Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

FYI – The Justice of Juries

Shira Yehudit Djlilmand

In many countries, when someone is accused of a crime, their guilt is decided in court by a group of regular citizens, called a jury. What exactly is a jury and how does the system work?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What is a Jury?

A jury is a group of laypersons, regular citizens not qualified in law, who decide cases in court. How juries work varies from place to place — some places have twelve jurors, others more or less; some require a unanimous decision (all the jurors agree) while others accept a majority decision; but the basic principle is the same: Jurors are chosen at random from the general public (often by computer-generated lists based on driving licenses or ID numbers), and called to the courthouse. There, some people will ask to be excused, others may be rejected for various reasons, either by the judge or the lawyers on either side, until the final jury is chosen 

In countries where juries are used, jury duty is usually compulsory, and you can only ask to be excused under special circumstances such as illness. Soldiers are usually excused automatically, as are people over seventy. In most countries, if you do serve as a juror, your employer is not allowed to punish you for not coming to work, and you will be paid expenses for traveling to the courthouse each day, and for snacks to get you through that long trial! 


To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Out with the Girls
Yonoson Rosenblum Another progressive revolution that eats its own
And I Will Glorify Him
Eytan Kobre Herman Wouk “made G-d a bestseller”
What You've Learned
Alexandra Fleksher Allow me to let you in on what school is all about
Going Broke
Mishpacha Readers Reader feedback for “The Kids Are Going to Camp..."
Top 5 Ways Jews Try to Lose Weight
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Gaining weight and talking about losing weight
He Soaked Up Our Pain
Rabbi Yaakov Klein A tribute to Reb Shlomo Cheshin ztz”l
Leaving on a High Note
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman And then it happened. I knew it would
Family Matters
Baruch S. Fertel, MD, MPA, FACEP Not the answers they teach in medical school
Play the Night Away
Riki Goldstein May we all share simchahs, no strings attached!
Fast Thinking
Faigy Peritzman How we react when we're exempt from a mitzvah
Baalat Teshuvah
Rachel Karasenti Don’t ask, “So how did you become frum?”
Confessions of a PhD Graduate
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When it comes to parenting, we’re always learning
Dear Favorite Little Sis
Anonymous I ended up wanting to be like you
Who's Making My Phone Calls?
Sara Eisemann Should I be upfront that I’m calling for myself?