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Let's say Bob is part of the jury during a trial. But Bob is a dishonest/bad juror. What penalties could he face, and what party would be prosecuting him?

The particular scenarios I have in mind are:

  1. Bob happily blabs to the media and exposes all the other jurors and what they've said and who they are. All for some clout, or money.
  2. Bob secretly tells the prosecution/defense that he'll do whatever they ask to manipulate the jury, for a favour.
  3. Bob is a nutcase, and acts in bad faith to manipulate the jury just for the hell of it. For example, "filibustering" and wasting everyone's time, without explicitly stepping into maliciousness.
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    It may make sense to also add 4) Bob knows that the guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, but still tries to sway the jury for a not-guilty verdict (whether he tells other jurors what's going on or not) and will hang the jury if that fails, because he doesn't believe the defendant should get in trouble for it. Jun 7 at 14:25
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    @Panzercrisis doing that is Bob's absolute legal right. There is no penalty whatsoever. Jun 7 at 15:20
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    @Panzercrisis It is allowed outright, or more exactly, it is forbidden to inquire into any juror's reasons or beliefs, with the sole exception of a bribed juror. Read the Wikipedia article now linked in my edited answer, case 4 for much more detail. One may, for example, believe that guilt is proven but think the law itself is unjust. There are other possible cases. Jun 7 at 17:35
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    @Panzercrisis youtube.com/watch?v=uqH_Y1TupoQ
    – Grant
    Jun 7 at 18:19
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    @Panzercrisis: See jury nullification; this is allowed precisely because it allows the jury to serve justice even if the law happens to be unjust.
    – Vikki
    Jun 9 at 2:12

1 Answer 1

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This will vary somewhat by jurisdiction. But in most US states:

  1. Bob happily blabs to the media and exposes all the other jurors and what they've said and who they are. All for some clout, or money.

If the authorities can trace these stories back to Bob (and they will put some effort into tracing them) Bob may well be found guilty of criminal contempt of court, fined, and sentenced to a short period in jail. He may also lose the right to be on a jury in future.

  1. Bob secretly tells the prosecution/defense that he'll do whatever they ask to manipulate the jury, for a favour.

If this comes out, Bob could be convicted of soliciting a bribe, and if the scheme went forward, of both accepting a bribe, and jury tampering (or either, depending on the evidence). These are serious crimes, and Bob might well spend several years in prison.

  1. Bob is a nutcase, and acts in bad faith to manipulate the jury just for the hell of it. For example, "filibustering" and wasting everyone's time, without explicitly stepping into maliciousness.

It is not unlawful to be a nutcase. The judge could order Bob removed from the jury if his disruptions were serious enough. If Bob actually violated th explicit instructions issued by the judge, he might be convicted of contempt, as in case 1, but this is rather less likely.

A comment adds the scenario:

  1. Bob knows that the guilt has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, but still tries to sway the jury for a not-guilty verdict (whether he tells other jurors what's going on or not) and will hang the jury if that fails, because he doesn't believe the defendant should get in trouble for it

This is an instance of "jury nullification". Bob is within his legal rights, and cannot be punished, nor removed from the jury. Bob can try to convince the other jurors that the law is unjust, or that the possible penalties are too severe for what the accused did, or of some other reason not to convict. If they agree, and acquit the accused, the acquittal stands, however contrary to the letter of the law. If they do not agree, there is a mistrial because of a hung jury. The prosecution may (but need not) retry the accused.

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    I think this is all correct. Note, though, that there are only penalties in #1 if Bob is talking to the media during the trial. Once the trial is over, he is generally free to divulge all the details of deliberations.
    – bdb484
    Jun 7 at 5:10
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    @bdb484 but not to dox the other jurors by mentioning names and other personal data... Which has happened in the past.
    – jwenting
    Jun 7 at 5:59
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    hearing many people complain about not wanting jury duty, you'd think barring someone from future jury duty would encourage such behaviour rather than punish it :)
    – jwenting
    Jun 7 at 6:00
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    @jwenting Agreed (both comments), but note that punishment is not the only reason to impose a penalty. In this case, the goal is to avoid having Bob appear in a jury again.
    – JBentley
    Jun 7 at 13:30
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    @jwenting I believe that's quite mistaken. I don't know of any law that would prohibit a juror from truthfully disclosing the name of a fellow juror, or any other "personal details." Such a law would likely run into First Amendment trouble.
    – bdb484
    Jun 7 at 14:27

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