Date of this Version
State law provides that master jury lists are comprised by combining the lists of registered voters and registered drivers in the state of Nebraska. There have been anecdotal concerns that because minorities may be less likely to be registered to vote and less likely to be registered to drive, the current source lists may not effectively achieve a representative master list. The findings of this examination support this assertion. Based on an examination of juror qualification forms from 8 of Nebraska’s most diverse counties, data indicate that there are significant racial disparities in the initial and eligible pools of jurors.
This report provides a review of several policy options intended to ensure a more representative initial jury pool. It is recommended that through legislative action, the source lists used to create the master jury list be expanded to include individuals with state identification cards and that the judicial branch be granted discretion to add additional source lists in the interest of creating a representative cross section of the community.