Majority verdicts are a means to reach an agreed verdict by allowing the jury to have eleven to one votes or in the case of a smaller trial, ten to one. There is a lot of controversy about majority verdicts and whether they are an improvement or a diminishment of the original unanimous verdict. Samuel Brownback is an American Politician who believes that our legal system needs to be improved and reformed; one such method of improvement is majority verdicts. Although majority verdicts can sometimes result in an incorrect sentence, its benefits are more beneficial with some benefits being; fewer mistrials occurring, less impact from rogue or stealth jurors and avoid having jurors bribed or intimidated. Majority verdicts are when all but one juror …show more content…
“Other arguments against majority verdicts include that they compromise the criminal standard of proof of "beyond a reasonable doubt", given that at least one juror has a doubt; create a greater risk of convicting the innocent, leading to miscarriages of justice; and reduce public confidence in jury verdicts” (SMH 2005). However, a number of positives that occur after and during the trial largely outweigh the few issues that arise. There are far less hung juries. More than 80 cases resulted in hung juries during 2005. Majority verdicts as opposed to unanimous verdicts to better keep the integrity of the trial by helping prevent juror bribery or intimidation; it may also help stop rogue or stealth jurors (LY Lawyers 2017). One of the most important benefits, however, is the reduced risk of a compromise verdict. The overall benefit of majority verdicts suit the circumstances for all but the commonwealth laws. (Knox 2002) “When a lone ratbag juror can abort a trial, the time-honoured idea of the unanimous verdict starts to look decidedly unsound.” In the book ‘Secrets of the Jury Room’ Knox broadcasts the ideals of jurors acting selflessly and complains about rogue jurors messing up a trial. As the ideals of jurors being high and trustworthy are not always upheld due to the occasional bad juror, majority verdicts are a better technique of ensuring fair and just
In the retrial, the jury again favored for
Another reason citizens question juries is that they have bias from personal experience or the media. The defendant and the prosecution criticize the jury system because the actual jurors may not understand the situation from any point of view because they come from different lifestyles (Doc E). The American jury system is not a good idea anymore because juries are not experts in law, they have bias, and are not “a jury of peers”. Because jurors are not experts in law, they are subject to be
Like in “Twelve Angry Men” jurors did not talk their vote serious and only voted for the majority. “Oh. well… I think he’s guilty. I thought is was obvious. I mean nobody proved otherwise.” this shows juror two hesitate and only choosing with the
After three days of Jackson on trial, the jury has decided that the defendant, Mr. Andrew Jackson was not guilty of crimes against humanity. The vote was very close though, Andrew won by a hair, with the votes being 5 versus 3. The jury found that even though the prosecution proved Jackson was a bad man, he did not commit the crimes against humanity. I decisively voted for the defendant’s side. I could’ve been the deciding factor on if Jackson is hanged or if he’s spared.
While all of the other men have changed their vote to a not guilty verdict, the third jurors remains with his original belief. Even in the very end of the play, he acts hostile against the others trying to change his mind, in saying “Do you think I’m an idiot or something?” (Rose 72). One juror that seems almost impervious to argumentative fallacies and peer pressure is Juror 8. Juror almost displays the ideal juror, and the rest tend to mimic the flaws of the system.
No. 8: I think that the jury system we have today has its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, a jury that consists of jurors who are biased could be manipulated by ‘outsiders’ through bribery or some jurors, as we have discussed before, might have some personal prejudices/beliefs that may affect their decision making. But there are some advantages as well because the decision that is made by the jury is thought out very carefully by a group of people. Interviewer: [gathers all his papers]
Twelve Angry Men is in many ways a love letter to the American legal justice system. We find here eleven men, swayed to conclusions by prejudices, past experience, and short-sightedness, challenged by one man who holds himself and his peers to a higher standard of justice, demanding that this marginalized member of society be given his due process. We see the jurors struggle between the two, seemingly conflicting, purposes of a jury, to punish the guilty and to protect the innocent. It proves, however, that the logic of the American trial-by-jury system does work.
The Founding Fathers wanted the people of the United States to be in a democracy or self-government and established the jury system into the constitution. It is expensive and is a long process to start a jury trial. Also, jurors are not as professional as judges and can not determine a fair verdict. The Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) effect might also affect the verdict of the jury. The American jury system should not be used because of it not being cost-effective, the lack of experience of the jury, which leads to justice not being served, and the CSI effect impacting the
Though juror 3 has been adamant on the guilt of the young boy it is safe to say that this case meant more to him because the relationship with his son is similar to the relationship between the boy and the father. Since his personal vendetta causes him to forcefully accuse the boy of murder it leaves the jury 11-1 in favor of not guilty. Since carefully reviewing the movie it becomes very prevalent that there has not been enough substantial evidence to convict the boy of murder. Furthermore, with the usage of group think all of the men, accept juror 3 are able to put their pride aside and vote what they truly believe the verdict should be, which is not guilty. Though, one of the more pragmatic points in the film happens after juror 3 becomes infuriated after realizing that all of the men are voting not guilty.
The Film 12 Angry Men, written by Reginald Rose, is a film written about the American jury system. In the film, as in any part in life, emotions are a tricky thing; This is especially true for the 3rd, 7th, and 8th jurors. One of the main themes in the film questions that of the emotions of the jurors. That question is: Is it possible to keep personal prejudice and emotions out of a trial? Is this even a good or bad thing?
William Jennings Bryan once said, “Never be afraid to stand with the minority when the minority is right, for the minority which is right will one day be the majority”. Standing up to the majority is vital, it gives individuals the opportunity to express their individual, unique opinions and experiences. It allows the majority to become open to diversity and the cultures that come along with it. This has been shown throughout history, Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech, is an instance of this. This speech encapsulated all that he was fighting for, for the African American minority in America and their rights.
The last danger to the justice system is jurors on the jury duty have no common sense to figure out the truth behind cases. One example is in the play “Twelve Angry Men” juror 10 says about juror 8 “ He’s a common ignorant slob. He don’t even speak good English” (Rose 326)! Then juror 11 corrects juror 10 saying “He doesn’t even speak good English” (Rose 326). Also anyone that is a United States citizen and of the age of 18 is allowed to be called to be on jury duty.
Guilty or not guilty, all citizens deserve a thorough trial to defend their rights. Formulating coherent stories from events and circumstances almost cost a young boy his life. In Twelve Angry Men, 1957, a single juror did his duty to save the life of an 18 year old boy by allowing his mind to rationalize the cohesive information presented by the court and its witnesses. The juror’s name was Mr. Davis, he was initially the only one of 12 jurors to vote not guilty in reason that the young boy, sentenced with first degree murder, may be innocent. I am arguing that system 1 negatively affects the jurors opinion on the case and makes it difficult for Mr. Davis to convince the other jurors of reasonable doubt.
This movie is the best example of minority influence where in the earlier stage only one juror no. 8 says defendant is not guilty but in the end of the movie we see that he is able to influence all the jurors in a very logical manner which I am going to point out later so that all the jurors lastly says the defendant is not guilty. Minority influence is more likely to occur if the point of view of the minority is consistent, flexible, and appealing to the majority. The juror no. 8 doesn’t know defendant is guilty or not guilty but he has only doubt in his mind which he trying to clear during the entire film and with which he also able to clear the views of other