Trial By Jury Advantages And Disadvantages

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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,…show more content…
In this paragraph, the advantages and disadvantages of trial by jury will be discussed. The main advantages are that juries introduce community values into the legal process and can influence the system (Joyce, 2013); they can achieve a sense of equity and fairness without enforcing unjust laws; in addition, juries are independent and neutral (Davies, 2015). Moreover, they guarantee participation from the public in a democratic institution (Hostettler, 2004), and represent the population thanks to the randomness with which jurors are decided (Davies, 2015). On the other hand, the most important disadvantages are that jurors have no prior contact with the courts, no training (Hostettler, 2004) and therefore they lack knowledge of law, courtroom proceedings (Joyce, 2013), and lack of ability to understand the legal directions (Thomas, 2010). Moreover, they must face evidence which is highly technical (Hostettler, 2004). They have to decide important matters, verdicts, without giving reasons about their decision (Hostettler, 2004); they can nullify a verdict even if the evidence is overwhelming (Joyce, 2013). Furthermore, juries are too expensive, prolong the length of the trial (Davies, 2015) and the guilty can walk free, while the innocent is convicted (Joyce, 2013). In addition, jurors should be representative of society, but it is not…show more content…
Moreover, the ability to make objective judgments could be enhanced, for instance by questioning witnesses (Joyce, 2013). In conclusion, the judge should be able to overturn acquittal when jury nullifies, in order to ensure that the innocent is not convicted and the guilty is not acquitted (Hostettler,
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