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What happens When a Juror does not Follow the Law in a Medical Malpractice Case

Apr 5, 2015 | Medical Malpractice

What happens if one of the jurors during the course of deliberations refuses to follow the law as the judge has instructed the jury? Can the other jurors do something about this? The answer is yes-the other jurors can do something about it.

Lawyers will Inform Jurors about their Responsibility

At the very beginning of a trial, there is a process of jury selection. During this process, each lawyer will have the opportunity to question and share information with the potential jurors. During this time, lawyers will inform jurors that at the end of the trial, the judge will instruct them on the law which they will have to follow. Furthermore, the lawyers might also ask each juror if they would have any difficulty in summoning the court officer and informing him, if any of the other jurors are refusing to follow the law as instructed by the judge.

This is to find out if jurors are willing to tell the court if any one of them is refusing to follow the guidelines of the law. Even at the end of trial, the attorneys while they are delivering their closing arguments will remind the jurors that they will have to tell the judge if any juror is refusing to follow the law or the instructions given by the judge.

Some Jurors Might Ignore the Instructions

The judge at the end of the trial has to give jury instructions about the law that is applicable to the particular case. The jury is told that they have to try the facts of the case and determine what took place. They must then apply the law instructed to them, and see if there was any wrongdoing, whether such wrongdoing or carelessness caused the injuries, and whether the injuries are significant or permanent.

Usually a set of laws will be applicable to the case, and the judge will deliberate with the lawyers and decide upon the instructions that are to be given to the jury. However, jurors sometimes have their own opinion about what should be right and wrong, and sometimes these opinions might clash with what has been instructed to them. In such instances, jurors are likely to disregard what has been instructed and follow their own beliefs.

Only Jurors can Report the Delinquent Juror

During deliberations, only the jurors are present and they are left alone in a room to arrive at a verdict. Therefore, the responsibility of other jurors would be to inform the judge if any one of them is going against the law or instructions that were provided.

Once, the jurors have been given the instructions by the judge and they have agreed to abide by it, they should have the ability to tell the court if one of their fellow jurors has refused to follow the court’s instructions. In fact, it is their duty to report to the judge if his instructions are not being followed and make an attempt to set things right.