"Today, jurors sometimes leave courtrooms in tears after convicting people they believed were morally (if not legally) innocent, or after witnessing the harsh sentences handed down by judges at the sentencing phase of seemingly minor cases. That is exactly the sort of travesty trial by jury was intended to prevent. If the law were just and justly applied, jurors would have no reason to regret their verdicts, or the sentences that are meted out later by judges." (Trial by Jury Website) This would seemingly encourage the American judicial system to adapt the jury system to meet the needs of our current American society. It is unpleasant for the jurors to make very hard choices concerning the lives of other fellow citizens. It is also hard for the persons who are standing trial to know that their fate is going to rest with people with little or no knowledge of the law.
The jury system of a trial is an essential element of the democratic process. It attempts to secure fairness in the justice system. Traditionally, the jury system has been viewed as a cornerstone of common law procedure. However, the use of the system of trial by jury is on the decline. Today, its use differs, depending on whether (a) it is a civil or criminal matter, and (b) in criminal matters, whether it is a summary or an indictable offence.
The current jury system is based on an almost millennium-old principle found in the Magna Carta (1215). As a result of changes in society since, the system must be seen as potentially outdated. In other words, it may not satisfy the needs of modern society, judged by what the major stakeholders of the criminal justice system expect. Indeed, there are substantial flaws in current jury systems in terms of effectiveness. The two major concerns with jury systems are their representativeness and their levels of competence. The representativeness of juries is essential as their reason for existing is to represent the views of society. Having twelve jurors could be understood to ensure representativeness and eliminate room for bias. However, this does not remove the possibility of juries being biased towards parties. Even if the potential jurors contacted are representative in terms of gender, ethnicity, age and socioeconomic status and though jury duty is a compulsory engagement, 90% of Queenslanders opt out of it. This makes it very likely that juries will not be representative. One example is ethnic diversity. There is likely to be less ethnic diversity in courts because ethnic minorities might not have sufficient language ability or access to interpreters to be jurors. Another example is age. It is likely that retired people
In conclusion we should keep the jury system just find a better way to question potential jurors. Citizens should have the right to serve in jury duty and decide whether a fellow citizen is guilty or innocent. This will give the citizens and their family a peace knowing that a criminal was proven guilty. Since the jury system has been intact for so long they should just make some minor changes. These minor changes would not only help the citizens but the community as
Juries in NSW The jury system plays a very important part in the running of the courts. The jury system is needed in both criminal and civil cases. There are advantages of the jury system as well as disadvantages.
We should not have a professional jury system because it simply doesn't work for our government system. If we were to have a professional jury system, jurors would be biased, lazy and experiences with past cases would interfere. Although there would be different jurors with different histories on a panel, Jurors would be biased because they would all have the same education telling them what is right and wrong. The same textbook would be deciding whether a person is guilty, or not guilty. Another circumstance where a juror would be biased is race. If a white male were to be convicting and black male, it could easily fly under the radar that the white male juror is holding a grudge. Many black males and minorities would be discriminated against
Trial by jury can be traced back to the 12th Century and has been an integral part of the criminal justice system since Henry II favoured it over trial by ordeal (Davies, Croall and Tyrer 2010, p.311). Although they are used in both crown court trials and civil cases, the introduction of the Administration of Justice Act 1933 has reduced the use of juries in civil cases significantly (Joyce 2013, p.208). However, they are only used in about one third of cases in the Crown Court (Huxley-Binns and Martin, p.220). Since the 19th Century, the statutory provisions for jury service have been amended and revised considerably resulting in the Criminal Justice Act 2003. Throughout this essay I will be firstly discussing who is eligible to sit on a
Juries specifically in the United States serve a very large political significance. Majority of the time they determine the fate of those on trial. Juries are used to protect the rights of the people and work hand in hand with the judge to determine the outcome of cases to the best of their ability. Working hand in hand means the Judge determines what laws are applied to each specific case, while the jury works to decide on the facts. Jurors are held to a high degree due to the fact they must focus on fact, remain impartial, and be honest. Very much power is given to juries in the court of law which in turn shows that large political significance juries hold. While juries hold a large significance politically, one of arguably their strongest weapons is the use of jury nullification. Jury nullification refers to right of juries to nullify, or refuse to apply law in criminal cases despite facts that support a finding that the law was violated. It is an extremely powerful component of law because a defendant could have all the facts and evidence pointing to their guilt, but if the jury feels a certain way about a law or situation, then they have the right to pass on all the facts presented and acquit a defendant that in most cases would be found guilty. Also they could use if they found a specific law being applied to the defendant as an unjust law or the way a law is applied. But largely in the past, specifically during the Jim Crow era, it was used as a way to acquit those
There are certain aspects of the United States’ government that seem to be at the core of ensuring democracy for all citizens. These ideas include representative leaders like the President, or the bicameral legislature. Similarly, the jury system is another structure of the government that many people hold close to their hearts. Although it seems like the ultimate way that the citizens can self-govern, is the jury system really the best way to reach a verdict in civil and/or criminal cases? The bottom line is that the jury system is an outdated structure. Specifically, bench trials, or trials decided only by a judge, are much more effective than jury trials because judges are more educated, less susceptible to popular influence, and are not
Justice Evatt delivered a paper to the Australian Legal Convention which entitled “The Jury System in Australia” in 1936 . Justice Evatt’s thesis of Jury trials was that “in modern day society the jury system is regarded as an essential feature of real democracy”. Jury trials in the nineteenth century were found way before in four colonies Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia . When Trial by Judge alone was first introduced in South Australian thirty eight were held in the Supreme Court between 1989 and 1993, meaning all annual percentage of all criminal trials in the court ranged between 3.9% and 8.9% . The Juries Act SA 1927 was amended many times making some major changes. In 1966, women were introduced in the South Australian Jury system as only men were capable of serving on Juries. An increase to the number of jurors available to contribute in a criminal trial was amended in 2004 . It now states in the Juries Act 1927 under section 6A that if court agrees there are good reasons to add additional jurors of 2 or 3 it can be empanelled for a criminal trial .
This being said, trials involving jury’s makeup an extremely small amount of court cases in Australia. Most cases of a criminal nature are heard Summarily in the Magistrates court before being given the opportunity to a trial by jury.
The jury is seen as the ultimate protection of the people against potentially oppressive power of the state. Randomly selected jurors are actively involved in the administration of justice after an agent of the state has made a criminal allegation against an individual. The reasons for a jury verdict are intentionally kept secret by law and because this is done here is very little public scrutiny of the effectiveness of the jury system. The reason I believe that juries should be compelled to give reasons for their verdicts is that a person who is about to lose their freedoms from a jury conviction should be entitles to know the reason to be sure the verdict was based on law and sound logic. An accused person could have
A jury is a group of 12 people aged between 18 and 70 who have been randomly selected from the electoral roll. Juries are only used for indictable criminal offences, these cases are held in either the District or Supreme court.