– How are jury members cut off from society for so long?


I’m not from the US so I’m not quite sure if I got this right: During a court trial jury members are not allowed to be influenced by the outside so they are cut off from the society during the duration of the trial.

But how does this work. Taking the heard depp defamation trial as an example. The trial should last for 5 weeks in addition to a 10 days break. So are the jury members isolated for more than 6 weeks or how does this exactly work?

In: 9

It’s very, very rare for a jury to be sequestered. Most trials still let you go home for dinner. It’s only the rare case where the trial is sensationalized for the media that makes an exception.

It used to be very common to put jurors in a hotel to prevent them from contacting the outside world. That’s expensive and isn’t done much now. Instead, jurors get a stern talking to, told not to do anything that might influence them and are sent home in most cases.

Yes. Though not always invoked. Random person stealing a car with no news on it, the defense probably will not invoke the issue because the judge will not agree that there is an issue with outside influence. There are also other types of separation like having to report to a remote location to avoid being seen by media when entering the court house.

In a case where there would likely be outside influence and a large amount of media coverage, a jury will be sequestered(separated) in order to prevent outside influence. They will be given hotels, have guards to both protect them and prevent them from watching TV or going on the internet, get their mail screened, cannot talk to others about the case including other jurors.

In long trials they can try and do things to make it suck less, like take them to small outings like bowling or to the movies. Since the legal system is aware that people are people and morale will influence their ability to make reasonable decisions. Zimmerman trial I believe was a good few weeks long so they were under those strict conditions which is why the system tried to make it easier on the persons.


I was just on a federal jury for the Chicken Collusion Conspiracy in Denver. Almost 3 months. I just straight up didn’t look into it, didn’t tall about it or answer questions when asked. Not nearly as difficult as something like the Depp case where it’s blasted all over but it is big enough that had I looked into it there was a ton of news all over the country. It would have 100% changed my verdict had I looked into it more. I believe in our judicial system so I played by the rules. I tried to be the Juror I would want if I was on the other side. If I was on the Depp case I would have gone without social media for the trial span. I am fairly duty driven so I might be an outlier. Also, look into the chicken stuff. It’s huge, and pretty fucked up. I’m surprised it isn’t more mainstream news.

It’s extremely rare for jurors to be sequestered… only in cases of significant media coverage. Also, most trials are only a few days, not weeks.

I served on a jury for a trial that got local media coverage in Chicago (so not some tiny town), and we were just asked to not watch local news or read parts of newspaper where it might be covered, not to discuss case with anybody, not post on social media. We got to go home at end of each day. Trial lasted 4 days…

I live in Canada and I served jury duty once a few years ago. Can’t say for sure it’s the same in the US, but I’d be surprised if it’s too much different. Here’s how my experience went:

We were allowed to go home during the trial itself, we were only forbidden from talking about the case with anyone (on the honor system, although to be fair this wasn’t a high profile case like the Heard/Depp case is. As long as I didn’t bring it up myself, I was unlikely to trip over anyone else talking about it.)

We were sequestered for one night during deliberations (after the trial itself was concluded and it was up to us to come to a verdict) and that was only because we didn’t come to a consensus in a single day. We were taken to a specific hotel that had rooms assigned for the purpose, and the TVs had been disabled in the rooms. There were a couple of court officials staying in one room as well, in case we needed anything, but I don’t think they were standing guard or anything (to be fair, I didn’t poke my head out to check.)

When it was getting close to the end of the trial, we were told to pack a bag for a couple of nights and bring it in case we needed to be sequestered once we entered deliberations.

If you want to see how jury sequestering works (in the rare cases where it’s used), you can always watch the miniseries *The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story*. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the O.J. Simpson murder trial, but the long and short of it is that he is a former football player and actor who was accused of murdering his ex-wife and one of her friends in 1994. Because of his fame, the trial was a media circus and the jury was kept sequestered.

But to make a long story short, in the rare cases where juries are sequestered, they are often kept in hotels, where all their needs paid for by the government and they are forbidden to watch television, read recent newspapers or magazines, or have unsupervised telephone conversations. This is not a cheap thing to do, so it’s not used in the majority of jury trials. There are lots of trials every single day and the media really doesn’t care about the vast majority of them; thus, there’s no real need to sequester every jury.

>During a court trial jury members are not allowed to be influenced by the outside so they are cut off from the society during the duration of the trial.

This is not correct. Jury members are not expected to be completely shielded from any outside influence. In almost all cases, it’s simply enough to tell the jurors not to consider outside information. It’s extremely rare for jurors to actually be sequestered. This only happens in the most high-profile extreme cases.

Jurors in the Depp v. Herd case are not sequestered. They’re free to go about their lives. The judge would have simply warned them not to discuss the trial with anyone or to to consider outside information.