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A224, R211, S578
Sponsors: Senators Martin and Ford
Document Path: l:\s-res\lam\009juro.mrh.doc
Companion/Similar bill(s): 3261
Introduced in the Senate on March 3, 2005
Introduced in the House on April 26, 2005
Last Amended on April 20, 2005
Passed by the General Assembly on January 11, 2006
Governor's Action: February 3, 2006, Signed
Summary: Use of the computer when drawing and summoning jurors
HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS
Date Body Action Description with journal page number ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 3/3/2005 Senate Introduced and read first time SJ-13 3/3/2005 Senate Referred to Committee on Judiciary SJ-13 4/19/2005 Senate Committee report: Favorable with amendment Judiciary SJ-11 4/20/2005 Senate Amended SJ-40 4/20/2005 Senate Read second time SJ-40 4/21/2005 Senate Read third time and sent to House SJ-12 4/21/2005 Scrivener's error corrected 4/26/2005 House Introduced and read first time HJ-12 4/26/2005 House Referred to Committee on Judiciary HJ-12 6/2/2005 House Recalled from Committee on Judiciary HJ-54 1/10/2006 House Read second time HJ-61 1/11/2006 House Read third time and enrolled HJ-17 1/31/2006 Ratified R 211 2/3/2006 Signed By Governor 2/7/2006 Copies available 2/7/2006 Effective date 02/03/06 2/10/2006 Act No. 224
View the latest legislative information at the LPITS web site
VERSIONS OF THIS BILL
(A224, R211, S578)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 14-7-140, AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE USE OF THE COMPUTER BY A COUNTY FOR DRAWING AND SUMMONING JURORS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT COMPUTER SOFTWARE EMPLOYED FOR THIS PURPOSE MUST BE DESIGNED SO AS TO ENSURE A RANDOM SELECTION OF JURORS FROM THE POPULATION AVAILABLE FOR JURY DUTY, TO PROVIDE THAT PHYSICAL PRESENCE OF JURY COMMISSIONERS IS NOT REQUIRED, THE DRAWING AND SUMMONING MUST TAKE PLACE PUBLICLY IN THE OFFICE OF THE CLERK OF COURT, AND THE SUPREME COURT SHALL DIRECT BY ORDER APPROPRIATE PROCEDURES REQUIRED TO IMPLEMENT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION; TO AMEND SECTION 14-7-230, RELATING TO PROCEDURE FOR DRAWING A JUROR, SO AS DELETE THE REQUIREMENT THAT IT BE ACCOMPLISHED WITH EITHER A PERSON WHO IS TOTALLY BLIND OR BY A CHILD UNDER THE AGE OF TEN YEARS OLD, AND TO AUTHORIZE THE CLERK OF COURT TO DESIGNATE A RESPONSIBLE AND IMPARTIAL PERSON OR BY COMPUTER SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 14-7-140; AND TO AMEND SECTION 14-7-1060, RELATING TO CLERK OF COURT WRITING THE NAMES OF JURORS ON SEPARATE PIECES OF PAPER, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THIS PROCEDURE IS NOT REQUIRED IF A COMPUTER IS USED TO DRAW THE NAMES OF JURORS, TO DELETE THE REQUIREMENT THAT A CHILD UNDER THE AGE OF TEN OR A BLIND PERSON BE USED TO DRAW A JURY, AND TO AUTHORIZE THE CLERK, WITH THE APPROVAL OF THE PRESIDING JUDGE, TO DESIGNATE A RESPONSIBLE AND IMPARTIAL PERSON TO DRAW CAPSULES TO SELECT THE JURORS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Drawing and summoning jurors
SECTION 1. Section 14-7-140 of the 1976 Code, as last amended by Act 299 of 1988, is further amended to read:
"Section 14-7-140. Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter, the jury commissioners of a county, when drawing and summoning jurors for the court of common pleas, general sessions, or the grand jury, may utilize a computer for this purpose at the discretion of the governing body of the county. Computer software employed for the purpose of drawing and summoning jurors must be designed so as to ensure a random selection of jurors from the population available for jury service. The physical presence of all the jury commissioners is not required at the computerized drawing and summoning of jurors if the governing body of the county establishes a secure procedure allowing for their participation by other means. The computerized drawing and summoning of jurors must take place in the office of the clerk of court as a public event to ensure the absolute integrity of the random selection process. The Supreme Court shall direct by order the appropriate procedures required to implement the provisions of this section."
Clerk may use computer or responsible person to draw jurors
SECTION 2. Section 14-7-230 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 14-7-230. The clerk of court must use one of the following methods for drawing the names of jurors for the purpose of impaneling a jury:
(1) drawing of the names of jurors by a responsible and impartial person designated by the clerk of court, with the approval of the presiding judge; or
(2) drawing of the names of jurors by computer, subject to the provisions of Section 14-7-140."
Procedure changed for drawing jurors
SECTION 3. Section 14-7-1060 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 14-7-1060. If a computer is not used for the drawing of jurors pursuant to the provisions of Section 14-7-140, the clerk shall write or cause the names of the jurors in attendance to be written, each on a separate paper or ballot which must be white and plain, which must resemble each other as much as possible, and which must be so folded that the name written thereon is not visible on the outside. The clerk shall place each of the ballots or separate papers in a separate, small opaque capsule or container, which must be as uniform in size, shape, and color as possible at the time of original purchase or repurchase of the capsules or containers. Whenever a jury panel of twenty is to be drawn, these capsules or containers must be placed in a small rotating drum, cylindrical in shape, having a handle at the end thereof and resting on such supports that it can be turned by means of the handle, the drum, capsules, and other equipment to be furnished by the jury commissioners and approved by the resident judge. When the containers or capsules have been placed in the drum, it must be completely closed and securely fastened and rotated by means of the handle for a sufficient length of time necessary for a complete mixing of the containers or capsules and the required number of jurors must then be drawn, one by one, by a responsible and impartial person designated by the clerk of court, with the approval of the presiding judge. The names of the jurors so drawn must be returned to the capsules and replaced in the drum when the jurors are no longer actually engaged in service on a trial jury."
SECTION 4. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
Ratified the 31st day of January, 2006.
Approved the 3rd day of February, 2006.
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