SPRINGFIELD, Mo.–As one of the most high profile capital murder cases in Springfield gets underway, the court has the challenge of preventing outside sources from influencing the jury.
Therefore, the jury in the Craig Wood Trial will be sequestered so they make judgments on the case based on the facts presented in a court of law and not in the court of public opinion.
“Since this is a capital case involving Craig Wood, jury sequestration is actually required and most judges are going to do it across the board in capital murder cases,” says Adam Woody.
Criminal defense attorney Adam Woody isn’t affiliated with this case, but understands jury freedom is limited during sequestration.
“The jury is actually technically in the custody of the bailiff, of the court bailiff,” says Woody.
Meaning they have to adhere to certain restrictions.
Since most people have Facebook and Twitter accounts, one of the biggest challenges for the court will be to keep the jury off of social media.
“If there’s evidence that they have observed outside media regarding this case, yes very high likelihood that they would be removed from juror service,” says Woody.
Trusting that jurors won’t read or watch anything related to the case is a simple matter of the honor system.
“The jury before the case starts is also placed under an oath to take a juror oath in which they agree and solemnly swear to abide by all of the court’s orders and the jurors are bound by that court order so we presume the jurors listen,” says Woody.
Another sacrifice of jury sequestration is being in a hotel in another part of the state away from loved ones.
“Their contact with their family is somewhat limited and judges across the board again are going to instruct the jurors to have no discussions of the case even with their family members,” says Woody.
Adam Woody also says the cost to sequester a jury isn’t cheap as you have to factor in hotel rooms, food expenses, and transportation costs for each juror.