Q: I am a crime victim. Will the attorneys/judge consider that when I report to jury duty?
I live in NJ. I am a crime victim. One defendant pled guilty to other charges and the charges related to my case were dismissed. Second defendant pled guilty and is currently on probation and paying restitution to me. Third defendant is a fugitive (so, open case). I appeared in court and made a victim impact statement at sentencing of 2nd defendant. I now have been called for jury duty. Luckily the first day is on Zoom, for jury selection. Will I be able to tell this story to the judge and attorneys? I simply cannot go back into that building. I am not currently under care of a psychologist. I had worked out my issues and was functioning well in my everyday life; but now the jury duty summons and thinking of going into that building has triggered the return of panic attacks and nightmares. Thank you.
A: You ought to have the opportunity to tell the judge. If I were defense counsel, I would ask that you be excused for cause.
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A: Being a crime victim is not a reason to be excused for jury duty, but a criminal lawyer may not want you on the case because of it. However, that being said generally you won't be on the only one on the jury that is a victim of the crime. In the last few years more and more people seem to be victims of crime probably due to the increasing crime rates unfortunately.
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