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Does a jury get informed if the defendant has been held in custody and how long for and if so ,could this mean the jury could feel the defendant has already learn t their lesson etc as they have been held in custody.

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Attorney answers 5


It's always seemed curious to me but...lawyers are not to supposed to mention that someone is custody or for how long the person has been locked up. Jurors don't play the sentencing game. Guess they figure a guilty sentence will not earn defendat a trip to Disneyland but...Also, canny jurors see court officers hovering a defendant and they know it's not because the officers are afraid the defense attorney may act out physically...
I think jurors should play a part in sentencing but they really don't other than voting guilty or not guilty...Als there are times when past convictions come into play...

Law Office Of Michael Marley
Phone 917 853 4484


A jury's role is to determine the facts of a case, whether an individual is not guilty or guilty of a crime. The jury is not made aware of whether a defendant is in custody because sympathy and sentencing are not supposed to play a role in their decision making.


The jury does not get this information.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012 and 2013. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell has given me its highest rating - AV Preeminent - in the areas of Criminal Law, Personal Injury, and Litigation. According to Martindale-Hubbell”AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence." Fewer than 8% of attorneys achieve an AV Preeminent rating. I also have the highest ranking – “superb” – on Avvo. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


It would be a most exceptional case where a jury would hear information about a defendant's custodial status and never, so far as I can imagine, for the purpose that you have in mind.


A criminal lawyer can put him on the stand to say his residence is Riker's Island, but not more. The judge will not allow sympathy to enter into the verdict.

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