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Can Indiana Jurors Ask Questions?

Guy DiMartino
Sept. 2, 2015

Before your Indiana jury goes back to deliberate, the judge will read the jury instructions to them and give them a copy to take back into the jury room for deliberations.

During deliberations the jurors disagree as to what a specific instruction means. Can they ask the judge to explain the instruction?

A jury instruction is a proper statement of the law that a jury will use during deliberations to apply to the facts. If the jurors have a question about the instruction, they can write the question on a piece of paper and give it to the bailiff or deputy.

The Court will then call the parties and their attorneys into the courtroom, go on the record and read the question. Depending on the nature of the question, the court and the parties can agree to have the judge answer the question.

However, sometimes the judge will only be in a position to read the jury instruction again and give an instruction that the jurors have all the information necessary to make a decision in the matter.

In conclusion, the jury is free to ask questions whether they get answered fully depends on the type and nature of the question.