Arizona eliminates peremptory challenges in jury selection

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There will soon be a big change for jury selection in Arizona. The Arizona Supreme Court published a rule modification Friday ending the use of peremptory challenges in civil and criminal cases. It will be implemented Jan. 1.

An Aug. 30 order details the changes. Robert Chang, a professor at the Seattle University School of Law, told the Associated Press via the Arizona Republic that he thinks Arizona is the first state to take this action.

The change was inspired by a state task force, created in March, to study whether Arizona juries included fair representations of local communities.

The task force will also consider whether the criminal or civil rules should be changed in regard to for-cause challenges. Its recommendations are expected to be released by Nov. 1.

Updated Aug. 31 at 10:30 a.m. to add the court order link and task force information.

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