes that a case is likely to last more than a day or two, additional jurors will be chosen from those summoned for jury duty, questioned and challenged like other prospective jurors. The additional jurors are chosen to avoid having to retry the case should one or more jurors be excused from the jury during the trial for an emergency (such as illness), leaving too few jurors to decide the case. Throughout the trial, all jurors will sit together, paying careful attention to all the evidence. After closing argument and before the jury retires to the jury room to decide the case, the judge will excuse from further jury duty enough jurors to reduce the number of jurors to the statutory number needed to decide the case.

Show All Answers

1. Is it possible that I might report for jury service but not sit on a jury?
2. How are jurors chosen to sit on a jury in a civil case?
3. Why are some jurors removed from the list?
4. How are juries chosen in a criminal case?
5. What are alternate jurors?