Jury selection is an important process performed before a trial. The right people must be selected to act as the jury during that trial, listening to all the information, reviewing the evidence, and hearing the arguments from both parties before coming to an agreement with one another on the verdict. A person's freedom is primarily in the hands of the jury as they get to decide if they feel a person is innocent of the crimes they were accused of or not. Because it is such a big deal, the right protocol must be followed when picking out the members of the jury.
Asking Potential Jurors Important Questions
Lawyers from both sides will have opportunities to ask potential jurors different questions to help them decide if certain individuals are a good fit for the trial or not. Some people are biased about certain situations and that could reflect on their decision-making process when it is time for them to decide if a person is not guilty or guilty. For example, if a cop is on trial and a member of the jury has family in law enforcement, he or she may immediately believe the officer over anyone else, creating a bit of an issue in the courtroom when evidence is stacked up against that officer.
The purpose of asking the potential jurors important questions is not just to find out if they are biased, but also to make sure they are not related to the defendant or the plaintiff, have never met either parties before, and do not know anyone else who is being selected to act as a juror in the courtroom. The lawyers may want to make sure the potential jurors have not heard about the case because the media coverage can have an impact on a person's decisions.
Why the Selection Process Is So Important
Selecting the right jurors for a trial does take time, but it is important because anyone who is facing a trial has the right to a fair one. Lawyers need to make sure the people selected are going to have availability for the trial and are going to walk into the courtroom with an open mind. Choosing the wrong jurors could easily lead to a quick and unfair guilty or non-guilty verdict.
If you have been selected to go to jury duty, you can expect to spend the day there while being asked different questions as the lawyers and judge try to determine if you are the right fit for the jury panel. If you are a good fit, you will get paid daily to sit on the jury, listen to the case, and eventually consult with the other jurors on the verdict.