Illinois Bar Journal

Articles on Juries

Court failed to safeguard defendant’s right to a public trial

May
2020
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
The defendant was convicted at a jury trial for possession of a weapon by a felon, forgery, and aggravated fleeing and eluding.

What’s So Special About Special Interrogatories?

By Amy Frantz
May
2020
Article
Page 30
A guide to special interrogatories and navigating the amended statute that governs them.

Court gives inadequate self-defense jury instruction

April
2020
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
On Jan. 31, 2020, the Third District Appellate Court reversed a trial court decision that failed to provide adequate self-defense and second-degree murder instructions to the jury.

Conviction reversed after playing video in open court chilled jury deliberations

October
2019
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
On July 23, 2019, the Third District Appellate Court reversed and remanded a defendant’s conviction, holding that a clear or obvious error occurred when the lower court required the jury to view and listen to video and audio recordings of the arrest in the courtroom in the presence of the parties, their attorneys, and the trial judge, as the presence of these third parties chilled jury deliberations.

No error in nonremoval of juror who knew police officer in video interview

October
2019
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
On July 11, 2019, the Fifth District Appellate Court held that 1) a lower court judge had not erred in failing to remove, sua sponte, a potential juror for cause who stated that she knew a police officer who appeared in a video interview but who was not a witness; 2) the defense counsel was not liable for ineffective assistance for failing to challenge the inclusion of the potential juror, where the defendant received a fair trial and there was no reasonable probability that, but for counsel’s failure to challenge the potential juror, the outcome of the trial would have been different; and 3) no error existed when: the jury watched the video interview in the presence of two neutral nonjurors (a clerk and a bailiff), the jury started to watch the video before the judge decided what they would be permitted to see, or when one juror went to use the restroom at the time the video began.

Removal of sleeping juror held to be race-neutral

October
2019
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
On July 11, 2019, the Third District Appellate Court held that removal of the only African-American juror from the trial of an African-American defendant did not deprive the defendant of equal protection or due process.

It’s Time to Define ‘Beyond a Reasonable Doubt’

By Timothy James Ting
July
2018
Article
Page 24
Unlike most state courts, Illinois courts do not define "reasonable doubt" for juries. Should Illinois reconsider?

Instructional error in jury selection can constitute plain error

August
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
Defendant was convicted for resisting a peace officer and sentenced to two years' imprisonment following a jury trial.

Illinois Supreme Court overturns six-person-jury statute

By Matthew Hector
November
2016
LawPulse
Page 12
The high court ruled that the Illinois Constitution guarantees the right to a 12-person jury.

Parties may no longer demand a jury of 12

May
2015
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
The Code of Civil Procedure has been amended to restrict the number of jurors a party can demand in a civil jury trial.

Is the switch to six-person juries constitutional?

By Matthew Hector
March
2015
LawPulse
Page 14
The challenge of choosing a six-person panel may make you rethink your jury-selection strategy. But some lawyers are asking whether the change in jury size violates the Illinois Constitution.

Grand juries in the spotlight

By Matthew Hector
February
2015
LawPulse
Page 12
The shooting death of Michael Brown drew attention to the usually secret world of grand jury proceedings. Illinois lawyers talk about how the process works across the river from Ferguson.

Jury demand in original complaint transfers to third-party claims assigned to the original plaintiff

November
2014
Illinois Law Update
Page 524
On August 18, 2014, the Second District Appellate Court of Illinois held that a plaintiff's original jury demand covered a third-party claim against an insurer that had been assigned to the plaintiff as part of a settlement agreement.

Juries in the Age of Voir Google

By Hon. Ron Spears
August
2014
Column
Page 402
Lawyers are using Internet to research prospective jurors.

Discourage juror tweets through admonishment, not punishment

By Janan Hanna
July
2014
LawPulse
Page 314
Authors of a Chicago-based study of jury behavior conclude that jurors actually listen to instructions from judges not to communicate about the case.

Researching Jurors Online: Voir Dire in the Digital Age

By Hon. Raymond Rossi
October
2013
Article
Page 514
The why and how of researching prospective jurors online.

No double jeopardy though jurors were sworn, high court rules

By Adam W. Lasker
June
2013
LawPulse
Page 278
The Illinois Supreme Court ruled in Martinez that, even though the jury was already empanelled, the defendant was not in jeopardy because the state stood silently by and presented no evidence.

Dinosaurs and Jury Trials: Adaptation or Extinction?

By Hon. Ron Spears
May
2013
Column
Page 264
Trial by jury remains a key underpinning of our justice system.

The Too-Expansive Illinois General Verdict Rule

By J. Timothy Eaton, Michael W. Rathsack, & Michael T. Reagan
March
2013
Article
Page 142
More and more Illinois courts are upholding general verdicts if there is any error-free basis for doing so. They should do the opposite, these authors say.

Jurors may question witnesses under new supreme court rule

By Adam W. Lasker
June
2012
LawPulse
Page 286
Starting next month, jurors will be permitted to submit written questions for witnesses to the court for consideration. Proponents say it will help jurors understand the case and stay engaged.

Prospective jurors who are excused because of a permanent disability may never serve as a juror. PA 097-0436.

November
2011
Illinois Law Update
Page 556
The Jury Act and the Jury Commission Act have been amended to prohibit persons who have been excused from jury duty due to a total and permanent disability from ever serving as a juror again. (705 ILCS 305/10.4, 10.5 new).

Supreme court: IPI instruction misstates med-mal standard of care

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
September
2011
LawPulse
Page 434
An Illinois Pattern Jury Instruction doesn't state the correct standard for determining whether a physician's conduct was reasonable in a med-mal case, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled.

2011 Spring Session Legislative Roundup

By Jim Covington
August
2011
Column
Page 392
A summary of key legislation from this year's session.

Correspondence from Our Readers

July
2011
Column
Page 326
Righties and lefties; let jurors ask questions.

Loose-Lipped Jurors in the Facebook Age: What Courts Can Do About Unauthorized Electronic Communication

By Jasmine Villaflor Hernandez & Jessica LeeAnn Cummings
July
2011
Article
Page 344
Inappropriate posting, texting, and tweeting by jurors can wreak havoc with the trial process.

Juror Questions During Trial: An Idea Whose Time Has Come Again

By Stephen R. Kaufmann & Michael P. Murphy
June
2011
Article
Page 294
Allowing jurors to ask questions during trial would keep the jury engaged and give lawyers a chance to refine their cases in response to juror queries, the authors argue.

Batson Objections to Peremptory Challenges: Don’t Sidestep the Three-Step Procedure

By John M. Broderick
April
2011
Article
Page 198
A party making a Batson objection to an opponent's peremptory challenge should have to show that removing the would-be juror amounts to purposeful racial discrimination, the author argues.

Exposing Immigration Bias During Voir Dire

By David Holland & Gil Lenz
February
2011
Article
Page 82
Courts should allow questioning of prospective jurors on immigration-related bias, the authors say. They also suggest questions that can expose immigrant bias during jury selection.

See comments from our readers

July
2010
Column
Page 338
Jury-service article "spot-on"

Juror Number 10, Attorney at Law

By Phillip H. Hamilton
June
2010
Cover Story
Page 296
An ISBA member explains how his jury service changed - forever - his perspective on trial practice.

Pages

Select a Different Subject