Washington Law Review


Albert Olsen


The question as to what extent and under what circumstances the affidavits of jurors will be considered on a motion for a new trial, arises in instances where the losing party feels that the jury has failed to properly exercise its function of deciding the case in an impartial and unprejudiced manner according to the law and evidence submitted in the case. In an early case the arbitrary rule was laid down that under no circumstances would an affidavit of a juror be considered for the purpose of setting aside the juror's sworn act incorporated in the verdict.The rule thus laid down, that a "juror will not be permitted to impeach his own verdict," was followed by the courts in many jurisdictions and, in the absence of statutory provision, a majority of the jurisdictions in the United States will not, under any circumstances, consider the affidavits of jurors for the purpose of setting aside their verdict. The reasons for this inflexible rule are based on obvious considerations of public policy.

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