The first thing potential jurors see when they arrive at a New Jersey courthouse is a short film about how the legal system works and what to expect.
For the past 17 years the same video has been shown at the state’s 21 county courthouses.
Starting this week a new video explaining the legal process will greet all of the 100,000 New Jersey residents who are called for jury duty each year.
The video, called “You the Juror,” was funded through a grant from the New Jersey State Bar Foundation. It will be shown to potential jurors starting Monday. The New Jersey Judiciary and New Jersey State Bar Foundation will also post it online as an educational tool. It runs about 16 minutes.
“The updated video will help prepare jurors to carry out their important role in delivering justice to the public," said Chief Justice Stuart Rabner. "We are grateful to the bar foundation for their support in producing the new video, which offers helpful and accurate information aimed at a contemporary audience.”
Added State Bar Foundation President Richard Badolato: “Jury duty is one of the most critical obligations we have as citizens. We are honored to play a role in helping to educate the people of this state about the legal system and what it means to be a juror. I believe this video will help foster a respect for the rule of law, respect for the entire justice system and an improved appreciation for the role of the jury in our society.”
The video was filmed in Newark. In courtroom 200 of the Historic Courthouse of the Essex County Superior Court vicinage, actors played the part of judges, sheriff’s officers, court staff and attorneys and film producers sat at the defense table. A camera on a dolly captured the action and a make-up artist was on hand for touch-ups.
Each county will receive two copies of the video, one of which will be open-captioned, to replace the videos currently in use.
To view the video, click here.