Jury Question

Hoss

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Got a question for our lawyers or anyone else with inside knowledge. Why do some judges not allow jurors to take notes? My wife is on jury duty now. It's a week long trial about what I consider to be a technical crime (theft by aggregate) and she's not allowed to take notes. It kinda floored me. I wouldn't be able to remember shit said on day 1 by the time it was all over if I couldn't take notes to jog my memory. I asked google and this is what I got.

"Many judges oppose juror notetaking because in their view jurors cannot make the distinction between important and trivial evidence. As a result, the more vital evidence may not be recorded and the less important may be, making it impossible for a jury to reach a rational verdict."

Like is that a real thing that actual people think? Please explain it to me. If you can't trust a juror to know what evidence is important, then you don't trust them to come up with a verdict, right? There's got to be a better reason. I'd expect the note taking to be limited to a court provided note pad and taken up every day and at the end of the trial. But no note taking at all makes no sense.

Can't remember who all of our lawyers are, please tag any I missed
Cad Cad Butthurt Butthurt
 
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Butthurt

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This is judge dependent. In the jury trials i’ve done, the court allowed them to take notes, but the jury had to leave the notes with the bailiff at the end of every day.

i’d agree with you that not allowing the jury to take notes is sorta ridiculous.
 
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Cybsled

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This is judge dependent. In the jury trials i’ve done, the court allowed them to take notes, but the jury had to leave the notes with the bailiff at the end of every day.

i’d agree with you that not allowing the jury to take notes is sorta ridiculous.

Pretty much this. Unless there is some state or county law that prohibits that, a lot of it is going to come down to individual judges or courthouses.

My experience was more or less the same as quoted: The judge let the jury take notes, but they couldn't keep them. They even supplied the note pads and pens to all the jurors, which probably made the "we keep the notes" thing easier to do since they owned the stuff we were taking notes on.
 

Furry

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Caring enough to take notes? He's going to be in for some eye-opening on humanity. After my times in jury duty, I'm convinced that Einstein discovered his second infinite on a jury.
 

Hoss

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I did some looking and apparently only a few states specifically allow note taking by law and one state disallows it by law. All other states leave it up to the judge.
 

Cad

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This is judge dependent. In the jury trials i’ve done, the court allowed them to take notes, but the jury had to leave the notes with the bailiff at the end of every day.

i’d agree with you that not allowing the jury to take notes is sorta ridiculous.
On top of this, sometimes the jury is allowed to take notes, but then isn't allowed to take them into the jury room to deliberate. Make sense of that one...

Judges are crazy sometimes.
 
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Hoss

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I was hoping someone would have a better reason than the cynical BS that jurors are too dumb to take notes. If that's what you think of jurors maybe you shouldn't be allowed to preside over a jury trial. Obviously you have no faith in them.

I also read they fear the note taking jurors will dominate the non note taking jurors. Is it horrible that the people who paid attention might sway the vote?
 

Cybsled

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You have to deal with worse shit, believe me. I remember being on a jury where it felt like we had to spend 2 hours trying to convince the “fuck the police” guy that the video evidence painted a pretty clear picture of who was at fault
 

Cad

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I was hoping someone would have a better reason than the cynical BS that jurors are too dumb to take notes. If that's what you think of jurors maybe you shouldn't be allowed to preside over a jury trial. Obviously you have no faith in them.

I also read they fear the note taking jurors will dominate the non note taking jurors. Is it horrible that the people who paid attention might sway the vote?
Hey, you get normal people on your jury, you have to deal with what "normal" is.

If you want to start qualifying jurors by people with certain critical reasoning skills and a certain amount of education, that would be just fine by me. Right now, you get people of Walmart.