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Many see jury duty second only to voting and serving the country in military service. It's one of three ways to take part of being an American and the freedoms we enjoy. It's a great way to serve your fellow Tennesseans and Americans.
To qualify to be chosen for jury service you must be 18 years old, lived in the county for at least 12 months, not a convicted felon, be a U.S. citizen for 12 months, not currently under indictment, and not have served on local jury service within the last 24 months.
We have strictly used the Department of Safety's drivers License list for more than 30 plus years. There are approximately 14,100 licensed drivers on the Benton County list. We choose about 250 each jury term to choose from. Our method of making those choices is facilitated by a random computerized selection.
250 summonses are mailed three times a year (every 4 months), and questionnaires are then returned to the Clerk's Office. We summon each potential juror to join us during what is called, Grand Jury Day. From that point, the judge has total authority over jury service and juror selection process.
Four months. Each February, June and October we begin new.
Decides whether to indict (bring formal charges) against an individual for charges presented by the District Attorney's Office. They do not decide guilt or innocence but whether or not there is sufficient proof and evidence to require the accused to stand trial. 12 members of the Grand Jury plus one foreman, are equal to the thirteen people that make up the Grand Jury. The 12 jurors must agree on an outcome.
Jury duty pays $11 per appearance/day.
On Grand Jury Day everyone's name is put into a raffle drum/tumbler and names are drawn at random and attorneys ask them questions to see if they qualify to serve or not.