3 Things To Know About Jury Deliberation In Criminal Cases

Posted on: 6 September 2019

When a person who is facing criminal charges pleads not guilty and decides not to accept a plea bargain, the case will go to trial and will likely be heard by a panel of jurors. When the main part of the trial ends, the judge will instruct the jurors to go and discuss the case and reach a decision about the verdict, and this part of the case is considered jury deliberation. If you are in this position, here are several things you should know about jury deliberation.

The rules the jurors must follow

Jurors have a duty to complete, and this duty primarily means taking only the evidence the judge approved during the trial into consideration when determining a verdict. When the trial concludes, the judge will explain to the jurors what they must do, and the main thing is to discuss the facts of the case with each other to determine a verdict for the case. They cannot use information they heard outside of court or information that the judge stated must be excluded. They can only base their decision on information the judge approved within the context of the court trial.

What takes place during the jury deliberations

When the jurors leave the courtroom, they will head back to a room where they will be alone. They will choose one person from the group to serve as the leader, and this person is usually called the foreperson. The foreperson will read the verdict in the courtroom and may have some control over how the deliberation process takes place. When the jurors all vote and are satisfied with the decision they have made, they will let the judge know that they are finished deliberating and are ready to present the verdict.

The possible outcomes

There are several possible outcomes from a verdict, and the most common are either guilty or not guilty. If all agree that they are guilty, then the verdict is guilty. If all jurors vote for not guilty, then the person is not guilty. If they cannot reach a unanimous verdict, they may continue deliberating for a longer amount of time, or they might present the verdict as a hung jury. A hung jury simply means that there is not a guilty or not guilty verdict, as the jurors could not all agree one way or the other.

If you are facing charges and decide to go to trial for these charges, your fate will likely be left in the hands of the jurors, and that is why it is important to understand this part of your trial. If you need assistance or have concerns, talk to a criminal defense firm, like Shefferman Law, today.