A peremptory challenge is the act of rejecting potential jurors who may have the tendency to be bias during the trial. This is normally done during the selection of jury members and can be initiated by both parties involved in a case. They are, however, not required to provide any reason for removing a juror.
Parties are allowed a limited number of peremptory challenges. Today, exercising this challenge has been found to be more difficult as the U.S. Supreme Court has prohibited such act done based on a juror’s race or gender.
Peremptory challenges are exercised as an assurance to the parties that the verdict of the jury will be fair and not impartial. By being able to choose the members of the jury, they are willing to accept the final decision regardless whether it’s in their favor or not.
Through this, the judicial process is somehow safeguarded from jurors who have the potential to be bias. Attorneys, in this case, are required to use their background and experience when removing jurors. They need to properly determine the potential of a juror to be prejudiced that could infringe on the rights of the accused to a just trial.
While peremptory challenges have received much criticism, it remains to be practice up until today in many parts of the world. Countries that still exercise this include Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Northern Ireland and the United States of America. However, the challenge is practiced only in certain states and not in the entire country.