The American Criminal Justice System

1866 Words8 Pages
The right to a trial is one of the intrinsic elements of the American criminal justice system for more than two centuries. In its mandate to regulate government power to judge people accused of transgressing against the laws of the society, the mechanism of the jury allows the citizens themselves to determine the guilt or innocence of the person. Though juries have generally served a vital function in the criminal justice system, the reputation of the jury system has come under fire over the past several years. Commentators charge that the system insulates the interests of the wealthy and the influential that can hire the services of top level counsel to be able to manipulate the members of the jury to secure an acquittal for their clients. In the same breath, compared to the rich and wealthy, the poor, African American, illiterate or with an inferior education are traditionally represented by overburdened public attorneys who cannot secure an acquittal from a juries predominantly composed of affluent individuals on the other end of the “societal ladder.” Justice Byron White, in Duncan v Louisiana, the jury in a trial is considered as the “conscience of the community.” Instead of the government having the power to render with finality the judgment rendered on an accused, the jury is given the power to decide the guilt or innocence of the accused. The utility of using “common people,” who rely more on emotion and perception rather than the strict wording and interpretation
Open Document