Jury's Role In Capital Cases

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The role of the jury in capital cases

Capital cases that include the death penalty are carefully analyzed and structured to allow the fairest due process. The selection of the jurors is one of the most crucial parts of the case. Attorneys and judges have to come to an agreement on who will serve on the jury before the case goes to trial. There have been many cases that have argued the selection of the jurors, for example, Uttecht v. Brown, Lockhart v. McCree, and many others. These cases have faced controversy due to the selection of jurors and have set precedents for new and present cases. Death penalty cases go through what is known as super due processes, the delicacy of these types of cases are severe and any errors will be placed on the
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The U.S Supreme Court ruled that the way Florida handed down death penalties was unconstitutional, after 2 months of being strike down they updated their law. The major reason why the structure was not working was the fact that the judged were handing down the death penalty while the jurors were used to advise. The new law made it so that receiving the death penalty became a difficult thing to do, soon after Florida changed their laws on the death penalty an Alabama judge throughout the death penalty for the same reason Florida was strike down for. The state of Alabama used the same method when it came down to giving the death penalty, judged would give it out while the jury would just advise. The state of Utah surprisingly removed the death penalty and no longer allows…show more content…
Witt gave a lot of precedent in future cases, this and other cases helped build a foundation for the way jurors should be picked and eliminated. The case is based on Johnny Paul Witt who at the time was living in Florida. Johnny and his friend were bow and arrow hunting in the woods and would occasionally stalk people, until one day they hit an 11-year-old boy with a star bit, gagged him and placed the boy in the back of their trunk. The boy would die from suffocation; Witt was tried with first-degree murder of the young boy and was convicted and was handed the death penalty. Witt appealed for five reasons, but out of the five, only one was accepted. Witt argued that jurors were forced to step down because they would not automatically vote guilty or not guilty. Even if they believed they could give a fair trial judges can remove the juror, Witt believed jurors who were removed were most likely to vote not guilty and felt his 6th and 14th amendment rights were violated. The appeal was dismissed before the fourth hearing, reason behind that is the judge can dismiss a juror pretrial if he/she believes the juror will use her personal or religious. In this case the juror was dismissed by the by the Supreme Court, the dismissal was correctly done since the juror at no point said that they would vote not guilty. The judged used his discretion and believed the jurors personal belief would interfere when it came down to handing down the
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