Can I serve on a jurry if I am ministering to the criminal in prison?

19 year old girl committed armed robbery with a BB gun, I want to reach out to her via our churches prison ministry group. I have jury duty coming up next month. Would I be breaking a law to serve on her jury? I know the girl fairly well outside of the prison ministry also. She went to school and played sports with my daughters and always came over to hug me or to sit by me or talk to me at games. She was in a post-foster care home and didn’t really have a mom.

Asked on July 25, 2012 under Criminal Law, Ohio


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Your reporting date for jury duty is next month.  What will happen is that you and other prospective jurors will be questioned by the attorneys and the judge.  There are a number of cases going on at the same time and you might not even be sent to the courtroom where the girl's trial will be held.  If you are sent to that courtroom for the case involving the girl you know, one of the questions that will be asked of the prospective jurors is do you know the defendant.  When you answer that you know the defendant, most likely you will be dismissed as a prospective juror in that case.  If you are not dismissed as a prospective juror after that question has been asked which would be unlikely, you have not violated any law if you are selected for that particular jury.  Again, it is unlikely that you would be selected for that jury once the attorneys learn that you know the defendant.

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