Thursday, November 16, 2006

CA: City Court jury pools can be comprised of County residents

In re Oglesby v McKinney, 2006 NY Slip Op 08277 [available here]

City court defendants are not entitled to a jury made up solely of city residents; rather, "jurors for a criminal trial in a City Court may be selected from the residents of the county in which the city is located, including those who are not city residents." (Oglesby, 2006 NY Slip Op 08277.) So holds the Court of Appeals, in a decision affirming the Fourth Department (see my previous post here). The Court held that section 500 of the Judiciary Law "clearly does not command that all juries be selected county-wide, it seems to imply that selection from the county will be the norm, to which exceptions are possible." (Id.) The Court also noted that requiring City Court jury pools to be drawn solely from city residents would decrease the number of city residents available for felony jury pools in County Court--"[i]f all City Court jurors had to be Syracuse residents, the likely result would be to divert some Syracuse jurors from felony trial to misdemeanor trials in City Court--to the disappointment of those Syracuse defendants in felony cases who would prefer jurors from their home town." (Id.)