This is part of the charge that every New Jersey trial judge gives to every jury:
“I recognize that serving as a juror is inconvenient, but jury service is an important duty of citizenship. Having jurors available to decide the facts in lawsuits is fundamental to our entire system of justice. The courts cannot function without members of the public offering their time to serve as jurors. You sit here as judges of the facts. You alone have the responsibility of deciding the factual issues in this case. It is your recollection and evaluation of the evidence that controls. If the attorneys or I say anything about the facts in this case that disagrees with your recollection of the evidence, it is your recollection that you should rely on. Your decision in this case must be based solely on the evidence presented and my instructions on the law.
Your oath as jurors requires you to decide this case fairly and impartially, without sympathy, passion, bias or prejudice. You are to decide this case based solely upon the evidence that you find believable and in accordance with the rules of law that I give you.
Sympathy is an emotion which is normal for human beings. No one can be critical of you for feeling some degree of sympathy in this matter. However, that sympathy must play no part in your thinking and in the decision you reach in the jury room.
Similarly, your decision must not be based upon bias or prejudice which you might have developed during the trial, for or against any party.
Your duty is to decide this case impartially and a decision based on sympathy, passion, bias or prejudice would violate that duty.”
Some words are worth repeating.
I also would like to express my personal gratitude to all of my fellow citizens who support the justice system by serving as jurors, despite the inconvenience associated with such service. You make the system work.