Hot answers tagged

82

Technically anyone can sit on a jury. Lawyers are not automatically excluded from juries anymore, as being called for jury duty is a right and a duty that the law abhors automatically excluding people from. That is the official line on this. However, in reality, lawyers will always be stricken from serving by one of the lawyers trying the case. Each lawyer ...


59

Overview The rule on whether jurors may discuss a case before closing arguments is almost always a matter of statewide law and not a decision left to a particular judge in a particular case. There is good reason to believe that prohibiting pre-closing deliberation by jurors tends to make ultimate jury verdicts more accurate for reasons discussed below. ...


58

If this judge is truly biased, won't the litigants be all the more glad to have a jury of their peers? You are proposing to abandon your duty to others. At trial you serve the community, not the judge. Back on scope for Law SE: If you refuse to serve on a jury, that could be a separate offense or general criminal contempt, for which you (this all depends on ...


38

The trial at issue is a civil trial over the publication of his book Permanent Record and the non-disclosure agreement that he signed connected to his employment, see the DoJ announcement, which also notes that this is separate from a future espionage trial. The remedy sought involves no imprisonment. In the US, the constitutional right to a jury trial ...


34

If you honestly feel that your personal relationship with any of he court officers will affect your ability to be impartial and unbiased in the case then you have a duty to inform the court of this. The reasons are largely irrelevant, however, you might be asked to explain them - do so in a neutral manner and make it about you because it is. It is your ...


33

Yes, it is possible. The requirements are (1) you are a citizen (the burden is on the prospective juror to pay attention to that requirement) and (2) the court knows that you exist and calls you up for jury duty. Apart from voter registrations, drivers license data is also used (and can be dangerous, because non-citizens can have licenses and may not know ...


25

No. Several elements of the crimes defined at 18 USC 1503 and 1504 would be absent, not least of which is that the Senate isn't actually a jury but a legislative body that is only partly analogous to a jury.


23

Some of the documents are here. As document 61 of the trial, the government motion for bench trial, argues, There is no constitutional right to a jury trial for criminal contempt charges resulting in a sentence of imprisonment of six months or less. Arpaio responds in document 62 that Defendant Arpaio acknowledges that there is no constitutional ...


22

For the New York State Unified Court System, you can consult their Frequently Asked Questions at http://www.nyjuror.gov/juryQandA.shtml#Q6. What if my summons or questionnaire is lost? Contact your local Commissioner of Jurors. Find contact information by scrolling down at “Select County” in the box on the left menu. When you select your county and ...


17

First, while Law and Order should not be taken as an accurate depiction of a New York trial, it especially should not be taken as an accurate depiction of an Australian trial. Australian law, while it has some major similarities with US law (both ultimately derive from the law of England), is not US law. With procedural matters (such as "may jurors ask ...


17

I finally found the actual transcript of the voir dire part of the case mentioned in the question. http://www.groklaw.net/articlebasic.php?story=2012090614295190 As can be evidenced from the transcript, the judge has specifically instructed the two jurors working as engineers at the local tech companies that they'd have to "forget" what they know ...


15

You can't guarantee a juror's disregard, and some attorneys might utilize the "once it's said, it can't be unsaid" strategy because they know that the jury will still keep it in the back of their mind even though they've been told to ignore it. But there are checks and balances to prevent a remark having an impact on the final decision: Jury deliberation. ...


13

A judge only trial (aka a bench trial) is possible in the United States, though it must be requested by the defense (essentially the defense waives its right to trial by jury, in which case the judge acts as both trier of law (his or her usual role) and trier of fact (the jury's usual role). A court case may be partially sealed so as to discuss evidence of ...


12

It depends on what the jury said, and if it's criminal or civil. In criminal cases, the judge may almost never set aside a verdict of acquittal. There is a single case in the US in which this happened, and it was a bench trial (no jury). That case featured the defendant bribing his trial judge; the Seventh Circuit held that he was never in jeopardy due to ...


11

According to Baldwin v. New York (1970), "the federal right to jury trial attaches where an offense is punishable by as much as six months' imprisonment" (1). That, is a crime is considered petty unless the maximum punishment exceeds six months' imprisonment. Moreover, Arpaio is being charged with criminal contempt. According to 42 U.S. Code § 1995, "the ...


9

We have all see on TV the judge instruct jurors that during trial they are not to speak about the case with anyone, even other jurors, unless all jurors are present and they are deliberating. However, contrary to the example given about England, in the U.S., those restrictions evaporate at the end of the trial. After a trial concludes, the court has no ...


8

Short Answer Statements of jurors about their deliberations are not allowed to be considered for any purpose, subject to very narrow limitations which do not apply in the fact pattern you are asking about in this question. The General Rule And Its Exceptions Consideration of juror statements, subject to narrow exceptions, is barred by Federal Rule of ...


8

It is hard to measure accuracy in absolute terms because figuring out the truth is the problem that trials seek to solve in the first place. This is especially true of cases that go to trial. Cases that are almost sure to be resolved one way or the other by any tier of fact generally plea bargain (in criminal cases) or settle prior to trial (in civil cases). ...


8

The phrase "reasonable doubt" was formed hundreds of years ago, and does not hold any mathematical or probabilistic meaning. It is for each individual juror to decide for themselves what constitutes "reasonable doubt", and whether the evidence presented to them has crossed that threshold. EDIT for extra clarity: As stated above, the definition of "...


7

The potential problem is if there is a form which you had to sign which says "I am a US citizen", and you signed the form (who reads the fine print, anyhow?). Unfortunately, that statement is false, and there are consequences for making a false statement. However, that law penalizes false statements with the intent to deceive, not mistaken statements. ...


7

"Precedent" refers to a finding of what the law is. A jury only finds facts, and operates (supposedly) within the meaning of the law as already established. All the jury reports is "yes" and "no" to questions of fact (with some reference to existing law): they do not report, at least in any official way "we interpret the law as saying X". So it would be ...


7

Historically (long, long ago to the point that there is no leading case establishing this rule), you could challenge a verdict based upon a failure of a judge to dismiss a juror for cause (or for improperly dismissing a juror for cause) when this was an abuse of discretion. Race is an improper reason to dismiss a juror for cause. Political views often ...


7

No. There is a clear distinction between: evidence (or testimony), which consists of statements of fact given by witnesses on oath (subject to prosecution for perjury), governed by the rules of evidence, and which the jury is required to consider but not accept (in the sense that a verdict which is not supported by the evidence can be set aside on appeal), ...


7

As others have said, the reason for this is that the US Constitution grants a jury trial as a right in criminal proceedings. The reason for that right to be granted is to be a check against (that is, a limitation of) the power of the government, generally, and judges, specifically. To answer your specific question of why "the judge system is not reformed ...


6

While it is true that jury instructions are typically less than optimal, it is ideological hyperbole or cynicism to claim that instructions are purposely confusing. The ultimate source of the confusion is that the legal system has to assume (pretend) that it has clear-cut rules that any reasonable person can easily understand and automatically apply. In ...


6

The most innocent of your scenarios is "against the rules", so less innocent acts fair worse. The idea behind researching legal theory and precedent (presumably not presidents) is that surely it is good for a juror to know what the law is. But that thinking is wrong. The judge will instruct you as to what the law is, and will also instruct you that "the law" ...


6

If you are directly asked a question, you might sit there silently or explicitly refuse to answer, and the judge may order you to answer (refusing the order would be contempt). A non-responsive answer when being individually examined by an attorney is to be corrected by re-asking the question, to get a complete answer. However, if the pool is asked a generic ...


6

She can ask, but she does not have a right to be excused New York law for jurors does not have an automatic right to be excused because of familial care needs. There is a right to be excused for medical or financial hardship - which you might be able to argue here if, for example, you were at risk of losing your job. There is also a right for automatic ...


6

There's nothing illegal about the media discussing your case. In fact most media outlets don't hold back many details about the accused, because it's all public information that anyone curious about it can get from the court clerk's office for free and with no reason specified. If jury selection hasn't started yet, then asking each juror about what they ...


5

I cannot speak for Belgium but in general there are ways to be exempted from jury duty. This is self-evidently the case as there must be ways of excusing people who are, for example, chronically ill or so severely disabled that they cannot function as jurors. I am sure that a quick search on the Belgian court's website will have this all explained. To ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible