While most of us dread jury duty, it is possible to get kicked off a jury after you've been selected. Jurors are sometimes excused even in the middle of trial, as happened to three jurors in the Jodi Arias murder case, ABC News reports.
While your goal as a good juror should be to pay attention and impartially evaluate a case, there are many possible ways to get kicked off a jury in Arizona.
Here are five of the most common reasons for a juror to be excused:
1. Medical Issues.
During the questioning of prospective jurors -- a legal process called voir dire -- both the prosecution and the defense will ask each potential juror if there are any physical or mental conditions that will prevent them from serving on a jury.
Courts are often able to make accommodations for certain jurors based on their conditions before considering whether to let a juror go.
2. Not Understanding English.
In Arizona, as in all other states, understanding English is a requirement for serving on a jury.
You may be excused from serving on a jury if you do not speak English, but it is unwise to pretend that you do not understand English in order to escape jury service.
3. Personal Bias.
When choosing a jury, attorneys and the judge will ask each juror if they can remain unbiased or impartial during the case in order to protect the defendant's right to an impartial jury.
If you believe you cannot fairly judge a case due to your beliefs or past experiences, a judge may excuse you from the jury pool.
4. Juror Misconduct.
Along with remaining unbiased, jurors are expected to follow a certain a certain code of conduct.
The following things are examples of juror misconduct and will get you kicked off a jury:
- Talking to family and friends about the case;
- Speaking with witnesses, the defendant or attorneys in the case;
- Reading news about the case; and
- Accepting bribes to decide the case.
5. Financial Hardship.
Jurors are often asked if they will be able to support themselves and their families during the course of jury duty.
If circumstances change and a juror cannot make a living for herself and her family due to jury duty, that juror may be excused from service.
- Another Juror Dismissed in Jodi Arias Murder Trial in Phoenix (The Associated Press)
- Jodi Arias Murder Trial: Jury Selection Begins (FindLaw's Phoenix Criminal Law News)
- Trial of Michael Jackson's Doctor: Impartial Jury Elusive (FindLaw's Celebrity Justice)
- Browse Phoenix Criminal Defense Lawyers (FindLaw)