Bill would reduce challenges to prospective jurors
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- Prosecutors and defense attorneys would be able to reject fewer jurors in misdemeanor trials under a bill passed by the state Senate.
Each side currently can use up to 10 peremptory challenges, which allow attorneys to dismiss prospective jurors without stating a specific reason. The bill sent to the Assembly on Tuesday would cut that number in half.
Democratic Sen. Noreen Evans of Santa Rosa says SB794 would save the courts money, streamline misdemeanor trials and result in more diverse juries.
She says it also would improve potential jurors' experience because fewer would wait for hours only to be dismissed.
Democratic Sen. Mark Leno of San Francisco voted against the bill. He says there are better ways to save the courts money.
SB794 passed 21-11 and goes to the Assembly.