Introduced Version House Bill 2828 History

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Key: Green = existing Code. Red = new code to be enacted

WEST virginia legislature

2017 regular session


House Bill 2828

By Delegates Summers, Canestraro, Miller, R. and Hollen

[Introduced March 8, 2017; Referred
to the Committee on the Judiciary.]

A BILL to amend and reenact §62-3-3 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to changing the number of strikes in jury selection in felony cases to provide four strikes each to the accused and the prosecution; and setting forth the order the strikes are to be taken.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That §62-3-3 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:


§62-3-3. Selection of jury in felony cases; striking jurors; alternate jurors.

In a case of felony, twenty jurors shall be drawn from those in attendance for the trial of the accused. If a sufficient number of jurors for such panel cannot be procured in this way, the court shall order others to be forthwith summoned and selected, until a panel of twenty jurors, free from exception, be completed, from which is complete. From this panel the accused may strike off six jurors four jurors and the prosecuting attorney may strike off two jurors four jurors. The prosecuting attorney shall first strike off two jurors, and then the accused six first strikes off two jurors, then the accused strikes off two jurors. The parties continue in this manner until all strikes have been used. If the accused failed to strike from such panel fails to strike the number of jurors this section allows him or her to strike the number not stricken off by him or her shall be stricken off by the prosecuting attorney, so as to reduce the panel to twelve, who shall compose the jury for the trial of the case. This panel composes the regular jury for the trial of the case.

Whenever, in the opinion of the court determines the trial is likely to may be a protracted one, the court may direct that not more than up to four jurors, in addition to the regular jury, be called and impanelled to sit as alternate jurors. Alternate jurors in the order in which they are called shall replace jurors who, prior to the time the jury retires to consider its verdict, become unable or disqualified to perform their duties. Alternate jurors shall be drawn in the same manner, shall have the same qualifications, shall be subject to the same examination and challenges, shall take the same oath and shall have the same functions, powers, facilities and privileges as the regular jurors. An alternate juror who does not replace a regular juror shall be discharged after the jury retires to consider its verdict. Each side is entitled to one peremptory challenge in addition to those otherwise allowed by law if one or two alternate jurors are to be impanelled, and two peremptory challenges if three or four alternate jurors are to be impanelled. The additional peremptory challenges may be used against an alternate juror only, and the other peremptory challenges allowed by this section may not be used against an alternate juror.


NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to decrease the number of strikes a defendant has in a criminal proceeding from six to four from a panel of potential jurors.  The bill increases the number of strikes the prosecution has from two to four.  The bill also sets forth the order the strikes are to be taken.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.

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