ASSEMBLY, No. 3676

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED APRIL 14, 2016

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  JOHN F. MCKEON

District 27 (Essex and Morris)

Assemblyman  REED GUSCIORA

District 15 (Hunterdon and Mercer)

Assemblywoman  VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE

District 37 (Bergen)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman Eustace

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Prohibits disqualification from jury service based on gender identity or sexual orientation.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning disqualification from jury service and amending R.S.10:1-8.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    R.S.10:1-8 is amended to read as follows:

     10:1-8.  No citizen possessing all other qualifications prescribed by law shall be disqualified for service as a grand or petit juror in any court on account of race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, marital status [or], sex, gender identity, or affectional or sexual orientation, and any officer or other person charged with any duty in the selection or summoning of jurors who shall exclude or fail to summon any citizen for the cause aforesaid shall, on conviction thereof, be deemed guilty of a [misdemeanor] crime of the fourth degree, and be fined not more than $5,000.00.

(cf:  P.L.1970, c.80, s.3)

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill would make it unlawful to disqualify a person from jury service based on the person’s gender identity or affectional or sexual orientation.  In addition, any officer or other person responsible for the selection or summoning of jurors who excludes or fails to summon a person based on the person’s gender identity or affectional or sexual orientation would be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree and fined up to $5,000.00.

     Under current law, it is unlawful to disqualify a citizen for service as a grand or petit juror based on race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, marital status or sex, and any officer or other person responsible for the selection or summoning of jurors who excludes or fails to summon any citizen on such basis, who possesses all other qualifications prescribed by law is guilty of a misdemeanor, and subject to a fine of up to $5,000. 

     In addition to prohibiting disqualification based on gender identity or affectional or sexual orientation, the bill would also update the statute to be consistent with Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, “New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice,” P.L.1978, c.95.  Title 2C abolishes the categories of “misdemeanor” and “high misdemeanor” and sets out rules for their classification within the new statutory scheme. (See N.J.S.2C:1-4, 2C:1-5, and 2C:43-1).  Pursuant to the new scheme, a violation of this provision would be a crime of the fourth degree.