Essay about The Right to a Free Trial

1542 Words Oct 15th, 1999 7 Pages
The Right To A Free Trial

One of the most important freedoms in the American judicial system is the right to a jury trial. This allows a minimum of six Americans, chosen from a list of registered voters, to determine a person's guilt or innocence through deliberations. They have the power to express the conscious of society as well as interpret and judge the laws themselves. If they feel that a law is unconstitutional, evil, or even unfair they can void it for the circumstance by declaring the defendant not-guilty. The power of the jury is enormous and through time has become more equitable by decreasing the limitations to become a juror including race and sex. Part of the reasoning behind the right to a jury trial is to limit
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The actual jury itself, has much bearing on how a verdict will result.
Are the members compassionate? Rigid? Black? White? Rich? or Poor? All of these factors can influence a jury; this is why lawyers are so critical when making their decisions. In the past, juries only admitted white males, as in 12
Angry Men. Discrimination against blacks has always existed; and until the fifteenth amendment was passed, and the Grandfather Clause, White Primaries, and literacy test were declared unconstitutional, they could not vote. Women, although the population's majority, were the last to be given suffrage rights.
The men in the movie seemed affluent and business-like. Some of the men came from meager backgrounds, yet they all act as if they were solvent. Also, the men were adorned with professional attire. In contrast, Inside the Jury Room chose a group of jurors of mixed ethnic backgrounds and genders, in various occupational settings. There were psychiatrists, teachers, and business people with many different life experiences. Also, the dress was not at all formal.
The differences among the jurors contributed greatly to the insight and opinions shared about the case. A psychiatrist was able to give her professional opinion on the man's condition, mental retardation, while others could be more objective. A well-rounded jury can, in my opinion, produce a more educated and thought-out verdict. In the simulated
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