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.
It was interesting to see the large differences in each juror’s lives. Every jury is eclectic because it is made up of very different people with very different family lives. For example, Juror #3 seems to be a well educated and well off man as he was wearing suspenders and a dress shirt. However, Juror #7 was a young man who seemed fairly uneducated and fairly poor because he dressed in a sweatsuit and used improper language. It was very interesting to see these different personalities clash. In the beginning when the men are all on the same page that the defendant is guilty except one, the men generally more relaxed (except for Juror #3).However, as more of the men start to explain their reasonings for seeing reasonable doubt, tension is prevalent in the room. The men who vote guilty are rallying up against the people who voted not guilty. The feeling of the room switches again as most jurors decide the defendant is guilty. That being said, Juror #3 creates a lot of tension in the room throughout the film due to the the fact that he yells at anyone who disagrees with him because he is unwilling to hear their opinions. For example, while one man is explaining why he thinks there is reasonable doubt, juror #3 decides to start a game of tic tac toe. This is very interesting because he is ready to send the defendant to his deathbed
In considering the effectiveness of the jury system, it is first necessary to understand the roles of juries. Primarily, a jury is a body of legally unqualified citizens who agree on a verdict based on evidence
During jury selection, potential jurors are interviewed then chosen or eliminated from the jury. The initial selection of potential jurors is completely random; citizens get “jury Duty” notices on a random basis. The screening of the jury selection is conducted by both the prosecution and the defense, and is overviewed by the judge on the case. During the interview, citizens are asked a number of strategic questions to ensure that they are not in any way bias for or against the defendant or case. The questions also eliminate those who have any connection to the case, in any way. It is during this interview that the lawyers on the case can voice their concerns regarding biased jurors.
The goal of the American Justice system is to remain unbiased. One way we can achieve unbiased justice is through the jury system. When you are selected for jury service, you must plead to only judge the case based on information presented in court. Judges also appoint jurors who have not formed or expressed opinions about the case (document f).
Those a part of the American jury system tend to base their decisions on opinions rather than actually analyzing the facts. Those on the jury may not be qualified to acquit someone. In the novel written by Mark Twain he asserts that even though people on the jury take an oath, but they
Juries exists in the criminal trial to listen to the case presented to them and, as a third, non-bias party, decide beyond reasonable doubt if the accused is guilty. For the use of a trial by juror to be effective, no bias should exists in the jurors judgments, the jurors should understand clearly their role and key legal terms, and the jury system should represent the communities standards and views whilst upholding the rights of the accused and society and remain cost and time effective.
In the Canadian Charters of Rights and Freedoms (1982) under section 11, it is stated that a person that has been charged with a criminal offence, has the right to a trial by jury. For many years jury trials have been under constant criticism in regards to the jury’s inability to adequately perform the responsibilities entrusted to them. Many studies have been performed looking into the jury selection process, jury bias, pre-trial publicity exposure and attitudes/personality of a juror, in order to increase the jury’s abilities to perform their responsibilities to present a fair trial. In the case People v. Weatherton (2014), the inappropriate behaviour of a jury member lead to a legal dispute regarding the final verdict. This behaviour lead to a lengthy investigation with the final decision, made by the Supreme Court of California, to reverse the guilty verdict. As a member of the jury, it is important to understand the responsibilities one must uphold while deciding whether a person is guilty or not guilty.
Juries allow and force the public to have a personal knowledge of court proceedings, protect against the bias of a single person, and provide the public with certainty that there is not corruption in our judicial system. No human system of justice is perfect, but I believe that what Benjamin Franklin said regarding the Constitution also applies to our jury system, “It therefore astonishes me, Sir, to find this system approaching so near to perfection as it does” (Benjamin Franklin to the Federal Convention).
There are two very strong opinions towards jurors here in the United States. The first group have the people who believe that jury nullification is vital to our legal system to allow the average American to have their voice heard through the legal system, like Americans did with Prohibition. I would call this side the John Adams side of the debate, putting faith within our legal system and citizens. Adams once said that jurors are obligated to vote grounded on their “own best understanding, judgment and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court.” This is a country for the people and by the people and for that to be true, jury nullification is needed especially when America has a history of using courtrooms as a social issue playground. Many people would find this side favorable because it aligns with many different moral theories.
Fundamental to the American adjudicatory process is a jury trial. A jury has been described as a convention of a sworn body of people with the aim
The Selection and Role of a Jury in a Criminal Trial This assignment focuses on how a jury is selected and its role in a
When the Judge admonished the Jury, he told them they must reach a unanimous decision beyond a reasonable doubt. The "hero" of this movie appears to be Henry Fonda, the first juror to vote "not guilty". He kept challenging the evidence by saying "isn 't it possible?"...that the evidence was wrong. Do some critical thinking on this...using a good paragraph answer if "isn 't it possible?" is the same thing as "beyond a reasonable doubt." Start with a “yes” or “no” and then eleaborate.
Also prior to the trial, a jury of 6 to 12 people must be selected. Each jury member must go through a screening process to ensure that they have no connection to the trial, or any preconceived opinion of it that could keep them from being impartial to either side. A juror can be removed if they have any connection to the trial, and the defense
The right to a trial by jury is a core element of the United States Criminal Justice System. This right is guaranteed to all citizens by the highest law of the land: The United States Constitution. But are juries truly an effective means of securing justice? The movie 12 Angry Men provides commentary on this question with its portrayal of twelve jurors deliberating over a murder case. The jury initially seems bound to condemn the defendant, a young man of nineteen years, to the electric chair, but a single man, Juror no. 8 descents against the majority. Over the course of the film, tensions rise, and after much debate Juror no. 8 manages to convince the other eleven jurors to eventually vote not guilty. Through their debates and casual side conversations, we are shown the role of personal biases and group manipulation tactics that can impede with objective analysis and ultimately the attainment of justice. Thus, the Movie 12 Angry Men mostly serves to challenge the jury system as a means of securing justice by demonstrating the harmful effects of personal biases, the lack of dedication to the system, and the potential for manipulative tactics.