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The United States Constitution and the Texas Constitution guarantee all people, regardless of race, religion, sex, national origin, or economic status, the right to trial by an impartial jury. Justice ultimately depends to a large measure upon the quality of the jurors who serve in our courts.
As a juror, you must be fair and impartial. Your actions and decisions must be free of any bias or prejudice. Your actions and decisions are the foundation of our judicial system.
You cannot serve on a jury if:
You are entitled to be excused as a juror if you:
There are two basic types of cases, criminal and civil (including family cases):
Yes. You will be paid a minimum of $6.00 for each day you actually serve on the jury.
Your employer is not required to pay you while you serve on jury duty. However, employers are prohibited from firing an employee for serving as a juror.
Any person charged with a criminal offense or any party to a civil case has a right to a jury trial. All parties are equal before the law and each is entitled to the same fair treatment.
Yes. The Texas Supreme Court has rules to assist you in your conduct as a juror, which will be given to you by the Judge.
Cases will usually be heard by juries of 6 or 12 jurors. A larger group, called a panel, will be sent to the courtroom where they will all be questioned under the supervision of the Judge.
A juror may be excused from the panel if it is shown that the juror cannot act impartially concerning the case to be heard. In addition, each side is allowed to remove a given number of jurors from the panel without having to show any reason. The trial jury will be the first 6 or 12 of the remaining jurors on the panel.
It is a way for the parties to select a fair and impartial jury. Under the justice system, you may be questioned by each of the lawyers before they decide to remove a certain number of jurors from the jury panel.
For example, the lawyer may ask you questions to see if you are connected to the trial or if you have any prejudice or bias toward anyone in the trial. These questions are not intended to embarrass you, but rather to help the lawyers in the jury selection process. You may ask the Judge to allow you to answer some questions away from the other jurors.
After you have been selected as a juror on a trial panel, if you have a special need or an emergency, tell the court deputy.