Jury Selection on Trial

Lesson Duration

Author: Linda Weber, Annenberg Classroom

Edmonson v. Leesville is a story about the relentless pursuit of justice under law by one ordinary citizen and his attorney. Because of their persistence, all citizens who report for jury service are protected against discriminatory practices during the selection process.In this lesson, students learn about the process used for jury selection and how the role and responsibilities of government in civil and criminal jury trials are viewed by the Supreme Court. They also reflect on the democratic values, principles, and dispositions of character working behind the scenes.


  • Identify the constitutional grounds for jury trials.
  • Explore the relationship and responsibilities of the government to the people under the Constitution.
  • Describe the basic process for jury selection in federal court.
  • ¬†Explain the role of peremptory challenges in Edmonson v. Leesville.
  • Consider the implications of the decision in Edmonson v. Leesville to justice in the United States.
  • Identify values and principles in a constitutional democracy.
  • Recognize and reflect on the importance of civic dispositions and citizen involvement in the justice system.


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