HB 1090 - Juries; peremptory challenges; panel size; amend provisions

First Reader Summary

A BILL to amend Chapter 12 of Title 15 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to juries, so as to change the number of peremptory challenges allowed the prosecuting attorney and the accused in misdemeanor trials; to change the size of the jury panel in felony cases; to change the number of peremptory challenges allowed the prosecuting attorney and the accused in felony trials; and for other purposes.

Buckner, Gail M (95th) Taylor, Maretta M (134th) Thomas, Regina (148th)
Hudson, Sistie G (120th)
Status Summary HC: Judy SC: LA: 01/12/98 H - Read 2nd Time
Page Numbers - 1/ 2
Code Sections - 15-12-125/ 15-12-160/ 15-12-165
House Action Senate
3/28/97 Read 1st Time
1/12/98 Read 2nd Time

HB 1090                                            LC 10 2234 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                        A BILL TO BE ENTITLED 
                               AN ACT 
 
 
  1- 1  To amend Chapter 12 of Title 15 of the Official Code of 
  1- 2  Georgia Annotated, relating to juries, so as to change the 
  1- 3  number of peremptory challenges allowed the prosecuting 
  1- 4  attorney and the accused in misdemeanor trials; to change 
  1- 5  the size of the jury panel in felony cases; to change the 
  1- 6  number of peremptory challenges allowed the prosecuting 
  1- 7  attorney and the accused in felony trials; to provide for 
  1- 8  exceptions; to provide for applicability; to repeal 
  1- 9  conflicting laws; and for other purposes. 
 
  1-10       BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: 
 
  1-11                           SECTION 1. 
 
  1-12  Chapter 12 of Title 15 of the Official Code of Georgia 
  1-13  Annotated, relating to juries, is amended by striking Code 
  1-14  Section 15-12-125, relating to required jury panels for 
  1-15  misdemeanor trials, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code 
  1-16  Section 15-12-125 to read as follows: 
 
  1-17    "15-12-125. 
 
  1-18    For the trial of misdemeanors in all courts, each party 
  1-19    may demand a full panel of 12 competent and impartial 
  1-20    jurors from which to select a jury.  When one or more of 
  1-21    the regular panel of trial jurors is are absent or for any 
  1-22    reason disqualified, the judge, at the request of counsel 
  1-23    for either party, shall cause the panel to be filled by 
  1-24    additional competent and impartial jurors to the number of 
  1-25    12 before requiring the parties or their counsel to strike 
  1-26    a jury.  From this panel, the accused shall have the right 
  1-27    to challenge four three peremptorily, and the state two 
  1-28    three. The remaining six shall constitute the jury." 
 
  1-29                           SECTION 2. 
 
  1-30  Said chapter is further amended by striking Code Section 
  1-31  15-12-160, relating to required jury panels for felony 
  1-32  trials, and inserting in lieu thereof a new Code Section 
  1-33  15-12-160 to read as follows: 
 
 
 
                                 -1- 
 
 
 
  2- 1    "15-12-160. 
 
  2- 2    When any person stands indicted for a felony, the court 
  2- 3    shall have impaneled 30 24 jurors from which the defense 
  2- 4    and prosecution may strike jurors; provided, however, in 
  2- 5    any case in which the state announces its intention to 
  2- 6    seek the death penalty, the court shall have impaneled 42 
  2- 7    36 jurors from which the defense and state prosecution may 
  2- 8    strike jurors.  If, for any reason, after striking from 
  2- 9    the panel there remain less fewer than 12 qualified jurors 
  2-10    to try the case, the presiding judge shall summon such 
  2-11    numbers of persons who are competent jurors as may be 
  2-12    necessary to provide a full panel.  In making up the panel 
  2-13    or successive panels, the presiding judge shall draw the 
  2-14    tales jurors from the jury box of the county and shall 
  2-15    order the sheriff to summon them." 
 
  2-16                           SECTION 3. 
 
  2-17  Said chapter is further amended by striking Code Section 
  2-18  15-12-165, relating to the number of peremptory challenges 
  2-19  in the trial of felonies, and inserting in lieu thereof a 
  2-20  new Code Section 15-12-165 to read as follows: 
 
  2-21    "15-12-165. 
 
  2-22    Except as otherwise provided in this Code section, every 
  2-23    Every person indicted for a crime or offense may 
  2-24    peremptorily challenge 12 six of the jurors impaneled to 
  2-25    try him such person.  The state shall be allowed one-half 
  2-26    the same number of peremptory challenges allowed to the 
  2-27    accused; provided, however, in any case in which the state 
  2-28    announces its intention to seek the death penalty, the 
  2-29    person indicted for the crime may peremptorily challenge 
  2-30    20 12 jurors and the state shall be allowed one-half the 
  2-31    same number of peremptory challenges allowed to the 
  2-32    accused." 
 
  2-33                           SECTION 4. 
 
  2-34  This Act shall apply to misdemeanor and felony cases 
  2-35  involving offenses occurring on or after July 1, 1997. 
 
  2-36                           SECTION 5. 
 
  2-37  All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are 
  2-38  repealed. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                 -2- 

Clerk of the House
Robert E. Rivers, Jr., Clerk
Last Updated on 04/20/98

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