Welcome to the Calhoun County jury system. We want to assure you that your participation is the basis of our democratic system. Under the Constitution a U.S. citizen is given certain rights; the right to a jury trial is one of those rights. We appreciate that you have made yourself available for possible selection as a juror.
Jurors are important and necessary participants in our justice system. Legal disputes (cases) often will not actually go to trial (to be heard by a judge or jury), because citizens are prepared to participate as jurors - sitting and waiting in the jury room. A jury panel that is ready to hear a case can motivate all parties involved in a dispute to reassess their risks and claims.
You are asked to perform one of the highest duties that can be imposed on any citizen, and that is to sit in judgment of facts on cases which will resolve civil disputes or determine the guilt or innocence of persons charged with crimes.
As a juror, your function is to listen to the evidence produced during the trial and decide the case on its merits by applying the judge's instructions, as opposed to deciding the case based on sympathy or prejudice.
Please understand although most lawyers, prosecutors and judges are friendly folks, you may not have any private contact or conversations with them during the course of the trial.
It is the Court's hope that these few introductory remarks will serve to put you at ease. We trust and hope that you are sufficiently impressed with the importance of jury duty and our democratic system.
Responsibilites as a Juror
- Jurors must be prompt in arriving at the court. A trial cannot begin unless all jurors are present.
- Jurors must give their undivided attention to the witnesses, attorneys, and proceedings. Remember that the outcome of the case is very important to those concerned.
- Jurors must not let radio, television, newspaper articles or other publicity concerning a case effect their decision. A verdict must be based on the evidence presented at trial.
- Jurors must not discuss the case with friends, relatives, or trial participants. If you are approached about the case, report the incident to the judicial attorney immediately.
- Jurors must not become involved in independent investigations about the case. When it becomes necessary to inspect a scene, the jury will do so as a group under the court's supervision only.
- Jurors must be impartial and avoid comments or expressions during the trial which convey feelings about the case.