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Dekalb County State Court System Juror Information

WelcomeFAQ • Juror Responsibilities • Trial ParticipantsSequence of Events

A Juror’s Responsibilities

As a Juror, there are certain responsibilities you will be asked to fulfill.

A Juror must be prompt.  A trial cannot begin or continue unless all jurors are present.

A Juror must give his/her undivided attention to the trial.  A juror should listen carefully to all questions by both parties on direct or cross examination of the witness, the testimony given in response to the questions, and the judge’s instructions to the jury.  A juror’s verdict can only be based upon the evidence presented.

A Juror must not research the case through broadcast and newspaper accounts.  A juror may not listen to radio or television accounts concerning the trial, or read articles about the trial.  During a trial, if a juror has personal knowledge about any facts in the case, the juror has a duty to disclose his/her knowledge to the judge.  A person who knows a fact which could materially affect the case should not serve as a juror.

A Juror must not discuss the case with anyone, including relatives, friends, or trial participants.  Once selection of a jury begins, a potential juror should not discuss the case with anyone.  After deliberations begin, a juror can discuss the case only with the other jurors.  If someone attempts to talk to a juror, (s)he should report it to the judge.  However, after the trial has concluded, a juror may discuss the case with anyone, but the juror is not obligated to do so.

A Juror must not conduct independent investigations or experiments to verify testimony given in the case.  The jury’s verdict can only be based upon evidence presented in court.  If the court finds it necessary for the jury to inspect the scene of an accident or alleged crime, the judge will arrange for the entire jury to do so together.  Thus, a juror must not conduct investigations or experiment by himself/herself.

A Juror must be impartial until (s)he hears all the evidence and law applicable to the case.  A juror should listen to the evidence presented by both sides carefully and avoid "taking sides" until (s)he has an opportunity to hear all the evidence and the judge’s instructions as to the law applicable to that particular case.