It is the policy of the United States that all litigants in Federal courts entitled to trial by jury shall have the right to grand and petit juries selected at random from a fair cross section of the community in the district or division wherein the court convenes. It is further the policy of the United States that all citizens shall have the opportunity to be considered for service on grand and petit juries in the district courts of the United States, and shall have an obligation to serve as jurors when summoned for that purpose.
28 U.S.C. § 1861
HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES Based on title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §§411 and 415 (Mar. 3, 1911, ch. 231, §§275, 278, 38 Stat. 1164, 1165). The revised section prescribes uniform standards of qualification for jurors in Federal Courts instead of making qualifications depend upon State laws. This is in accord with proposed legislation recommended by the Judicial Conference of the United States.The last paragraph is added to exclude jurors incompetent to serve as jurors in State courts.
AMENDMENTS1968- Pub. L. 90-274 substituted provisions declaring the policy of the United States with respect to trial by jury and the opportunity to serve on such juries for provisions setting out the required qualifications of Federal jurors, including age, citizenship, residence, freedom from conviction of certain crimes, ability to read, write, speak, and understand the English language, and capability of rendering efficient jury service. 1957- Pub. L. 85-315 substituted "Qualifications of Federal jurors" for "Qualifications" in section catchline. Pub. L. 85-315 substituted "and who has resided for a period of one year within the judicial district" for "and resides within the judicial district", and struck out provisions which prohibited service as a grand or petit juror if a person was incompetent to serve as a grand or petit juror by the law of the State in which the district court is held.
EFFECTIVE DATE OF 1968 AMENDMENT Pub. L. 90-274, §104, Mar. 27, 1968, 82 Stat. 63, provided that: "This Act [amending this section and sections, to , and of this title, repealing section of Title 48, Territories and Insular Possessions, and enacting provisions set out as notes under this section] shall become effective two hundred and seventy days after the date of enactment [Mar. 27, 1968]: Provided, That this Act shall not apply in any case in which an indictment has been returned or petit jury empaneled prior to such effective date."
SHORT TITLE OF 1978 AMENDMENT Pub. L. 95-572, §1, Nov. 2, 1978, 92 Stat. 2453, provided that: "This Act [enacting sectionsand of this title, amending sections , , , , and of this title, renumbering section 1363 (relating to construction of references to laws of the United States or Acts of Congress) as section of this title, and enacting provisions set out as a note under section of this title] may be cited as the 'Jury System Improvements Act of 1978'."
SHORT TITLE Pub. L. 90-274, §1, Mar. 27, 1968, 82 Stat. 53, provided: "That this Act [amending this section and sections, to , and of this title, repealing section of Title 48, Territories and Insular Possessions, and enacting provisions set out as notes under this section] may be cited as the 'Jury Selection and Service Act of 1968'."
- "division" shall mean: (1) one or more statutory divisions of a judicial district; or (2) in statutory divisions that contain more than one place of holding court, or in judicial districts where there are no statutory divisions, such counties, parishes, or similar political subdivisions surrounding the places where court is held as the district court plan shall determine: Provided, That each county, parish, or similar political subdivision shall be included in some such division;