Special Collections: Jury Wheels

Two wheels were donated to the Library by the Worcester Circuit Court. Prior to 1969, the Court selected jurors using a manual system.

Approximately five to ten leading citizens from each election district would contribute to a pool of potential juror names. Thus, a list of up to fifty names would be recorded for each election district on a yellow tablet. Each name on the list would be assigned a number. The process was similar to a lottery.

Each potential juror would receive a juror qualification form to be completed and returned to the Court. The Court would then review each completed form to either qualify, or disqualify a potential juror. The numbered wooden balls would be divided and placed into either a "Qualified" wheel (pictured: right) or a "Disqualified" wheel (pictured: left).

Qualified jurors would be selected in the presence of three people. The "Qualified" wheel would be rolled and then the administrative judge would then select a ball and build their jury until the appropriate number of jurors were drawn.