29-2004. Jury; how drawn and selected; alternate jurors.

(1) All parties may stipulate that the jury may be selected up to thirty-one days prior to the date of trial. The stipulation must be unanimous among all parties and evidenced by a joint stipulation to the county court.

(2) In all cases, except as may be otherwise expressly provided, the accused shall be tried by a jury drawn, summoned, and impaneled according to provisions of the code of civil procedure, except that whenever in the opinion of the court the trial is likely to be a protracted one, the court may, immediately after the jury is impaneled and sworn, direct the calling of additional jurors, to be known as alternate jurors.

(3)(a) The court may impanel up to six alternate jurors to replace any jurors who are unable to perform or who are disqualified from performing their duties.

(b) Alternate jurors must have the same qualifications and shall be selected and sworn in the same manner as any other juror.

(c) Unless a party objects, alternate jurors shall replace jurors in the same sequence in which the alternates were selected. An alternate juror who replaces a juror has the same authority as the other jurors.

(4) The alternate jurors shall take the proper oath or affirmation and shall be seated near the regular jurors with equal facilities for seeing and hearing the proceedings in the cause, and shall attend at all times upon the trial of the cause in company with the regular jurors. They shall obey all orders and admonitions of the court, and if the regular jurors are ordered to be kept in the custody of an officer during the trial of the cause, the alternate jurors shall also be kept with the other jurors.

(5)(a) The court may retain alternate jurors after the jury retires to deliberate, except that if an information charging a violation of section 28-303 and in which the death penalty is sought contains a notice of aggravation, the alternate jurors shall be retained as provided in section 29-2520.

(b) The court shall ensure that a retained alternate does not discuss the case with anyone until that alternate replaces a juror or is discharged. If an alternate replaces a juror after deliberations have begun, the court shall instruct the jury to begin its deliberations anew.

(6)(a) Each party is entitled to the following number of additional peremptory challenges to prospective alternate jurors:

(i) One additional peremptory challenge is permitted when one or two alternates are impaneled;

(ii) Two additional peremptory challenges are permitted when three or four alternates are impaneled; and

(iii) Three additional peremptory challenges are permitted when five or six alternates are impaneled.

(b) The additional peremptory challenges provided in this subsection may only be used to remove alternate jurors.

(7) In construing and applying this section, courts shall consider Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 24 and case law interpreting such rule.

Source:G.S.1873, c. 58, § 466, p. 825; R.S.1913, § 9107; C.S.1922, § 10132; C.S.1929, § 29-2004; Laws 1933, c. 38, § 1, p. 242; C.S.Supp.,1941, § 29-2004; R.S.1943, § 29-2004; Laws 1996, LB 1249, § 2; Laws 2002, Third Spec. Sess., LB 1, § 6; Laws 2015, LB268, § 14; Referendum 2016, No. 426; Laws 2020, LB881, § 20.

Cross References