Bribing the Jury

Bribing the JuryA fundamental and important aspect of the justice system in California (and the US) is the impartiality, fairness, and equal treatment the process affords to those who enter it. As such, all those involved in the justice system are bound to tell the truth when under oath, and to be provided fair treatment by those judging their cases. A crucial part of this priority is the impartiality of the jury. If a case involves the jury, it is of paramount importance that they are not corrupted. A corrupt jury member invalidates the work and principles of the justice system.

According to California Penal Code 92, it is illegal for anyone to bribe the jury in order to influence their final decision regarding the case. Specifically, the law states that if someone gives or offers a member of the jury something valuable such that the member’s decision changes for the best interest of the perpetrator, a felony has been committed. Moreover, the act of offering or giving something must have been done with corrupt intention. Penal Code 92 applies not just to members of the jury, but also to judges and other arbitrators. On the other hand, California Penal Code 93 deals with bribery by the judicial official. If the jury member requests something of value so that their decision changes, that is also a crime.

Being convicted with this crime is a serious offense. Given that it is a felony, the accused can face up to four years in a California state prison and pay a fine. However, it is not just the prison time and the fine that are costly, but also the damage to the individual’s reputation. Given that the criminal record of the person will show a conviction for bribery of (or by) judicial official, their reputation as an honest or fair individual will be difficult to re-establish.

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