Are jurors allowed to conduct their own independent investigations? The simple answer to this question is no! As a juror, you may feel that something is missing from the trial that you are sitting as a juror on. For example, you may feel that certain witnesses have not been called to testify, other extremely relevant evidence has not been presented, one the attorneys is doing a bad job in presenting his or her client’s case, etc. However, you are not allowed to conduct your own investigations to fill in answers to questions that you may have, etc. You must simply rely on the evidence presented to you in court.
In fact, there is a specific jury instruction that details this requirement. This very important jury instruction reads a follows:
“You must decide all questions of fact in this case from the evidence received in this trial and not from any other source. When a witness has testified through a Certified Court Interpreter, you must accept the English interpretation of that testimony even if you would have translated the foreign language differently. You must not independently investigate the facts or the law or consider or discuss facts as to which there is no evidence. This means, for example, that you must not on your own visit the scene, conduct experiments, or consult reference works or persons for additional information. You must not discuss this case with any other person, including, but not limited to spouses, spiritual leaders or advisers, or therapists, except a fellow juror during deliberations when all twelve of you are together in the jury room, and then only after the case is submitted to you for your decision and only when all twelve jurors are present in the jury room.”
We hope that the information in this blog gives you some helpful insight as to what is expected of a juror. If you or a loved one needs assistance with any criminal defense matter call Wallin and Klarich today. Wallin and Klarich has a team of highly skilled, aggressive criminal defense attorneys ready to take your call 7 days week, 24 hours a day! Wallin and Klarich has been in the business of helping people with their criminal defense matters for over 30 years and we would like to help you with yours! A qualified, experienced attorney from the firm will be able to evaluate your case when you call.