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General Laws

Section 62. Not later than ten days prior to the term of service of each trial juror, the office of jury commissioner shall mail to each juror a copy of the trial juror’s handbook. The handbook shall notify the juror of his pending juror service. The handbook shall inform jurors in lay terminology of the nature and extent of their forthcoming duties and responsibilities. The handbook may introduce and orient jurors to basic trial procedures and legal terminology. The handbook shall contain maps and directions to the jury-trial locations and such other practical information as the jury commissioner deems appropriate. The full text of the handbook shall be specified in the regulations of the jury commissioner. Each trial juror shall read the handbook before he reports for juror service. The handbook shall be a public document. The jury commissioner may distribute copies of the handbook, and related educational materials, to public and private schools, civic organizations, the press, and others, in order to promote citizens awareness and understanding of all aspects of the juror system of this commonwealth. The jury commissioner may, with the approval of the committee, distribute or exhibit to jurors further educational materials, recordings, films, videotapes, lectures, and the like, as he deems appropriate to assist such persons in understanding and fulfilling their duties and obligations as jurors. Not later than ten days prior to each grand juror’s term of service, the office of jury commissioner shall mail to each juror such educational materials and practical instructions as are deemed appropriate by the jury commissioner to assist grand jurors in carrying out their duties and responsibilities. These materials shall be approved by the committee. In the event of any conflict, the instructions or charge of the trial judge in a particular case shall be paramount and shall supersede the trial juror handbook or grand juror general information provided under this section.

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