JUROR IMPARTIALITY: “Know Your Rights” with Attorney Jeff Vastola:
Did you know that the right to a fair and impartial jury is guaranteed by both the Federal and State Constitutions? You may have heard that in your civics class or somewhere else along the way, but do you really know what that means?
A fair and impartial juror is one that will set aside all preconceived notions of right and wrong and apply the facts of the case to the law. The law is that set out by the judge in that particular case, not the laws of physics, the laws of nature or your own biblical notions of an eye for an eye. The jury is there to decide all disputed questions of fact. In order to comply with the mandates set forth in our Constitutions, it is imperative that all jurors are able to decide those questions of fact fairly. If not, trouble awaits.
The mountain of case law on the rehabilitation of a partial juror is growing. What that means is that more and more cases are being appealed because an unfair juror made it to the jury box. If you are like everyone else and have a concern that our court dockets are overcrowded, be honest with yourself when called as a potential juror to ensure the impartiality that our system of justice requires.
I’m attorney Jeff Vastola, and now you Know Your Rights.