What will it be? Guilty? Not guilty? In a criminal trial, a jury is charged with the responsibility of deciding whether, on the facts of the case, a person is guilty or not guilty of the crime they have been charged with.
Can I be a juror? If you are a resident of the court’s geographical area, are over 18 and have not lost your right to serve. (Jury service may be revoked by being convicted of certain crimes.) Everyone who meets the criteria above can have the opportunity to be a juror.
What happens when I appear for my jury duty? First, you will be directed to an assembly room and most likely participate in a brief orientation. You will also take an oath to fully and truthfully answer the questions. See that oath by clicking here. You will then be introduced to the case. You will be asked questions to determine if you will be able to perform your jury duty with fairness and impartiality. You will either be selected or dismissed, the choice is up to the attorneys and a judge to decide. If you are dismissed or excused from the jury pool, rest assured it is not personal. The court simply wants to ensure that the jurors are able to evaluate each case as fairly as possible.
What kind of a jury will I be on? Most jurors are selected to serve on a petit jury, which hears and decides a particular case. For a felony crime, 12 jurors are required. In a civil trial or a criminal misdemeanor trial, only 8 jurors are selected. If a trial is expected to last more than one day, alternate jurors may be selected in the case a juror must be excused. A secondary option comes from a grand jury. A grand jury hears evidence about alleged crimes, but does not decide whether the accused is guilty or innocent, but only decides whether or not a person should be tried for committing a crime. Generally serving on a grand jury will take longer than serving on a petit jury.
Why serve on a jury? Many people who serve on a jury have the wonderful opportunity of learning about the legal system and process. When you spend time with 11 other people all focused on the same task, a new friend or two is bound to be made. When a community member has served on a jury, he or she can sleep well, knowing that they have participated in and contributed to a system that could not work without them.
Watch the Ohio Judicial Conference Jury Service Video Brochure featuring Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor: http://www.ohiojudges.org/jury-service-video-brochure
At Cady Reporting, our court reporters are part of the judicial process that leads up to you being on a jury. Our court reporters travel around the city of Cleveland and the state of Ohio to take depositions and create a verbatim record of the discovery phase of a lawsuit. Those transcripts are used by attorneys to prepare for trial, and sometimes are even used in the trial itself. If you would like to learn more about the job of a court reporter feel free to contact me at any time! Any of the court reporters here at our Cleveland court reporting firm would be happy to spend the time to talk with you and answer any questions you might have.
In addition, the court reporters here in our Cleveland office have been kind enough to provide their briefs so that other court reporters can use them. If you would like to see the steno briefs for this article, just click here to jump to the list. You can also click on the individual hyperlinked words to jump to the list of steno briefs.
This article was written by Michelle Cook of Cady Reporting Services with information obtained from the Ohio Bar Association. Find more information about the subject of jury duty in Ohio by clicking here.
Featured Image: www.wethejury.info
This article was written by Michelle Cady-Cook. She is the Director of Marketing and part owner of Cady Reporting (a WBENC company). She is a sustaining member of the Cleveland Association of Paralegals ,and is currently serving as Chair of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Green Initiative Committee and Chair of the Follow-Up Committee for the National Network of Reporting Companies (NNRC). She has been officially involved in the legal community for over 10 years. Within the framework of Cady Reporting Services, she partners with locally owned court reporting firms across the country to continually improve the practice of litigation.
Cady Reporting Services is located at 1468 W. 9th St. Cleveland, OH 44113. Our court reporters and videographers personally serve the state of Ohio, and we daily schedule court reporters and other litigation support services through our partners in the NNRC. The National Network of Reporting Companies is your personal connection to coverage wherever and whenever you need it.