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A jury member is required to prepare himself to face the most adverse situations in their legal career. A jury member can inquire about policies of a company with regards to the jury duty. There are some companies that compensate the employees who have been summoned as usual. The compensation received by a jury member while on duty is very nominal.

The jury members are required to take care of the following instructions as stipulated by A. Harrison Barnes the CEO of The jury members must not discuss their cases with an outsider. Make sure that you are not discussing about the case even with your friends and family members who are not involved in the case. The jury member must not discuss about the case with any other juror unless it is time for deliberation says A. Harrison Barnes. Make sure that you have access to elaborate information. In case you find that there is not much information at your disposal, ask for more information, because it will be illegal and violation of duty, if you conduct investigations on your own. It is upon the judge’s discretion, if he feels that the jury member should be present at the incident site, he will make arrangements for that. A case will be considered as tampered, if anyone tries to get in touch with the jury member with an intention of influencing the verdict. This is a serious offence and is subjectable to punishment says A. Harrison Barnes.

The jury member is required to remain alert at all times during court proceedings and trail cases. He must pay attention to the arguments and evidences procured from all sides to arrive at a tentative decision. When all other jury members are present, a jury member may deliberate and discuss his/her point of view with them says A. Harrison Barnes. The jury member is required to carefully pay heed to the instruction of the judges. The judges in the law courts help to illustrate the laws that are applied to a particular case. The jury member is required to make use of only these laws and evidences to arrive at a verdict. If the jury member feels that he knows about some other dimensions of the case or about some witnesses, he can seek special permission to meet the judges of the law court, says A. Harrison Barnes.

The jury member can take note of the explanations derived from the judge in relation to the degree of proof that is required to sustain the accusations. The defendant is considered to be innocent in a criminal case unless he or she is proved to be guilty. At the end of the criminal case, all the jury members need to agree on the verdict reached.

The main task of a jury member is related to fact finding. It is the judge’s responsibility to interpret laws and provide the jury members with appropriate instructions says A. Harrison Barnes. Incase the jury member finds a particular law invalid or unlawful, he has the right to acquit the defendant, despite the fact that the defendant dishonored the law. This process is known as jury nullification. In case of a “bench trial”, the judge pronounces ruling on both the questions of commandment and truth. In most continental European countries, the powers of the jury members are restricted and power of the judges in the trial courts are enhanced. This condition usually varies from country to country.

In the United States of America, a jury member, in order to alleviate a defendant’s sentence, is entitled to make factual findings. This practice started since the Blakely v. Washington case. In this case the Supreme Court ruled out all possibilities of the judges to make findings unilaterally that violates the Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial. The Apprendi vs. New Jersey case further stipulated that “any fact that increases the penalty for a crime beyond the prescribed statutory maximum must be submitted to a jury and proved beyond a reasonable doubt”. The Juries Act of 1976 stipulated the following offenses as punishable by law:

  • If the jury member fails to attend jury service on no valid grounds, or if a particular jury member is not available in the jury service meetings for reasons of health, like his addiction to drugs or drinks, he may be punished by the law courts.
  • If a jury member provides services even after he is disqualified or is ineligible.
  • If the jury member is represented on behalf of the person summoned as a juror or if in case any juror makes false presentations, for permitting other jurors to escape jury services.

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