challenges

  • State law authorizes the judge and the lawyers to excuse individual jurors from service in a particular case for various reasons. If a lawyer wishes to have a juror excused, he or she must use a "challenge" for that juror. Challenges, or reasons to dismiss a juror, are of two kinds:   1. For cause - State law lists several specific reasons to excuse jurors "for cause." For example, a juror who is related to or employed by one of the parties in the case may be excused for cause. The law does not limit the number of "for-cause" challenges.   2. Peremptory - Each side in a trial can use a limited number of challenges without giving a reason. These are called "peremptory" challenges. State law sets the limit, which varies somewhat by the type of case. A peremptory challenge does not imply that the juror is not competent in any way. Often a juror excused in one case is selected in another.   State and federal law prohibit parties and lawyers from using these challenges to exclude jurors based on race, ethnicity, gender, or other reasons that indicate bias against an entire segment of the community.

    Oregon Judicial Department 1

1Oregon Judicial Department, Juror Information: Glossary of Terms, http://­www.ojd.state.or.us/­jurorinfo/­glossary.htm (last accessed May 27, 2009).