An recent article in
The National Law Journal discussed the fact that 12 geographic Federal circuits have now decided
to permit jurors to pose written questions to witnesses during a trial.
It appears, however, that although the circuits are permitting this procedure,
there are reservations that are shared by some of them. In some instances,
several of the circuits have actually requested judges to advise the jurors
that this procedure is permitted. The circuits have actually permitted
the matter to be decided through the discretion of the judges.
It also appears that, in certain cases, the granting of this power to a
jury might well be of help in arriving at a more meaningful result. It
is a subject that is certainly worth following and, for ourselves, we
look forward to the outcome which can only be determined after the practice
has been followed for a period of time. We believe that once the practice
is used for a reasonable period of time, the courts and the attorneys
practicing in them will be in a better position to judge the efficacy
of this procedure.