As a citizen you reap the many benefits that accompany citizenship. Once summoned to the court to serve as a juror you are given the opportunity to fulfill your civic duty. Serving as a juror is a privilege that one should honor and complete to the best of ones ability. Abiding by the set rules and meeting expectations are excellent ways to ensure you have completed your civic obligation.
1. Honor the oath
Before the trial begins jurors are asked to take an oath, by taking an oath jurors are agreeing to eradicate feelings of prejudice or biassness. Jurors are also asked to make conclusions based on presented evidence introduced in court and ignore external factors that may inaccurately influence their decision.
2. Talking about the case
Jurors are prohibited from discussing the case before or during the trial. Discussing any details about the case to witnesses, either party, lawyers, press, other jurors outside the court is not allowed. Permitting someone to discuss the case with you is not allowed. Sensitive information about the trial that slips out to the media or those following the case may harm the progression or conclusion of the case.
3. Avoiding new outlets
If the case is a high profile case, it is expected that news outlets and other information sources will offer constant coverage of the case. Many news sources actively participate in media framing, this means that they provide partial information that presents their own stance on the case. In order to evade influence from news outlets it is best to avoid broadcasts, podcasts, newspapers, and online articles that may frame the case in an unbalanced way.
4. Be mindful of any personal connections
If you have any personal connections to the case that may obstruct your ability to assess the evidence and come to a conclusion, it is your responsibility to inform the court. If you you were the victim of a similar crime, have a relationship with witnesses or defendant you may unknowingly develop a biased perspective that taints your objectivity on the case. In most cases any connections to the case may result in you being relieved of your duty to serve as a juror.
5. Accepting gifts or favors
While serving as a juror it is unlawful to receive gifts or favors from anyone group or individual involved in the case. Accepting gifts with monetary value or favors from lawyers, judges, or other jurors is unacceptable, It is not uncommon for those involved in the case to attempt to influence jurors involved in the case if they feel that something valuable is at stake for them. During the trial if you have been approached by anyone and offered gifts or favors it is your responsibility to inform the court immediately.
Serving as a juror is a special privilege not every citizen has the opportunity to fulfill. When serving as a juror it is important to honor and respect the rules and expectations set before you.