Criminal Trials

ORS 136.230
Peremptory challenges


If the trial is upon an accusatory instrument in which one or more of the crimes charged is punishable with imprisonment in a Department of Corrections institution for life or is a capital offense, both the defendant and the state are entitled to 12 peremptory challenges, and no more. In any trial before more than six jurors, both are entitled to six. In any trial before six jurors, both are entitled to three.


Peremptory challenges shall be taken in writing by secret ballot as follows:


The defendant may challenge two jurors and the state may challenge two, and so alternating, the defendant exercising two challenges and the state two until the peremptory challenges are exhausted.


After each challenge the panel shall be filled and the additional juror passed for cause before another peremptory challenge is exercised. Neither party shall be required to exercise a peremptory challenge unless the full number of jurors is in the jury box at the time.


The refusal to challenge by either party in order of alternation does not prevent the adverse party from exercising that adverse party’s full number of challenges, and such refusal on the part of a party to exercise a challenge in proper turn concludes that party as to the jurors once accepted by that party. If that party’s right of peremptory challenge is not exhausted, that party’s further challenges shall be confined, in that party’s proper turn, to such additional jurors as may be called.


Notwithstanding subsection (2) of this section, the defendant and the state may stipulate to taking peremptory challenges orally.


Peremptory challenges are subject to ORCP 57 D(4). [Amended by 1973 c.836 §233; 1977 c.63 §1; 1987 c.2 §7; 1987 c.320 §26; 1995 c.530 §2; 1997 c.801 §70]

Notes of Decisions

Where defendant requests examination of 1986 Victims’ Rights Bill and argues that right to fair trial is violated by combination of reduction in number of peremptory challenges and less than unanimous jury verdict but does not allege he was prejudiced in any way by actual procedures and record does not show he exercised any peremptory challenges or was convicted by less than unanimous verdict, arguments were abstract and court unable to address. State v. Moore, 97 Or App 265, 775 P2d 906 (1989)

Where prosecutor explained reliance on prospective juror’s demeanor and staff reports that reflected prospective juror’s past problems with circumstantial evidence and aggressiveness toward state, explanation for peremptory challenge was race-neutral. State v. Henderson, 315 Or 1, 843 P2d 859 (1992)

Law Review Citations

57 WLR 85 (2021)


Last accessed
Mar. 11, 2023