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What Is Jury Duty?

Ever heard of the term “jury duty” and wondered what it is or whom it concerns? It is a term you should be familiar with because it certainly concerns you. Also, you may be called up for jury duty sooner rather than later, and it would help to know what it entails before then.

For starters, jury duty refers to an obligatory service by selected citizens. It often involves an invitation to serve on a jury in a court proceeding. This means that you get to contribute to the verdict of a legal case in court, and yes, it is mandatory.

Luckily, this article will explain everything you need to know about jury duties. This is so that you don’t get caught unprepared when you are called. Surely, you want to read till the end for more eye-opening information.

How Does Jury Duty Work?

A jury trial is a significant part of the criminal justice system that allows alleged offenders to plead their innocence before a jury of twelve. The jury is often made up of selected members of the public. These selected people are to decide their cases based on the evidence presented in court. This system is believed to be the best way to ensure fair and unbiased trials, and according to The Guardian, it has been efficient over the years.

In this law system, the jury’s decision is based on what has been proved in court, and the judge often explains the law to them before the trial begins. If the jury finds the defendant guilty, they are expected to convict such a person. Otherwise, they have to acquit the defendant or declare them innocent.

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Time Off and Pay For Jury Duty

Since jury duties are mandatory, it is often a concern for citizens who may be required to take a leave from their jobs. Well, your employer cannot fire you for taking a leave to serve jury duty. But then, you should inform them before time to avoid complications. Moreover, the law does not require your employers to pay you for time spent away serving as a juror.

Even government-owned establishments do not pay for time off except otherwise stated in your contract. This is because you are already entitled to compensation and an allowance for your services. On the other hand, some private organizations can choose to pay you for your time out. Also, others may deduct all allowances received for the service from your pay.

Juror Selection

There’s no doubt that jury duty is crucial to the legal industry, and district courts usually select eligible citizens to serve this purpose. Of course, the people selected must be from the same district and should fit a specific requirement. Mostly, the people selected for jury duties are registered voters or citizens with active driver’s licenses. They will also be required to complete questionnaires to see how well they can execute their task as a juror.

After compiling the names of eligible citizens, they are selected randomly, and any person selected will have to respond within seven days to confirm their availability. Since it is a mandatory service, the selected persons often do not have much leeway to negotiate their availability. Therefore, an exemption is only granted in the case of a few special conditions that often involve health issues.

Jury Pool To Jury Box

A jury pool is a group of qualified jurors selected to preside over a trial and give their verdict. Before they are called to the jury box, the jurors often undergo a test determining their suitability for the task. In addition, this process often requires them to fill out a questionnaire, after which they take an oath to be fair with their decisions. The entire process is legally referred to as Voir dire, a mandatory process before the jurors is called to the jury box.

During the proceedings, the jury members duly consider the facts provided by the prosecutor and the defendant. They are then expected to make their final verdict using the relevant details and facts.

Types Of Cases Heard By Juries

Of course, not all cases require a jury pool, as they are best suited for only specific cases. Other cases may require a different justice system where the judge decides and passes the final verdict. But ideally, a jury is required for two types of trials, including;

● Criminal Trials: When a person or group commits a crime against society, they are often brought to court to defend themselves in front of a Jury. Here, the jury must examine the facts presented and decide whether the defendant is guilty or not.
● Civil Trials: A civil conflict often occurs between two people seeking remedies for private wrongs. Such cases can be taken to court for a legal procession overseen by a jury. As in criminal trials, the jury is also expected to examine facts from all parties in the civil trial and decide on a final verdict.

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Working Together: Judge and Jury

While juries are burdened with deciding whether a defendant is guilty, they often do not get to pass a sentence. This aspect is reserved for the judge, so the judge and jury typically work together. First, the jury members examine the facts presented during the proceedings to decide who is guilty and who is not. Then, the judge determines the appropriate law that must be applied.

Coleman Law Group Can Help You

Since jury duty is mandatory, there’s only precious little you can do once you get a call-up. So, it would be best if you learned about this task and familiarized yourself with the entire process.

Luckily, Coleman Law Group will teach you everything you should know to complete your jury duty. So contact us now, and let’s discuss how best to help you.

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