The criminal justice system faces multiple accusations for not standing up to the “innocent until proven guilty” standards. While the legal system has fought to keep this statement true, the challenges still exist. One of these is a proper trial that is both unbiased and without error. The setting for a proper trial includes an impartial jury selection to follow the proper procedures of the courtroom. Selection of the jury is an important task and serving on a jury is considered by the United States as the civic duty of the community.
This essay will briefly discuss the role of the jury and how it works, from the principle behind it, to the method with which members are selected, and to the powers available to jurors. Moreover, it will outline advantages and disadvantages of trial by jury, and it will point out a couple of ways which could ameliorate this type of trial. Trial by jury has been a part of the criminal justice system since the 12th century (Davies, 2015), it is considered an ancient right and a symbol of liberty (Hostettler, 2004). It creates no precedent and it can decide challenging cases equitably without making bad law, it also brings members of the public into the administration of justice and into an understanding of legal and human rights (Hostettler,
To start off, the jury is an important role when it comes to going to trial. The Sixth Amendment gives defendants the right to an impartial trial. A jury trial usually consists of six to twelve personnel within the community. There is a process called voir dire in which the selected jury goes through a series of question to determine their mindset and to ensure that they aren’t favoring one side over the other. Both the prosecution and defense team have a chance to select and question the jury.
Jurors should not know anything about a specific case and not follow public affairs and read the news (Doc F). When a person is selected to be part of a jury, they have to say an oath stating that they will not use their emotions to determine the verdict of a trial. If a juror is caught using their emotions, they will be fined for a crime called perjury. Since there are twelve people in a jury, there is a variation of opinions when the jury decides a verdict. But, a judge is more professional and knows how to only use the evidence provided and be less biased.
The jury system has cases where jurors are influenced by the media because it is almost impossible to find someone who has not heard about the case and formed a personal opinion already (Doc F). In widely known cases, jurors may have been influenced by outsiders and the media indirectly and directly. For example, in the People vs. O.J. Simpson case, the infamous decision might have been made because of the jurors discussing the case with people who they are not suppose to discuss it with. An argument can be made that jurors are specifically instructed not to discuss the case or read anything about it, but there is no way to verify that the jurors are actually following this rule. Jurors can also have personal bias because they are very different from the defendant or prosecution (Doc E).
The play “Twelve Angry Men” shows that relying on twelve people for a life sentencing situation could be bad for the justice system. The justice system could be bad in at least three ways by people being biased, fighting for the wrong side, and people having no common sense. Usually others opinions cause the justice system to be worse than it has to be. A danger of relying on twelve individuals in a court system means that there are some that would be biased about the case. Juror 5 was biased for relating this case to himself because he was from the slums and so was the boy on trial.
A group of juror comprising of 12 men from diverse backgrounds began their early deliberations with 11 of ‘guilty’ and 1 of ‘not guilty’ verdicts. Juror 8 portrayed himself as a charismatic and high self-confident architect. Initially, Juror 1 who played the foreman positioned himself as self-appointed leader of the team in which has led his authority to be challenged as his leadership style lacked in drive and weak. In the contrary, Juror 8 is seen as the emergent leader considering his openness to probing conversations while remaining calm. Implying this openness to the present, it has become crucial that a good decision relies on knowledge, experience, thorough analysis and most importantly critical thinking.
This essay will look at the effects of a jury being abolished and a jury trial existing. There are certain requirements expected from jurors. These include: being aged 18 to 70 years of age, being registered on the electoral roll that they are randomly chosen on by a computer, and the individual has lived in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man for 5 years after the age of 13. This allows the justice process to be fair and equal as all ethnicities have the opportunity of being randomly chosen allowing a bias free justice process.
The main priority is to discuss the defendant’s innocence or guilt. By keeping the subject of discussion on the boy, Juror Eight, has an easier time convincing the rest of the jury that he is not guilty of the murder of his father. Juror Three, the main antagonist of Twelve Angry Men, doesn’t possess the perseverance that Juror Eight does. Juror Three doesn’t have a reasonable cause, which in turn weakens his argument. His bottled up emotions over his son become a problem later in the play when
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.
What is worth our attention in this movie is how in the beginning they are trying to convince each other to vote guilty. 11 juror voted guilty and only one voted not guilty. Their judgments were based upon either their past personal experience which created their thoughts and behavior or upon facts. Juror 8 represents the conscience. He stood up for his inner feelings that the accused young boy is innocent.
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]
In a New York City, an 18-year-old male from a slum is on a trial claiming that he is responsible for his father death by stabbing him After both sides has finished their closing argument in the trial, the judge asks the jury to decide whether the boy is guilty or not The judge informs the jury decided the boy is guilty, he will face a death sentence as a result of this trial The jurors went into the private room to discuss about this case. At the first vote, all jurors vote guilty apart from Juror 8 (Henry Fonda), he was the only one who voted “Note Guilty” Juror 8 told other jurors that they should discuss about this case before they put a boy into a death sentence
Throughout the play 12 Angry Men, jurors use reasonable doubt; previous knowledge or opinion of a topic, to influence the opinions of other jurors. Personal insight used by Juror eight, juror 9, Juror 5, Juror 8, and Juror 2 influence other jurors by changing their opinions and their reasoning behind that vote. For Instance, Juror eight exhibits how the old man 's testimony is not valid. He demonstrates the old man walking from his bedroom, down the hall, and down the steps, just in time to witness the boy stab his father.