Conduct in the Jury Room

Responsibilities of Foreperson

Upon retiring to the jury room to deliberate, the jury selects a foreperson. It is the foreperson's duty to act as the presiding officer, to see that the jury's deliberations are conducted in an orderly fashion, and to see that the issues submitted for the jury's consideration are fully and fairly discussed and that every juror has a chance to say what he/she thinks about every question. When ballots or votes should be taken, the foreperson should see that this is done. The foreperson should sign any written request made of the judge. A good foreperson can keep the discussion organized, save time and get efficient results.

Listen Carefully

Every juror should listen carefully to the views of the other members of the jury and consider them with an open mind.

Final Vote

Your final vote should represent your own opinion. As a result of the discussion with fellow jurors, your opinion may have changed from that which you first held. You should not hesitate to change your mind.

Differences of Opinion

When differences of opinion arise, you should say what you think and why you think it. You must not try to force another juror to agree with you nor should you refuse to listen to the arguments and opinions of the others. You must never shirk your responsibility and must never permit any decision to be reached by chance or toss of a coin. If there is any disagreement or confusion as to the judge's instructions, or as to their meaning, the jury (through its foreperson) can ask the bailiff for further instructions or assistance from the judge.