A jury ismade up of individual members of the public who a referred to as jurors. Jurorsare citizens who review evidence, listen to testimonies (which is a form ofevidence) and produce a decision upon the outcome of a case. If you are over 18and are registered to vote, have registered a car, have registered property or holda valid driving licence, you may be selected to be a juror and it’s a legalobligation to serve your time as a juror, (jurors are chosen randomly by acomputer and this reduces bias). Usually, individuals will receive a letterthat informs you that you’ve been chosen for jury service, (the period of timeyou do it for depends on the case you’re assigned to- ranging from 1 day toseveral months). It’s an order of the court that needs to be obeyed unless thechosen person can be exempt for a valid reason.
For example, on medicalgrounds, not being qualified (if you are on bail), have been previouslyconvicted of a crime and sentenced to five or more years in prison, have a jobin the legal sector or have a job in the forces. A lot of civil courts need a jury, consistingof 12 people and two other jurors as an alternative. A criminal trial which isconsidered serious requires 12 people to serve as jurors however, trials formisdemeanour charges (which normally involve a fine) can have a jury of lessthan twelve people. The vote is unanimous and normally requires a 12:0 votewhich means that the whole jury have the same verdict upon the case, as thissupports the principle of beyond all reasonable doubt.
However, on occasionsthe judge can decide that a 11:1 vote or 10:2 vote is sufficient as they aremajority votes. On rare occasions, a case may have a hung jury, this is wherethe jury can’t deliver a verdict which is either guilty or not guilty. Once ajury has been selected, that specific group of people will remain together forthe whole duration of the case. Jurors aren’t allowed to discuss the trial withanyone until the case is over due to confidentiality and potential bias theymay receive and even after the trial, you can’t discuss about what occurred inthe deliberation room. You can only speak to the other jurors on the same caseas you when you are in the deliberation room.
When thejury arrive to court there are 15 individuals, a court official then randomlyselects 12 of them to take part in a case, this occurs to ensure a more randomselection of people. Also, when jurors arrive, they have no idea about the casethey will be put into, (to avoid any bias).Overall, ajury consists of randomly selected members of the public and they are requiredto deliver a non-biased verdict on a case.