Should I Be Aware of Juror Misconduct Before My Criminal Trial?
Appealing a guilty verdict may be an option for you if you were given an unfair criminal, the judge committed a legal error, or the jury was prejudiced. Here are several examples of juror misconduct and how you can get legal help after being convicted of a crime.
Juror or Jury Misconduct: The Basics
Jury members’ prejudice or misconduct can seriously impact a defendant’s case and cause them to incur fines, jail time, and consequences that can’t be undone. It may be one juror that is guilty of misconduct or many if they fail or refuse to follow the instructions of the court, lies, etc. If you can illustrate that your case was impacted by jury misconduct, you should be considered eligible for a criminal case appeal.
Examples of Misconduct
The below examples of misconduct may potentially be enough evidence to file a case appeal:
Jurors Who Aren’t Qualified or Are Biased
A prejudiced juror may vote for or against a guilty verdict not because the evidence indicated the defendant did or did not commit the crime but for another reason like race, gender, or the charges they’re in court for. A juror can be unqualified if they aren’t a legal citizen of the United States or if they have certain impairments that may impact their ability to serve on a jury.
Exposure to Biased Media
Media bias can be a significant issue for jury members, especially in cases involving celebrities, high-profile politicians or businesspeople, and other noteworthy individuals. Often, media coverage will be heavily swayed for or against the defendant and use sensationalist headlines that can confuse jurors and influence them to make decisions based not solely on information presented during the trial.
Court Officials Inappropriately Influencing Jury Members
Members of the court also may not improperly influence jurors by discussing the case or related evidence, particularly if it was ruled the evidence was inadmissible in court. If the jury in your case was exposed to outside influence, you may be eligible for an appeal.
Can You Appeal a Massachusetts Court Decision for Juror Bias or Misconduct?
If you were convicted of a criminal offense and believe jury misconduct played a part, you may be eligible to appeal your case. It’s critical that you consult with an attorney who has experience in appellate law who can help guide you. Call The Law Offices of Jesse Adams for a consultation at 413.549.0022 (Amherst), 413.585.9200 (Northampton), or 413.737.9700 (Springfield).