US District Court • Southern District of New York

Handbook for Trial Jurors

Serving the United States District Court

Purpose of This Handbook

Importance of Jury Service

The Courts

The Criminal Case

The Civil Case

The Voir Dire Examination

The Jurors' Solemn Oath

The Eight Stages of Trial

The Arguments of Counsel

The Charge to the Jury

The Jury’s Verdict

Courtroom Etiquette

Conduct of the Jury during the Trial

In the Jury Room

After the Trial

Conclusion

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The Jurors' Solemn Oath

After the voir dire is completed, the jurors selected to try the case will be sworn in. The judge or the clerk will state to the jury:

"Members of the Jury, you will rise, hold up your right hands, and be sworn to try this case."

The jurors then rise and hold up their right hands. The jurors face the judge or the clerk who is to administer the oath. That official slowly, solemnly, and clearly repeats the oath. The jurors indicate by their responses and upraised hands that they take this solemn oath.

Jurors not wishing to take an oath may request to affirm instead of swear. In some districts the jury is sworn upon the Bible and not by uplifted hand.