THE SOURCE LIST:
A Detailed Explanation
The Master Juror List is the data file, created anew annually, which contains the names of those who were randomly selected by computer to be made available for summonsing for juror service in the upcoming calendar year. There is a Master Juror List created for each of the 14 judicial districts. The following is a chronology of the process followed annually for creating it.
1. On or before June 1st, each of the 351 cities and towns of Massachusetts must submit to the Office of Jury Commissioner (OJC) a Numbered Resident List (in the form of a printout) and Numbered Resident File (in the form of a data file) containing information on every resident 17 years of age and older. The municipalities must provide last name, first name, middle initial, mailing address, zip code, date of birth, gender, and occupation. Both the Numbered Resident List and Numbered Resident File must be sorted in alphabetical order and the records must be sequentially numbered, (See M.G.L. c. 234A, sections 9, 10, and 11).
2. The Numbered Resident File data is submitted via one of four (4) types of media (diskette, magnetic tape reel, typed, or CD-ROM) that may require some sort of preparatory work to be performed before being ready to be run through the first step; the Integrity Check Process. Data submitted in the wrong data format can often be fixed, but sometimes it cannot. Then the town is asked to resubmit their data file in the correct format.
3. The Integrity Check process is performed. The following is a list of the checks performed:
-function #1: years of birth are checked to make sure seventeen year olds have been included;
-function #2: detection of duplicate resident records. An exact match is made of last name, first name, and date of birth and the duplicate records are eliminated;
-function #3: report of the presence of any non-human names (examples: Resident, Occupant, Vacant, Town Hall, etc.). Any found are eliminated;
-function #4: a count of residents by gender designation is made to insure that most, if not all, resident records have a designation. This information is used for statistical purposes;
-function #5: a report of the presence of residents under the age of 17 is made. Where found, they are eliminated;
-function #6: a report of records with missing addresses is made. If the total is greater that 5% of the number submitted, the municipality is asked to correct the problem;
-function #7: reports of records with missing last and/or first names are generated. If the total is greater that 5% of those submitted, the municipality is asked to correct the problem;
-function #8: a report of records with missing dates of birth and possible false dates of birth (created just so the field would be filled) is made, and the town is notified;
-function #9: a report of any records containing obscene words in the first or last name fields is made. Any such records found are eliminated and the municipality is notified.
4. Once the data has passed all checks, it is sorted in alphabetical order then exported to the OJC PC server drive and uploaded to the court system's mainframe computer.
5. The data file is resequenced sequentially to accommodate data stricken as erroneous, incorrect, or inappropriate.
6. The data file is run through the Edit Program which eliminates leading spaces, apostrophes, leading zeros in mailing addresses, etc. so mail will more likely be in a deliverable state for the Post Office, and so data can be more accurately sorted.
7. The data file is run through the 1st Serve Purge program which does the following:
-suppresses resident records exactly matching OJC records of those who have served within the past 3 years;
-suppresses resident records exactly matching OJC records of those who: (1) have received a permanent medical disqualification; (2) have previously been reported and confirmed as deceased, and; (3) have previously been reported as having moved to a different judicial district, and;
-suppresses the resident records exactly matching OJC records of those who were summonsed in the previous calendar year, and elected to postpone to the current calendar year.
8. The data file is reordered sequentially to accommodate data stricken by the above procedures.
9. Once the data from all the municipalities in the judicial district have reached this point, the program ANNUAL GENERATOR is run. It creates blocks of random numbers to be used in the calculations performing the next step.
10. The program CREATE JUROR is run for the judicial district. It selects a certain percentage of resident names to be placed on the judicial district's Prospective Juror List. (That percentage is determined by the Jury Commissioner and is based on the previous and current year's usages, as well as other factors.)
11. The program LOAD JUROR is run for each individual municipality in the judicial district. It copies the data of the residents selected by CREATE JUROR into an offline database. (The data is stored offline rather than in the online [or "active"] database to save hard drive space. A record in the offline database contains only the basic data of a person whereas data in the online database contains additional juror history information and, therefore, takes up more hard drive space. Names are added to the online database as more jurors are needed for summonsing.)
12. Since people have served or been disqualified or have been summonsed since the last Serve/Purge was run (see #7 above), the data in the offline database is run through the Serve/Purge program a second time in order suppress the summonsing of these residents.
13. The data file is reordered sequentially to accommodate data stricken by the above procedure.
14. The program ANNUAL GENERATOR is run again. It creates blocks of random numbers to be used in the calculations performing the next step.
15. The program SHUFFLE JUROR is run for each judicial district. Using random number calculations developed by mathematicians from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, it rearranges all of a district's records. The procedure has been likened to the shuffling of a huge deck of cards.
16. Finally, the program SHUFFLE CHECK is run, a report printed, and the report analyzed to insure that the offline database has been truly randomized.
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