Jury duty questions

Australia

Australia uses an adversarial system, and potential jurors are randomly selected from an electoral roll.

Jurors receive a small payment for each day of attendance. Employers are also required to pay their employees “make-up pay”, that is, the usual pay the employee would have earned from working, less the jury duty payment received from the state.[2] Under the National Employment Standards, make-up pay is required only for the first ten days of jury service; however, the laws of Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia extend the make-up pay requirement for the entire duration of the jury service.[3]

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Reaching a Verdict

Deliberations may take a few hours or a few days. While you and the other jurors debate the evidence in the case, you may all draw from your life experiences to make sense of things, but you’re prohibited from using any outside resources, such as libraries or the Internet. Any questions will get submitted to the court for further clarification. It’s considered "juror misconduct" to consider evidence that wasn’t produced at trial and, if it happens, the judge will likely declare a mistrial, meaning the case will have to be heard all over again with a new jury. Similarly, a jury that can’t come to an agreement about the verdict may be considered "hung," and the case would have to be retried.

Act Hostile toward the Government and the Judiciary Process

You can also claim that you don’t believe in the judicial system, and sending people to prison., You can make the argument that all prosecutors are looking to convict people to turn them over to the prison-industrial complex.

Mention that you believe the privatized prison system is a form of forced labor designed to trap Americans. The judge may ask you other questions to make sure that these are your beliefs and not something you watched on a YouTube video, so prepare by reading up on some facts relating to your statement.

Mention Veto Rights

After selecting you for jury duty, the presiding judge asks you to swear that you will reach a verdict on the case based on the merits of the facts presented to you in court by the prosecution and defense teams.

If you decide to refuse to swear to this commitment, you can tell the judge that it’s the jury’s right to find a verdict as they see fit. This veto right is known as “jury nullification,” and while it’s a right of the juror, the prosecution and the court don’t like to entertain jurors that decide to execute on this veto right.

How Much Money Do People Typically Earn From Serving on a Jury?

The good news is that if you are selected to serve, you will be compensated for your time on both a petit jury and a grand jury. Both typically pay a base rate of $40 a day. For a petit jury, the day rate increases to $50 daily once the trial has exceeded 10 days in length.

As for a grand jury, the day rate increases from $40 a day to $50 a day after serving 45 days on trial. All transportation, room and board fees (if jurors are serving out of state/county), meals, and parking are also covered during this time. You will receive your payment within 4 to 6 weeks. The pay rate for jurors can vary by state.

Payment policies vary among employers and states of residence, but many employees will still be paid their normal salary for an allotted amount of days while they serve as part of a jury. All federal employees are entitled to their full salary regardless.

The Jury Act was created to ensure that employers cannot wrongfully fire, harass, or intimidate an employee while they participate in jury duty; however, there is no law stating they must compensate you for your participation.

What is jury duty?

Jury duty is the obligation to act as a member of a jury in court.

Jurors are selected at random, from lists of registered voters and people with driver's licenses.

Once randomly selected, a person is required to fill out a questionnaire to determine whether or not they are qualified for jury duty.

If qualified, people are chosen to be summoned to appear for jury duty.

Because of the randomization of jurors, a cross section of the community one is in is often represented and may include people of different races, genders, ages, and political affiliations.

When one is summoned, this does not automatically mean they will serve on the jury.

More questioning follows a summoning, and jurors are selected from the group to officially serve in the court.

If you know anybody involved in the case, have prior knowledge or information regarding the case, or have strong prejudices involving the case, you will more than likely be excused from jury duty by the judge.

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Jurors are randomly selectedCredit: Getty Images – Getty

How Does Jury Duty Work?

When you are called for jury duty, you'll receive the official summons calling you to be available for jury duty at a particular time, date, and place. When you arrive at the assigned court, your first task is to fill out a questionnaire and participate in the jury selection process.

In some municipalities, the potential juror can call the court the night before they have been asked to report for jury duty to find out whether their services will be needed the next day.

State laws address jury duty and these laws differ between states. Check with your state’s labor department to find the laws that govern jury duty in your particular state. The U.S. Department of Labor offers a listing of state labor offices where you can find this information.

If a person has been called for jury duty, a number of outcomes may ensue. They may request and be granted a delay or postponement to a more convenient time during the year. Typically, this requires a phone call and possibly filling out a jury questionnaire, and the potential juror should be prepared to provide an alternate time in the future when they will be able to serve.

The rules for requesting a postponement will vary from one jurisdiction to the next. Also, be aware that just because a person requests a postponement or delay does not mean the court will grant it.

It's also possible to request an exemption to be excused from jury duty altogether. Accepted reasons for a possible exemption vary by state but may include financial hardship, medical reasons, full-time student status, or caregiver duties. Exemptions aren't guaranteed, and usually, they must be accompanied by a written note or proof of the situation, such as a note from a doctor if someone is claiming a medical reason.

Jury Selection

Next, the attorneys and judge will begin their "voir dire ," where they question both the group and individuals about potential biases against the parties or preconceived notions about elements of the case. During this process, it’s possible for many of the potential jurors to be dismissed without any explanation from the attorneys. They just decide, based on the juror’s answers to their questions, whether that person would be fair to their client. If you happen to be one of the dismissed jurors, you’ll report back to the assembly room and await further instructions.

More Ways to Get Excused From Jury Duty

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

Time Off and Pay for Jury Duty

Since jury duty availability is mandated by law, employers in almost every state are legally required to provide an employee with time off from work in order to perform their civic duty.

If the summons to jury duty occurs at a time of the year when the employer would experience a significant impact from the loss of the employee, the employer may write a letter to the court. The court will consider the employer and employee's request for postponed jury duty on a case-by-case basis.

Some states favor the employee and do not allow an employer to subtract any jury duty time from an employee's paycheck. Requirements also vary based on whether an employee works for the state, federal, or local government, or for a private company.

The following states prohibit employers from requiring employees to use their leave—vacation, sick, or personal time—for jury duty:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Indiana
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia

Additionally, federal law prohibits employers from taking adverse actions such as employment termination against an employee who is required to report for jury duty. Adverse actions include harassment, threatening, or attempting to coerce the employee regarding jury duty. Also, an employee must be allowed to report back to work following their jury duty.

Exemptions from Jury Duty

In order to be legally qualified to serve on a jury, you have to meet certain requirements. You will be exempted from jury duty if you do not meet all of the following:

•    U.S. citizen •    Age 18 or over •    Reside in the judicial district for at least one year •    Proficient enough in English to fill out the juror qualification form •    Lacking a disqualifying mental or physical condition •    Not subject to felony charges punishable by imprisonment for more than one year •    Never convicted of a felony (unless civil rights have been restored)

Even if you meet all the basic requirements, you may still be exempt. Common exemptions include:

•    Active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces •    Members of a professional fire or police department •    Public officers who are actively engaged in the full-time performance of public duties

Beyond these exemptions, individual judicial districts have their own rules about who is reasonably excused from serving on a jury. Some common exemptions include being over the age of 70, having served on a jury in the past two years, being in certain occupational classes, being on a volunteer fire or rescue squad, or if serving would cause you “undue hardship or extreme inconvenience.” If you do think you qualify for exemption, you must request it in writing to the court clerk.

United Kingdom

Further information: Juries in England and WalesFurther information: Trial by jury in Scotland

According to 2016 figures from the Ministry of Justice, there is about a 35% chance of people in England and Wales being summoned for jury service over the course of their lifetime. In Scotland the percentage is much higher due to having a lower population as well having juries made up of 15 people (as opposed to 12 people in England and Wales).[13]

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