County Citizenship Requirement for Jury Service In Texas

In Mayo v. State, 971 S.W.2d 464 (Tex. App.-Fort Worth 1998), the Fort Worth court decided that the citizenship requirement for jury service set out in section 62.102 of the government code is absolute and not subject to the waiver provision of article 35.16 of the code of criminal procedure. Since the juror was not a citizen of Tarrant County, the court of appeals reversed the judgment and remanded the case for a new trial. Reversing the Fort Worth court, the Court of Criminal Appeals reasoned that although article 35.16 of the code of criminal procedure did not explicitly require the juror to be a citizen of the county, article 35.16(a)(1) does require the juror to be qualified to vote in the county, and section 11.001(a)(2) of the Texas Election Code requires county residence to vote in county elections. The court observed that "resident" and "citizen" have similar meanings. Therefore, the court held that article 35.16(a)(1) implicitly requires county citizenship and a venire person who does not live in the county is subject to challenge under article 35.16. Mayo, 4 S.W.3d at 11. Failure to challenge the unqualified error waives the ground for challenge. See TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. ANN. art. 35.16 (Vernon 1989).