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§52-1-8. Disqualification from jury service.

(a) The court, shall determine whether any 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. The clerk 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 18 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. A person 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 has attended sessions of the magistrate or circuit court and been reimbursed for his or her expenses as a juror pursuant to the provisions of §52-1-21 or §52-2-13 of this code, or pursuant to an applicable rule or regulation of the Supreme Court of Appeals promulgated pursuant to the provisions of §50-5-8 of this code;

(5) Has lost the right to vote because of a criminal conviction; or

(6) Has been convicted of perjury, false swearing or 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 70 years of age or older is not disqualified from serving but shall be excused from service by the court upon his or her request.

(d) A prospective grand juror is disqualified to serve on a grand jury if he or she is an officeholder under the laws of the United States or of this state except that the term "officeholder" does not include, notaries public.

(e) A person who is physically disabled and can render competent service with reasonable accommodation is not ineligible to act as juror 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 deaf and hard of hearing, spokespersons for the speech impaired, real-time court reporting 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 the 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 limits a party’s right to preemptory strikes in civil or criminal actions.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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