YOU'VE BEEN SUMMONED?

By: Cameo Spiegel-Saegert

HOW DO YOU GET FROM SUMMONS TO TESTIMONY? HERE'S THE PROCESS!

Initial Summons/Questionnaire...

  • Will be received via mail
  • Must be filled out truthfully, signed, and returned to address on jury summons


Voir Dire...

  • Preliminary examination of a witness or a juror by a judge or counsel/attorney
  • Jurors are called into courtroom

  • Panel will include a number of persons from whom a jury will be selected to try the case
  • Alternate jurors may be chosen to take the place of jurors who become ill during the trial
  • Panel members are sworn to answer questions about their qualifications
  • This examination is usually conducted by the judge/counsel
  • Untruthful answers to any fair question could result in serious punishment
  • Voir dire examination opens with short statement about case
  • The purpose is to inform the jurors of what the case is about
  • Questions are asked to find out whether individuals have any personal interest in case


Oath...

  • Jurors selected to try the case will be sworn in
  • Judge or clerk sworns in jury
  • Jurors then rise and hold up their right hands
  • Jurors clearly repeat oath
  • Jurors indicate that they take this solemn oath
  • Jurors not wishing to take an oath may request to affirm instead of swear

Final Selection Process...
  • Other questions will determine whether panel members have a prejudice feeling
  • Any juror having knowledge of the case should explain this to the judge
  • Parties on either side may ask that a member of the panel be excused or exempted
  • These requests, or demands, are called challenges
  • The parties also have a right to a certain number of challenges
  • These are called peremptory challenges
  • Each side usually has a predetermined number of peremptory challenges

WHAT IS NEEDED TO SERVE ON A JURY? HERE ARE THE QUALIFICATIONS!

  • 18 years of age
  • Citizen of state and resident of county
  • Qualified by Constitution to vote
  • Sane
  • Good moral
  • Able to read and write
  • Cannot have served within the last 6 days
  • Not convicted of felony, under indictment or other legal accusations of misdemeanors
  • Not convicted of theft

DON'T WANT TO SERVE ON JURY? HERE ARE SOME EXEMPTIONS!

  • You are over 70 years of age
  • You have legal custody of children younger than 10 and cannot leave children
  • You are student at a high school or private school
  • You are enrolled/attending institution of a higher education
  • You are employee of the senate, house of representatives, or other board of government
  • You have served as a juror in a county during 24-month period
  • You have been summoned for service in county with population of at least 250,000
  • You have served as a petit juror in county during the three-year period prior to jury service

WHO WILL YOU SEE? HERE ARE THE MEMBERS OF THE COURT!

Judge...
  • Makes an overall decision of the case


Court Reporter...

  • Types down every part of the case


Baliff...

  • Sheriffs and Deputies only


Defendant...

  • Being sued/tried


Prosecution...

  • Suing/making a case against defendant


Jury...

  • Helps interpret court case


Witness...

  • Must tell the truth on stand and answer questions about case


People in stands...

  • Can come in any time unless judge says its a closed hearing

WHAT MUST YOU DO? HERE ARE YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES!

    • Enter the discussion with open minds
    • Freely exchange views
    • Not hesitate to change their opinions if deliberations have convinced them
    • In a criminal case all jurors must agree on the verdict
    • Have a duty to give full consideration to the opinion of their fellow jurors
    • Have an obligation to reach a verdict whenever possible
    • It is dishonest for a juror to decide a case by tossing a coin
    • Members of jury are sworn to pass judgment on the facts in a particular case
    • Have no concern beyond that case

    WHAT WILL BE HAPPENING? HERE ARE THE TRIAL PROCEEDINGS!

    • Lawyers present opening statements
    • Plaintiff calls witnesses and produces evidence to prove its case
    • Defendant may call witnesses & produce evidence to disprove plaintiff's case
    • Plaintiff may call rebuttal witnesses to disprove what was said by defendant's witnesses
    • Closing arguments by the lawyer on each side
    • Judge instructs or charges the jury as to the law
    • Jury retires to deliberate
    • Jury reaches its verdict

    HOW WAS OUR JURY BEFORE ALL OF THAT?

    Before...

    • All-white juries
    • I.g: To Kill A Mockingbird
    • Court ruled inconsistently
    • Whites could be tried by their peers, but blacks could be denied the same privilege


    Now...
    • Striking of jurors on account of race denies equal protection under the Constitution
    • Defendant is not entitled to a jury containing /lacking members of any race
    • 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments
    • Section 4: "That no citizen possessing all other qualification which are or may be prescribed by law shall be disqualified for service as grand or petit juror in any court of the United States, or of any State, on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude; and any officer or other person charged with any duty in the selection or summoning of jurors who shall exclude or fail to summon any citizen for the cause aforesaid shall, on conviction thereof, be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and be fined not more than five thousand dollars."

    HOW DOES OUR JURY MEASURE UP TO THE OTHERS'?

    Southern Africa's Jury System...
    • Southern Africa has NO jury system
    • Southern Africa's jury system was abolished in 1969
    • Instead, most defendants' future rely on a single judge
    • India, Pakistan, Malaysia, and others DO NOT have a jury system



    Sweden's Jury System...

    • Juries are uncommon
    • Defendant has the right to a jury trial in the lower court
    • Jury of 9 jurors (Civil Cases)
    • Jury of at least 6 (Criminal Cases)
    • Verdict if not legally binding (Criminal Cases)

    WHY? WHY? WHY?

    • If jury duty was not a responsibility, potential jurors would be scarce
    • Wide variety of jurors to pick from allows the court to have a fair jury
    • A fair jury means defendants of different race will have a more fair chance at winning
    • More fair juries allow for more fair trials
    • More fair trials allow for the achievement of justice for all

    WHY IS JURY DUTY ACCURATE TO FIND A VERDICT?

    • Finding an accurate verdict is easier now that all-white juries are not enforced
    • Having a jury is a more fair way for defendant's versus 1-3 judges
    • 12 people get to interpret all of the evidence/facts of a case...arguments
    • These arguments lead to good discussion about the future of the defendant
    • Our court systems are less biased than non-jury countries
    • Even though jurors must follow the rules, there is a good variety of opinions
    • With a single judge, only one opinion matters, and they side with the constitutional way