NCSL Logo 2018 Online Democracy Award Winner
Skip to Content
The 190th General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 67A: Examination of jurors

[ Text of section added by 2016, 36, Sec. 4 effective May 10, 2016.]

  Section 67A. Upon motion of either party, the court shall, or the parties or their attorneys may under the direction of the court, examine on oath a person who is called as a juror, to learn whether the juror related to either party or has any interest in the case, or has expressed or formed an opinion, or is sensible of any bias or prejudice. The objecting party may introduce other competent evidence in support of the objection. If the court finds that the juror does not stand indifferent in the case, another juror shall be called in. In a criminal case such examination shall include questions designed to learn whether such juror understands that a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty, that the commonwealth has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and that the defendant need not present evidence on the defendant's behalf. If the court finds that such juror does not so understand, another juror shall be called in.

  To determine whether a juror stands indifferent in the case, if it appears that, as a result of the impact of considerations which may cause a decision to be made in whole or in part upon issues extraneous to the case, including, but not limited to, community attitudes, possible exposure to potentially prejudicial material or possible preconceived opinions toward the credibility of certain classes of persons, the juror may not stand indifferent, the court shall, or the parties or their attorneys may, with the permission and under the direction of the court, examine the juror specifically with respect to such considerations, attitudes, exposure, opinions or any other matters which may cause a decision to be made in whole or in part upon issues extraneous to the issues in the case. Such examination may include a brief statement of the facts of the case, to the extent the facts are appropriate and relevant to the issue of such examination and shall be conducted individually and outside the presence of other persons about to be called as jurors or already called.