|SELECTION AND REQUIRMENTS
||Jury Trials are held in
the Common Pleas Court and in the Columbiana County Municipal Court.
Jurors are chosen at random from the list of the registered voters
who are bona fide residents of Columbiana County. Jurors must be at
least 18 years of age and they must not have lost their right to
serve on a jury by having been convicted of certain crimes. Beyond
those requirements, everyone is given the opportunity to be a juror
regardless of age or occupation. Under very special circumstances, a
person may be excused from jury service. All questions regarding
jury selection should be addressed to the Jury Commissioner at (330)
424-7777, ext 1108.
|TYPES OF JURIES AND LENGTH OF
||Most jurors will be selected
to serve on a "petit jury". The number of jurors required is determined
by the type of case and the court in which the proceedings will be
held. The judge generally decides to have alternate jurors selected
in case something should happen to one of the original jury panel
during the trial. Jurors selected for service on a "petit jury" for
the Common Pleas Court are "on call" for one (1) week. Jurors selected
for service on a "petit jury" for the Columbiana County Municipal
Court are "on call" for one (1) month. The "grand jury" does not decide
guilt or innocence. Rather these jurors hear evidence and decide whether
a person should be "indicted" and tried for committing a crime. Persons
selected on a grand jury serve a one (1) month term.
|NOTIFICATION AND PROCEDURES
||Prospective jurors receive
a questionnaire, which must be completed and returned in a self-addressed,
stamped envelope. (All information received will be treated confidentially).
This packet will also include your juror number, the dates of your
service and the telephone number to be used during your "on call"
week or month. Jurors are instructed to call the evening before their
service date. The recorded message will provide instructions for those
who are required to report for duty. Upon arrival at the designated
court, jurors are directed to the waiting area and then escorted to
the courtroom. In the courtroom, all prospective jurors take an oath
or affirm that they will truthfully answer all questions posed to
them by the judge and the attorneys. The purpose of the questioning
(voir dire) is to determine if there is some reason why it might be
difficult for a juror to be fair and impartial in the case being tried.
After paying close attention to the witnesses, the evidence and the
judge's instruction, jurors go to the deliberation room. A foreperson
is elected to ensure that all issues are considered and every juror
is given a chance to participate. When the verdict is reached, the
jurors agreeing to the verdict sign the verdict form and notify the
bailiff. The jury returns to the courtroom and the judge reads the
verdict and the jury is dismissed. Most jurors find jury duty a positive
experience. They have the opportunity to learn about the legal system
and gain an understanding of the important contribution made by jurors.
Their service is of significant benefit to the entire community.