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The Role of Juries

Posted by 4love2love on June 29, 2011

The Trial Process

After you have been selected to serve on a jury, you will receive instruction from the judge on when to arrive; when there will be a break for lunch; and when you can expect to leave each day.

What to expect during the trial

Once the trial begins, it follows a format that may be familiar to you from TV shows and movies.

Opening Statements: Broad statements from attorneys for each side that explain the case, outline evidence they will present, and discuss the issues you will decide.

Presentation of Evidence: Evidence includes all testimony of witnesses and any exhibits. The jury’s decision on the case is based on all of the evidence, so pay close attention. Any exhibits can be reviewed by the jury during deliberations.

Rulings by the Judge: The judge may rule on questions of law during the trial. The jurors are usually asked to leave the courtroom while lawyers make legal arguments. These rulings are decided so that proper evidence is considered by the jury.

Instruction to the Jury: The judge gives the jury the Charge of the Court, which includes the question(s) the jury must answer.

Closing Arguments: Attorneys for both sides use this opportunity to summarize the evidence. The lawyers will try to persuade the jury to accept their client’s side or view of the case.

Jury Deliberations and Decision: The judge will send the jury to the jury room to deliberate, after hearing the closing arguments. During deliberations, members of the jury will decide how they will answer the questions presented in the Charge of the Court and return a final verdict.

Sequestered Juries: Juries are rarely sequestered from the public. Before being assigned to a sequestered jury, you will have an opportunity to discuss with the judge any conflicts that sequestration might create.

Questions?

During the trial, jurors have the right to communicate with the judge regarding any matters affecting your deliberations, including physical comfort, special needs, any questions regarding evidence or the Charge of the Court.

Visit Juror Q&A or Links for more information.

This website was developed to help you better understand your role as a potential juror.

 

Copyright 2011 – TEXAS YOUNG LAWYERS ASSOCIATION – WWW.TYLA.ORG

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