Selecting a group of people to decide the fate of an individual is a process that we have practiced here in the US of some time. It is considered to be a fair and just system that alleviates some of the pressure off of the judges. To have your fate decided by your peers is a your constitutional right and is the hallmark of our society.
The group is typically chosen from the community in which the accused lived among. This system is called a jury selection. The way the group is selected is through voter registration and drivers license renewals. Once this group is selected they are then mailed a summons. The group will eventually appear before a judge, the prosecuting attorney and the defense attorney. In this setting the potential jurors will be asked a few questions. These are not random questions.
These are questions that are carefully chosen by the attorneys to make sure that the juror does not have any hidden bias against the accused. The end result of the questioning is to make sure that the each juror is free of any prejudices. If it is discovered that the juror will not be a good candidate, then he/she will no longer be considered to sit on the panel.
When a juror is excused from the selection pool it is called a challenge for cause. Each side both the defense and the prosecutor may dismiss the jurors that they feel may not be the best choice. When each party is able to remove a certain number of jurors, this is called peremptory challenge. Can a citizen simply not participate. No. If you are selected, you must appear, unless given permission not to. Failure to appear, could cost the potential juror up to $500. Also it will be up to the judge to hold the person in contempt.
Jury selection is called by some a small vacation. By others it is considered the opposite. During some trials the jurors are sequestrated. This is when the jurors are kept together and can not speak to anyone that isn’t part of the court. This may be used in very high profile cases. Keeping the juror away from outside influence, helps to keep the opinion of the juror from being swayed. The juror are typically kept in a secure hotel away from all media.
At the beginning of the trial the jury panel will select what is known as a foreperson. At the end of the trial, when the verdict has been decided, the foreperson will sign the written verdict. The foreperson will then read the verdict aloud before the judge and court. When chosen for a jury selection los angeles ca or for a jury selection in worchester ma, the rules are the same. The verdict must be unanimous, in criminal cases. If all of the jurors can not agree, the judge would have to declare a hung jury. A hung jury is declared when even after lengthy debate, the panel is still in disagreement.
A few things that a selected juror may need to do is, tell your boss, even though your employer can not fire you for missing work due to jury duty, it is a good idea to let them know why you are not coming to work. Another good idea, would be to dress professionally, out of respect for the court. And for your own benefit, check how much you will be getting paid, in order to arrange your bills. Payment differs from state to state.