By Jeff Wagner

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When Derek Chauvin goes on trial next week for the death of George Floyd next week, the first step will be jury selection.

Jerry from Brooklyn Park has lived in Minnesota for decades but has never been summoned. He emailed WCCO wondering, how do you get picked for jury duty? Jeff Wagner spoke to retired Judge Kevin Burke, and learned it’s the luck of the draw.

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Burke spent decades on the bench. He says a computer program randomly selects the names of citizens who are 18 and older. You can opt out if you’re older than 70, and you can be excused if you’re under 18, no longer live in the county, have a severe disability or have served as a juror within the last four years.

(credit: CBS)

“I think the most I’ve seen is somebody who was on their third or their fourth time being a juror,” Burke said.

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He says a summons can be delayed once for up to nine months due to work, a family issue or other hardships, including the pandemic. The court system is understanding that not everyone is always available when requested.

About 190,000 Minnesotans are summonsed each year, but just 5% actually get selected to be part of a jury.

“In a felony jury trial, we need 12 jurors plus a couple alternates,” Burke said. “In a civil case, we need six plus a couple alternates.”

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Jurors are paid $20 for each day spent at the courthouse. The state can also help with childcare costs up to $50 per day.

Jeff Wagner