Step 7- The Jury
County residents are randomly selected from state drivers’ license records and/or voter registration rolls, and are summoned to the Courthouse as potential jurors.
The judge, prosecutor and defense attorney question the jurors about their backgrounds and beliefs.
After twelve jurors are selected, the judge gives an oath to the jury and provides basic instructions about the trial process.
The trial will proceed in the following manner:
Opening Statements – each side will present to the jury what it expects the facts of the case will show. Each party will tell its side of the story.
Prosecution’s Case – the Commonwealth will call witnesses and present evidence to the jury. The defense may cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses and raise questions or concerns about the evidence.
Defense’s Case – the defense may call witnesses and present evidence on its behalf. The Commonwealth may cross-examine the defense’s witnesses and question the evidence.
Closing Arguments – each side will argue the case to the jury and try to plead with the jury. In closing arguments, the parties will argue the law and the facts to the jury. The defense goes first, followed by the prosecution.
Jury Instructions – the judge will read the law to the jury. The jury takes an oath to follow this law.
– the jury will go back to a room and decide what the verdict will be for each count. The verdict can be guilty or not guilty for each count.
– The verdict will be read aloud in the courtroom.