Senate Bill 74 History
OTHER VERSIONS -
Committee Substitute (1)
Enrolled Version - Final Version
Senate Bill No. 74
(By Senator Sypolt)
[Introduced February 13, 2013; referred to the Committee on the
A BILL to amend and reenact §52-1-8 of the Code of West Virginia,
1931, as amended, relating to redefining the basis for
disqualification of prospective jurors to include those who
have been convicted of any crime punishable by imprisonment in
excess of one year, perjury or false swearing.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §52-1-8 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended,
be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 1. PETIT JURIES.
§52-1-8. Disqualification from jury service.
(a) The court, upon request of a prospective juror or on its
own initiative, shall determine
on the basis of information
provided on the juror qualification form or interview with the
prospective juror or other competent evidence
whether the prospective juror is disqualified for jury service on the basis of
information provided on the juror qualification form or interview
with the prospective juror or other competent evidence.
shall enter this determination in the space provided on the juror
qualification form and on the alphabetical lists of names drawn
from the jury wheel or jury box.
(b) A prospective juror is disqualified to serve on a jury if
the prospective juror:
(1) Is not a citizen of the United States, at least eighteen
years old and a resident of the county;
(2) Is unable to read, speak and understand the English
language. For the purposes of this section, the requirement of
speaking and understanding the English language is met by the
ability to communicate in American sign language or signed English;
(3) Is incapable, by reason of substantial physical or mental
disability, of rendering satisfactory jury service.
claiming this disqualification may be required to submit a
physician's certificate as to the disability and the certifying
physician is subject to inquiry by the court at its discretion;
(4) Has, within the preceding two years, been summoned to
serve as a petit juror, grand juror or magistrate court juror and
attended sessions of the magistrate or circuit court
and been reimbursed for his or her expenses as a juror pursuant to the provisions of section twenty-one of this article, section
thirteen, article two of this chapter, or pursuant to an applicable
rule or regulation of the Supreme Court of Appeals promulgated
pursuant to the provisions of section eight, article five, chapter
fifty of this code;
(5) Has lost the right to vote because of a criminal
(6) Has been convicted of perjury, false swearing or
infamous offense any crime punishable by imprisonment in excess of
one year under the applicable law of this state, another state or
the United States.
(c) A prospective juror seventy years of age or older is not
disqualified from serving but shall be excused from service by the
court upon the juror's request.
(d) A prospective grand juror is disqualified to serve on a
grand jury if
the prospective grand juror he or she
officeholder under the laws of the United States or of this state
except that the term "officeholder" does not include notaries
(e) A person who is physically disabled and can render
competent service with reasonable accommodation
shall not be is not
ineligible to act as juror
or and may not
be dismissed from a jury
panel on the basis of disability alone.
The circuit judge shall, upon motion by either party or upon his or her own
motion, disqualify a disabled juror if the circuit judge finds that
the nature of potential evidence in the case including, but not
limited to, the type or volume of exhibits or the disabled juror's
ability to evaluate a witness or witnesses, unduly inhibits the
disabled juror's ability to evaluate the potential evidence. For
purposes of this section:
(1) Reasonable accommodation includes, but is not limited to,
certified interpreters for the hearing impaired, spokespersons for
the speech impaired and readers for the visually impaired.
(2) The court shall administer an oath or affirmation to any
person present to facilitate communication for a disabled juror.
The substance of
oath or affirmation shall be that any
person present as an accommodation to a disabled juror will not
deliberate on his or her own behalf, although present throughout
the proceedings, but act only to accurately communicate for and to
the disabled juror.
(f) Nothing in this article
shall be construed so as to limit
in any way limits
a party's right to preemptory strikes in civil or
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to replace the phrase "other
infamous offense" with language referencing crimes punishable by imprisonment in excess of one year or any crime involving
dishonesty or false statement, regardless of punishment, in
subsection that identifies reasons for juror disqualification.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would