In a criminal trial the way an "impartial jury" is selected is: first representatives from a cross-section of the population are selected, what this means is that the pool of persons from which the actual juries are drawn must be approximate a fair representative cross section of the local population (99). The names come from voter registration, or in some states also licenses. Then these people are summoned and they must come to the courthouse, on the specified date. Both the prosecution and the defense are able to review some information about the potential jurors. Then they have a certain number of preemptory challenges in which they may strike those in which they feel a hunch or intuition about, which is used on both sides to eliminate "extremes of partiality"(131). When this is done, the jury is "impartial" which is not always the case.
The history of the jury is really long and has a lot of facts; I"ll try to break it down. In the beginning of the jury system, the qualities looked for in a juror are very different than what we look for today. Back then people wanted jurors who had an understanding of the conscience of the community (18). They wanted the juries peers who were those who reside near him, his neighbor and those who were well acquainted with him, this also was conflicting because they wanted impartiality which was hard if you held certain biases or prejudices against the defendant, or you knew someone who had a bias against him. This was known as the local knowledge model. Their was a lot of controversy between the Federalists and the Anti-Federalist, because the Federalists claim was that for a trial to lack partiality the geography of justice needed to be enlarged, the Anti-Federalists were very much in favor of local juries, they believed that local juries were more beneficial to the common man. The jury at this time was only limited to white males who had property, so there was a chunk of the population who was not eligible (29).