In 1999 the Florida Legislature passed the Juror”s Bill of Rights, now codified as Florida Statute 40.50. In October of 2007, the Supreme Court of Florida adopted some of these “”rights”” and incorporated them into the Florida Rules of Procedure and the Florida Standard Jury Instructions. These Rules and Instructions will become effective January 1, 2008.
Some of these procedures are already being followed by Judges in Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa counties as well as other Florida courts. The following are some of the changes that provide jurors certain rights in Civil and Criminal trials.
Being able to take notes. Florida Statutes had previously allowed that in any civil trial likely to last more than five days, jurors have the right to take notes and keep their notes confidential. However, the new Rules implemented by the Florida Supreme Court extended this right to jurors in criminal cases as well as civil cases and removed the requirement that the trial last more than five days. This Rule will become effective January 1, 2008.