In the Jury Room

After retiring to the jury room to decide the case, jurors first elect a FOREPERSON. This should be someone who is capable of presiding, and who will give each juror a fair opportunity to express individual views.

To decide cases fairly, jurors must be honest, intelligent and have both integrity and judgement. Our jury system is based on these attributes, and the efficiency of our court system depends on them.

To meet their responsibility, jurors must decide the facts and apply the law impartially. They must not favor either the rich or the poor. They must treat all men and women, corporations and individuals alike. Justice should be given to all persons without regard to race, national origin, creed, color or sex.

In a criminal case, all jurors must agree on a verdict. In a civil case, the instructions of the court will state how many must agree. Jurors must enter discussion with an open mind. They should exchange views freely and should not hesitate to change opinions. Jurors have a duty to give full consideration to the opinion of their fellow jurors. They should try to reach a verdict whenever possible. NO JUROR IS REQUIRED TO GIVE UP AN OPINION THEY ARE CONVINCED IS CORRECT.

The members of a jury are sworn to pass judgment on the facts of a particular case. They have no concern beyond that. THEY VIOLATE THEIR OATH IF THEY MAKE THEIR DECISION ON THE BASIS OF THE EFFECT THEIR VERDICT MAY HAVE ON ANY OTHER SITUATION.

It would be wrong for a judge to decide a case by tossing a coin or drawing lots. It would be just as wrong for a juror or jury to do so.

Under most circumstances, jurors need not tell anyone how the jury arrived at the verdict. A disclosure is required only if a judge orders it.

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