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The purpose of a jury

When you have to go to court, it's important for your attorney to make sure that the jury is not biased in your case. What is a jury, though, and what is its purpose?

A jury's job is to make sure that prosecutors are not able to hold too much power. Prosecutors generally have the ability to determine what crimes a defendant will be charged with. If the jury doesn't agree with a penalty, then it could force them to rule against the prosecution. Since that's the case, then the prosecution is more likely to put forward a fair punishment.

Another purpose of a jury is to make sure a judge is held accountable. A biased judge could certainly be a problem in many types of cases, and juries help make sure that doesn't happen. Jurors are not impacted by politics and are serving as a civic duty.

Juries are typically made up of everyday people who may not fully grasp complicated legal concepts. They can also be swayed by emotion and must try to make sure they only make a decision based on fact. Cases can be incredibly long, too, so it's not uncommon to hear about jurors who aren't paying attention or who are falling asleep during the trial when they should be listening to the facts of the case.

Before a jury can work on your case, each person must be interviewed. The attorneys and judge can ask the jurors questions to make sure they are able to remain impartial during the case. If not, then the person may be dismissed from the case.

Source: FindLaw, "What is the Role of a Jury in a Criminal Case?," accessed Jan. 27, 2017

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