In May of each year the Supreme Court of Virginia, Office of Management Information Systems, sends out Jury Questionnaires to 5,000 perspective jurors in the City of Salem. This list is generated from Voter Registration and DMV Records of Citizens who reside in the City of Salem. These questionnaires are returned to the Circuit Court Clerk for the City of Salem.
On July 1 of each year, three Jury Commissioners who are appointed by the presiding Judge of the Circuit Court review the returned questionnaires. The presiding Judge decides the number of potential jurors to choose from for the year, this number is 1,200 at the present time. The Jury Commissioners must return the list of potential jurors to the Clerk of the Circuit Court by December 15th.
The list of potential jurors is then sent to the Management Information Systems Office for the City of Salem. This Office then places the names on a computer diskette, which contains a program to further randomize the list. The computer diskette is then sent back to the Clerk of the Circuit Court. The Clerk then places the information from the diskette into the court's computer system. Each term of the Circuit Court, the judge pushes a button on the computer, which causes the computer to select 105 potential jurors for each term of court. During high-profile court cases, more names may be selected.
Each year 80 Grand Jurors are selected for service using the same system as discussed above.
Men and women over the age of 18 years and from all walks of life have an equal opportunity to be called for jury service.