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The Trials of a Jury

THE TRIALS OF A JURY N Many people see jury duty as nothing more than uncomfortable waiting rooms and bad coffee, while others regard it as their patriotic duty. Such polarized opinions help explain why some jurors are more than happy to be chosen, others cross their fingers for exemption, and a select few go out of their way to avoid their summons altogether. Potential jurors are drawn from lists of registered voters, Licensed drivers, and 'identicard' holders. RECEIVE SUMMONS JURY TRIALS ARE DECLINING IN THE U.S. Most cases are now decided outside the courtroom, through mediators and settlements; jury trials usually cost more and last longer. AND MANY POTENTIAL JURORS GET EXCUSED On average, only 20% of available jurors make it to a trial. The rest are excused for avariety of reasons, as seen below. 12% 46% Available | 15% Undeliverable A lot of people hope to blow off jury duty, but ignoring your summons can earn you a hefty fine of up to $1,000, or even 6 months in jail. 8% 8% Disqualified 9% No response 9% Excused 18% Exempt 5% Deferred 0% 99. 70 75 98. 90 95 "00 "05 10 09. 08. SELECTED voir dire: the jury selection process. Attorneys can use a limited number of challenges to excuse any jurors they think might hurt their case. POSTPONED You can opt to postpone your jury duty, as long as you commit to a future date to serve, usually within 12 months of your original summons. or EXEMPTED A GUARANTEED EXEMPTION : PROBABLE EXEMPTION Those with illnesses or disabilities Students Those with young children The elderly Those who feel a deep bias about the trial subject matter Members of the Armed Services Elected officials Firefighters and Police Officers In 2008, so few jurors responded to their summons that a Vermont judge sent the sheriff to a local mall to seize new candidates. GRAND JURY PETIT JURY 16-23 jurors detemmine if there is enough evidence to proceed with the case and a full trial. 6-12 jurors hear testimony, decide on the verdict, and A OBSERVE award punitive damages. THE LONGEST TRIALS 11 months 21 months 23 manths 28 mohths The average trial lasts 4 or 5 days, but some can take much longer. In 1992, a record-setting civil case in Califomia forced jurors to serve for 28 months. A Long Beach woman sued the city for discriminating against Alzheimer's patients after her efforts to construct Jack DiNorscio & associated organized crime syndicates were charged and acquitted for several charges, including murder, arson, & drug tra fficking. Biotech giant Monsanto was held responsible for a 1979 chemical spill that caused adverse health effects to the community of Sturgeon, MO. The McMartin preschool in Manhattan Beach, CA was eventually acquitted of child abuse, but only after the primary suspect had spent over 5 years in jail. assisted housing were stalled by local officials. PAYMENT MCCLURE TRIAL DINORSIO TRIAL MONSANTO TRIAL MCMARTIN TRIAL HOW MUCH JURORS GET PAID For federal cases, jurors are given $40 per day, with an increase to $50 after 10 days. State courts decide $0-$10 + pay increases $11-$20 Amileage paid $21-$30 $31-$40 I$41-$50 DELIBERATE hung jury: when a jury cannot reach a verdict, resulting in a mistrial. Another jury is then called up for a new trial their own juror pay scales: Unanimous votes are required for federal cases. States have their own rules, but only Louisiana and Oregon allow a split in the verdict. "It's Over." A juror's tweet just before a guilty verdict was read in a 2011 Arkansas death penalty case. The message violated juror deliberation rules for non-disclosure and forced a retrial. RESOURCES AND FURTHER READING - - www.americanjurororg - - - - - - - - - -

The Trials of a Jury

shared by jnicholson on Sep 19
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Many people view trial duty as nothing more than a hassle and waste of time. Why is jury duty so important? Here is why.


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