More than 90% of all the jury trials that take place in the world occur in the United States, and either dealing with or being part of a jury is something that virtually every American has to deal with at some point of their life. In fact, Jury Duty, though a hassle, causes millions of Americans to miss work and put their lives on hold every year. However, despite the fact that law jury is, for better or worse, an American institution, there are lots of interesting facts that many citizens are unaware of.
Although there are lots of classes dedicated to explaining the judicial system, lawmakers all put an emphasis on fair trials, and the hit show Cops even has a disclaimer about how all parties are innocent until proven guilty, learning about juries is difficult. Perhaps surprisingly, asking jury questions and trying to do research is almost never fruitful. Much of that stems from the 1981 Contempt of Court Act which actually bans research into juries. For instance, there has been no definitive research done about how jurors are selected or whether they are able to retain information properly. This simply means that, though they are highly visible in American society, there is a bit of a cloud of mystery around juries.
That the fact that research about them is not available might make it seem like their job is arbitrary and cause some people to distrust law jury trials. Robert Frost once said that, “A jury consists of twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer,” and without more research, it is possible that he is correct. On top of that, Norm Crosby is quoted saying, “When you go into court, you are putting your fate in the hands of twelve people who weren’t smart enough to get out of Jury Duty.” Though these ideas might seem silly, the fact remains that there is no research to prove otherwise.
If you are going to court and worry about whether or not a law jury trial will be able to give you the fair treatment you deserve, then working with a lawyer is an absolute must. Court lawyers will have years of training and experience that allow them to know what questions to ask a jury and be able to make sure that your rights are properly protected. Doing some research and getting advice online is always a good idea, but when it comes down to convincing a jury of your innocence, hiring a good lawyer is a must.
The word “sad” meant “wise” in Middle English, so a law jury was comprised of “sad men.” Nowadays, the men serving Jury Duty might be sad for different reasons, and that could potentially cloud their ability to make a fair decision. So before going to trial or standing in front of a jury, consulting with an attorney is a good idea.