The Jury System And The Criminal Justice Process

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Jury duty is lampooned frequently in the popular culture as being a dreadfully boring waste of time and energy that keeps us all away from the more important things in life such as family, work, and getting drunk. Indeed, most of the time, juries see cases that are often dull and certain. Unfortunately, not all cases can be high profile, riveting murder cases that Nancy Grace can shrill on and on about for months on end. Perhaps worst of all, it is something that we are forced to do, and Americans tend to not like being forced to do things. However, there is no better way to grant impartiality to criminal procedures than the jury system. The jury system allows us, the average American, to have our say in the criminal justice process in perhaps the most important role: we can determine whether or not a person is guilty of a crime and we can do so uninhibited by our own personal biases, the biases of judges, and the biases of the federal government. In a perfect world, an impartial, well-educated judge would be the perfect arbitrator of the criminal justice system. However, since people tend not to be perfect, a jury system made of people representing their own communities with distinct thoughts, characteristics, and values helps to bridge the gap between perfect and imperfect as closely as possible. One of the great benefactors of a diverse society is a diverse jury. That judges tend to be old white men more often than not is no accident. The demographics of our
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