RULE 24. TRIAL JURORS
1 (a) Examination of Jurors.
2 (1) Prospective Jurors. When a 12-person jury is to be impaneled, the court
3 must call for examination not more than the number of prospective jurors that
4 equals the number of jurors necessary for the jury plus the number of peremptory
5 challenges available to the parties, unless otherwise stipulated by the parties and
6 approved by the court. When a six-person jury is to be impaneled, the court may
7 call for examination a number of prospective jurors equal to the number of jurors
8 necessary for the jury plus the number of peremptory challenges available to the
9 parties. If, after the parties have exercised their challenges, there are more jurors
10 than required by Rule 23, the excess jurors must be excused in the inverse order in
11 which they were called.
12 (2) Examination. The court must permit the defendant or the defendant's
13 attorney and the prosecuting attorney to participate in the examination of
14 prospective jurors. The court may allow individual examination of prospective
15 jurors in chambers.
16 (b) Challenges.
17 (1) Challenges for Cause.
18 (A) By the Court. If the court, after examination of any prospective juror,
19 finds grounds for challenge for cause, the court must excuse that prospective juror.
20 (B) By a Party. If the court does not excuse a prospective juror for cause, any party
21 may make a challenge for cause. A challenge to a prospective juror must be made
22 before the juror is sworn to try the case
, unless the court permits it to be
the prospective juror is sworn but before jeopardy has attached.
24 (2) Peremptory Challenges. Each side is entitled to:
25 (A) 4 peremptory challenges when a 6-person jury is to be impaneled; and
26 (B) 6 peremptory challenges when a 12-person jury is to be impaneled,
27 except when the offense charged is a AA felony, each side is entitled to 10
28 peremptory challenges.
29 If there is more than one defendant, the court may allow the defendants
30 additional peremptory challenges and permit them to be exercised separately or
32 (c) Alternate Jurors.
33 (1) In General. The court may impanel up to four alternate jurors to replace
34 any jurors who are unable to perform or who are disqualified from performing
35 their duties.
36 (2) Procedure.
37 (A) Alternate jurors must have the same qualifications and be selected and
38 sworn in the same manner as any other jurors.
39 (B) Alternate jurors replace jurors in the same sequence in which the
40 alternates were selected. An alternate juror who replaces a juror has the same
41 authority as the other jurors.
42 (3) Release of Alternate Jurors. An alternate juror who does not replace a
43 juror must be discharged after the jury retires to consider its verdict, unless the
44 parties otherwise agree.
45 (4) Peremptory Challenges. Each side is entitled to the number of additional
46 peremptory challenges to prospective alternate jurors specified below. These
47 additional challenges may be used only to remove alternate jurors.
48 (A) One or Two Alternates. One additional peremptory challenge is
49 permitted when one or two alternate jurors are impaneled.
50 (B) Three or Four Alternates. Two additional peremptory challenges are
51 permitted when three or four alternate jurors are impaneled.
52 EXPLANATORY NOTE
53 Rule 24 was amended, effective January 1, 1988; March 1, 1990; March 1,
54 2006; March 1, 2011;______________________.
55 Rule 24 is an adaptation of Fed.R.Crim.P. 24, and is modified to conform to
56 existing state practice. Rule 24 is intended to ensure that a defendant's Sixth
57 Amendment guarantee of an "impartial jury" is protected. To implement this right
58 to an impartial jury, subdivision (a) permits an examination of prospective jurors to
59 determine whether any juror is biased for or against either party, or whether any
60 juror's status or views are such that bias may be inferred. Others may be challenged
61 peremptorily, but the number of those challenges is limited by subdivision (b).
Subdivision (b) was amended, effective March 1, 1990. The amendments
technical in nature and no substantive change is intended.
64 Subdivision (a) was modified to allow the continuance of the present
65 practice permitting the examination of jurors by opposing parties or their attorneys
66 and by the court. This differs from the federal rule, which gives the court
67 discretion in determining whether it alone should examine prospective jurors or
68 also allow the opposing parties to do so. Subdivision (a) was amended, effective
69 January 1, 1988, to provide for a uniform jury selection process. However, this
70 procedure is discretionary with the court.
71 Paragraph (a)(1) was amended, effective March 1, 2011, to provide a
72 uniform jury selection process for a 12-person jury, unless otherwise stipulated by
73 the parties and approved by the court.
74 Subdivision (b) was amended, effective March 1, 1990. The amendments
75 are technical in nature and no substantive change is intended.
76 Subdivision (b) was amended, effective March 1, 2011, to interchange
77 paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2). Former paragraph (b)(1) became paragraph (b)(2),
78 and former paragraph (b)(2) became (b)(1).
79 Paragraph (b)(1), formerly paragraph (b)(2), regarding challenges for cause,
80 is not in the federal rules. This subsection is necessary to preclude any question
81 that challenges for cause are a definite part of the examination of prospective
82 jurors. This rule also obligates the judge to dismiss a prospective juror if grounds
83 for cause exist, thereby avoiding prejudicing other prospective jurors against the
85 Paragraph (b)(1) was amended, effective__________________, to allow a
86 challenge for cause to be made only prior to a juror being sworn.
87 Paragraph (b)(2), formerly paragraph (b)(1), follows existing state law and
88 maintains the number of peremptory challenges historically allowed. The provision
89 of subdivision (b) that allows additional peremptory challenges in trials with
90 multiple defendants was an innovation of former practice.
91 Under paragraph (b)(2), a peremptory challenge is exercised by a party not
92 in the selection but rather in the rejection of prospective jurors. A peremptory
93 challenge is not aimed at disqualification, but is exercised against a qualified trial
94 juror as a matter of grace to the challenger. The right to peremptory challenges is
95 afforded in aid of securing a fair and impartial jury.
96 Subdivision (c) is taken from the federal rule and replaced superseded
97 statutes. This procedure avoids a mistrial whenever an alternate juror is substituted
98 for a juror who has become disqualified by illness or otherwise before submission
99 of the case to the jury.
100 Rule 24 was amended, effective March 1, 2006, in response to the
101 December 1, 2002, revision of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. The
102 language and organization of the rule were changed to make the rule more easily
103 understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules.
104 SOURCES: Supreme Court Conference Minutes of January 17, 1990; September
105 28, 1987; Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of ______________________;
106 April 29-30, 2010, page 27; January 28-29, 2010, pages 16-19; January 27-28,
107 2005, pages 19-20; April 20, 1989, page 4; December 3, 1987, page 15; May
108 21-22, 1987, pages 16-17; February 19-20, 1987, pages 19-20; October 17-20,
109 1972, pages 12-18; September 26-27, 1968, pages 11-13; Fed.R.Crim.P. 24.
110 STATUTES AFFECTED:
111 SUPERSEDED: N.D.C.C. §§ 29-17-27 to 29-17-29, 29-17-31, 29-17-32,
112 29-17-39, 29-17-40, 29-17-41, 29-17-42, 29-17-43, 29-17-47, 29-17-48, 29-21-35,
114 CONSIDERED: N.D.C.C. §§ 27-09.1-01 to 27-09.1-22, 29-17-01 to
115 29-17-15, 29-17-30, 29-17-33, 29-17-35, 29-17-36, 29-17-38, 29-17-44 to
117 CROSS REFERENCE: N.D.R.Crim.P. 23 (Trial by Jury or by Court).