What Does The Assembly Of Such A Group Entail? Essay

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Within the context of the United States, the purpose of juror selection is quite clear-- assemble a collection of six or twelve individuals who have, to some extent, proven themselves capable of arriving at a fair and unbiased verdict based upon the evidence presented. It is the expectation of the courts, and indeed of the general public, that this standard will be met most of the time, for there is a belief that without this cornerstone of the American justice system, the whole structure could collapse. That established, what does the assembly of such a group entail? Further, if this assembly process is recognized as a ritual rather than as a “technological routine” by whom and what should the ritual’s success be determined? It has become clear to me that although there may be strong consensus on the purpose of jury selection, it’s execution, and the judgment of its outcomes looks vastly different depending on the perspective from which it is viewed. This can be observed in the different ways actors speak and perform in relation to one another, both within the ritual space and in retrospection. The way in which these differences present themselves in the language and performances of different actors within the courtroom space has considerable implications for the outsider’s evaluation of the process’ efficacy as ritual. Within the juror selection process there is not only a prescribed genre of speech, but also prescribed participant roles. Noting the ways in which this

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