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There are two basic types of cases, criminal and civil. In a criminal case, the jury decides the guilt or innocence of the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt. In a civil case, the jury decides whether or not money damages should be given and, if given, how much those damages will be.
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The United States Constitution guarantees all people the right to trial by an impartial jury of one's peers, regardless of:
In order to uphold this guarantee, we need those summoned to participate in the jury process to ensure every citizen's right to have their case decided by an impartial jury selected from a representative pool of prospective jurors.
Any person charged with a criminal offense or any party in a civil case has the right to a trial by jury. All parties are equal before the law and each is given the same fair and impartial treatment.
Your duty as a juror is to weigh all of the evidence and testimony presented to you and to decide the outcome of the case based upon the law and the evidence. Your decision must be fair, impartial and free of any bias or prejudice. Jury service is the basis of our judicial system and is essential to the administration of justice.
After your panel is selected and reports to a courtroom, a process known as voir dire begins. During voir dire, the judge and possibly the attorneys will ask you questions to see if you can keep an open mind and be fair. After you have been questioned, you will either be selected or excused for that particular case. If you are selected, you and the other selected jurors will receive instructions from the judge as to what is expected of you. If you are not selected, you will return to the jury room and may be sent to another courtroom with another panel.
If you are selected to sit on a jury, the average trial length is two to three days, although trials may be longer or shorter depending upon the facts of the case.
Jurors should dress comfortably, but properly for a courthouse. Shorts, mini-skirts, tank tops and halters are not permitted. If you report wearing any of these items, you may be asked to return home, at your own expense, to change into more suitable attire.
The United States Constitution and the Texas State Constitution guarantees the right to trial by jury. Failure to attend as directed may subject you to penalties provided by law. All Randall County residents are obligated by state law to serve as a juror unless they:
The jury process can require a juror to wait a considerable amount of time. For this reason, jurors are encouraged to bring a book or other form of reading material with them to the jury assembly room. Jurors may not bring cameras, walkmans or radios. Cellular phones and pagers must be turned off.
Failure to appear for jury service when summoned is a serious matter. You may be held in contempt of court and could be fined up to $1,000. It is in your best interest to appear if you are summoned to avoid any further action.
Yes. A phone and vending machines are located near the jury assembly room. If you plan to make a purchase vending items, please bring enough change.