Basic Terms to Understanding Jury Duty

Jury Duty is a responsibility that many of us do not look forward to. However, it is a necessary part of being an American citizen and unless you have a compelling excuse to get out of doing it, you are likely to spend your fair share of time on a jury. For those that do end up serving on a jury after being called for jury duty, there are some important phrases you should understand before hand to be ready for your stint. Jury Nullification

Jury nullification is a phrase used to describe an instance in which the jury rules in a manner that disregards the established laws. For example, if in a certain instance the jury returned a not guilty verdict in a murder case in which the law clearly states that the man is guilty and the case has been proven. The jury does not disregard the evidence or the fact that the death took place, but overrides it all in favor of what they believe is more important that that law, possibly justification or accidental means.

Generally speaking, the right to nullify a law by the jury is established and has been utilized in the past for cases involving slavery, freedom of religion and speech. Today however, if a juror is aware of the right of a jury to jury nullification, that juror will often be removed from the jury.

Grand Jury

If you are called to serve on a Grand Jury, your role is slightly different than that of a standard trial jury. In a grand jury, the goal is to listen to the evidence presented by the prosecution and the defense and decide if there is enough proof yet available to proceed to trial. The grand jury is not responsible for deciding whether an individual is guilty by any means. Instead, the grand jury simply ensures that the prosecutor does not make the decision to indict without the proper checks and balances in place.

Sequestering a Jury

Sequestering is the one thing that most people called for jury duty fear more than anything else. If you are sequestered, you will be forced to forfeit much more than the basic rights and freedoms of your afternoons for two weeks. Basically, this happens when a trial is significantly high profile that the jurors are at risk of tampering in any situation, regardless of where they live or work. So, they are sent to a private location, overseen by the courts, that keeps them from conversing with the outside world. This can also mean being kept from newspapers, televisions and internet as well.

When called to serve on jury duty, most individuals only know that they get paid very little and will be kept from their families. It only leads to the furthering of many peoples’ wish to somehow get out of jury duty.

What if there are ways to avoid jury duty legally. Wouldn’t it save all your time and hassle of going through the whole process.

If you feel like there is just too much on your plate right now to even think of going for jury duty, then you need help.

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