Supreme Court to Argue Privacy of Jury Deliberations

September 29, 2014 | Crandall & Pera Law
Supreme Court to Argue Privacy of Jury Deliberations

The Supreme Court is set to argue next month the privacy of jury deliberations and how to address dishonesty during jury selection, according to a recent article in The New York Times. 

Supreme Court precedents and a rule of evidence currently set strict limits on inquiries into what jurors said or did during deliberations, even where irresponsible or improper behavior affect verdicts.

"A barrage of post-verdict scrutiny of juror conduct" would undermine candid discussions during deliberations, wrote Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the subject. It would make it harder for jurors to take unpopular positions and could subject former jurors to harassment. It could also undermine the finality of verdicts, allowing challenges for months or years afterward.

But the question remains, if a juror lied during jury selection, is it still attacking "the validity of a verdict" by insisting on the constitutional right to trial by an impartial jury? For instance, prospective jurors almost never admit to racial prejudice, but it has been known to infect deliberations. Read the full details here:

Challenging the Privacy of Statements Made During Jury Deliberations

An interesting story on jury trials and the role of jurors in the decision-making process. After trial, can an appeal be made based on what the jury said during deliberations?

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