8/6/18 Terminology about Jury (Part II)

  • Jury Nullification

A decision by the jury to acquit a defendant who has violated a law that the jury believes is unjust or wrong. Jury nullification has always been an option for juries in England and the United States, although judges will prevent a defense lawyer from urging the jury to acquit on this basis. Nullification was evident during the Vietnam War (when selective service protesters were acquitted by juries opposed to the war) and currently appears in criminal cases when the jury disagrees with the punishment — for example, in “three strikes” cases when the jury realizes that conviction of a relatively minor offense will result in lifetime imprisonment.
  • Jury Panel

A list of people who’ve been summoned to the court for jury duty, from which jurors for a particular trial may be chosen.
  • Jury Selection

The process by which a jury is chosen for a particular trial. In brief, a panel of potential jurors is called, they’re questioned by the judge and attorneys, some may be dismissed for cause (such as bias), others based on peremptory challenges (in which the attorneys don’t need to state a cause), and finally the jury is chosen and impaneled.
  • Jury Stress

The mental and physical tension found to affect juries in long trials due to exhaustion, sequestration, the mountain of evidence, and the desire to do the right thing.
  • Jury Tampering

The crime of attempting to influence a jury through any means other than presenting evidence and argument in court, such as conversations about the case outside the court, offering bribes, making threats, or asking acquaintances to exert their influence on a juror.