History Of Juries Essays

Jury System Essay

There are two methods of determining whether a person being charged with a criminal offense is guilty or not guilty; they can be tried before a judge or before a judge and jury. Each of these methods has its advantages, but in my mind a trial by jury is a better way of determining whether someone is guilty or not. A jury trial includes more than one persons' decision and interpretation of the evidence, it offers a thorough review and analysis of the credibility of the evidence, and it produces an unbiased verdict. These are three aspects of a jury trial that make it a good way to reach a verdict.

A jury trial includes more than one persons' decision and interpretation of the evidence. Rather than having only one judge interpret and ponder the evidence to reach their final decision, without any consultation, there are several jurors who may consult each other and share their interpretations of the evidence presented to them. Jurors have the opportunity to hear what each other have to say about the case, whereas a judge cannot have a second opinion and must rely on themselves entirely. In the film 'Twelve Angry Men' the jurors share different experiences that they have had and try to relate to the case as humans, not simply as judges. Consultation is a big advantage in the jury system.

Another advantage of a jury trial is that it offers an extremely thorough review and analysis of the evidence. What one juror might have overlooked or mistaken, another could point it...

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Discuss whether trial by jury should be abolished in the English legal system? Critically analyse the advantages and disadvantages of the system.

2010 words - 8 pages Jury selection is laid down in the Juries Act 1994. While it is proven that there are reasonable alternatives to a jury trial and that there is no doubt that jury trial is both time consuming and expensive when compared with trial by magistrates or by a judge alone, however the right to a jury trial shall not be dismissed so lightly. The anti jury lobby deems the jury system unpopular the importance of which is considered only overrated. I...

This is an essay about "12 Angry Men", by Reginald Rose. It describes juror 6 and the cons of the Jury System.

942 words - 4 pages Juror 6:In the story "12 angry Men", by Reginald Rose, juror six is described as an honest but slow man, one who finds it difficult to create a positive opinion, and is often listening and slowly trying to understand the opinions of others, rather then forming his own. In the text of the play, we can find examples of many of these characteristics of...

Runaway Jury: Depiction of Jury Tampering and Jury Sequestering

1062 words - 4 pages Summary The movie Runaway Jury starts with a shooting in a business office. The movie then continues to people receiving jury summons and people taking pictures of them. It goes on to show Rankin Fitch and the defense committing electronic surveillance during the jury selections. This movie shows how Fitch and the defense attempt to influence the jury to vote for the defense. The movie continuously shows a person by the name of “Marlee” who...

The Selection and Role of a Jury in a Criminal Trial

946 words - 4 pages The Selection and Role of a Jury in a Criminal Trial This assignment focuses on how a jury is selected and its role in a criminal trial. The advantages and disadvantages of using a jury to decide the outcome of a criminal case will also be considered. A Jury is chosen at random, by a computer using names on the electoral ...

Juries in NSW

971 words - 4 pages Juries in NSW The jury system plays a very important part in the running of the courts. The jury system is needed in both criminal and civil cases. There are advantages of the jury system as well as disadvantages. However, the jury system is still very important to the justice system. The role of the jury in NSW A jury is a group of people from the community with all sorts of backgrounds, beliefs,...

The Jury and Its Role in the Courts of Trial

2023 words - 8 pages The jury plays a crucial role in the courts of trial. They are an integral part in the Australian justice system. The jury system brings ordinary people into the courts everyday to judge whether a case is guilty or innocent. The role of the jury varies, depending on the different cases. In Australia, the court is ran by an adversary system. In this system “..individual litigants play a central part, initiating court action and largely determining...

Law In Action

1206 words - 5 pages The jury system was introduced in Queensland in 1867 as part of the Queensland Constitution Act. Juries are used in indictable offences in criminal trials. They are mainly used in the District and Supreme Court if the accused pleads guilty. Juries are used to decide the guilt or innocence, of the accused person, based on the facts and evidence provided in court by the Prosecution and Defence Council. The legislation that governs the jury...

The Process of Choosing Jurors and Their Role

1250 words - 5 pages The Process of Choosing Jurors and Their Role The right to trial by jury can be traced back to Magna Carta (The Great Charter of Liberties, 1215) and the independence of the jury from the judge was established in Bushell's Case (1670). In criminal cases, the jury make the decision whether the defendant is guilty or not guilt. However, this is approximately only 3% of all crimes, and these are heard in the Crown Court....

The American Jury: Justice is Challenged

680 words - 3 pages The American Jury: Justice is ChallengedWhen used in criminal cases, Jury trials tend to occur where the crime is extremely serious, and "no fault tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of the United States". Meanwhile, as it is the jury who gives the verdict, how a jury is selected and what it is supposed to do play a very important role in...

Unanimous Verdict vs. Majority Rules Verdicts

901 words - 4 pages The use of a jury is the traditional method within the common law for deciding the facts in any dispute between parties. The role of a jury is to determine question of fact. The jury is in a powerful method because ultimately, it determines whether a person is guilty or innocent. In civil cases, the main function of the jury is to find the facts having regard to the evidence, and assess damages. The number of jurors used in a civil trial is...

A Dilemma of the Jury Selection Process?

1875 words - 8 pages Have you ever been asked to serve as a jury member? Usually, most people have a negative feeling toward juror duty. Some of them might lack a full understanding of the important role of the jury, as they are not specialists in this professional field. The jury selection process also causes people to be impatient because, once prospective jurors are summoned in order to verify their impartiality, they have to be examined by both judges and...

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How did the phenomenon of the jury trial, at nisi prius, affect the development of the common law?
The development of the 'jury' has been identified by many historians as the main institution which affected, and helped to cultivate, the common law of Britain throughout the medieval age. The nisi prius system enabled trials to be held by itinerant justices (eyres) in the counties, eliminating the inconvenience and expense for litigants of journeying to see the King at Westminster. Notably it was in the counties that the jurors resided. This essay shall discuss the initial establishment and later importance of the jury system, which spurred the evolution of the common law, followed by a summary of the demise of the civil jury, juxtaposed with the continued success of the common law under judges. The origins of the jury The 'jury', as is still the case in the modern era, was a body of men sworn to give a true answer (verdictum) to some question, although it is uncertain when and where this body originated. The thesis advanced by Brunner1, and concurred with by Baker, is that the jury was royal in origin, primarily used as 'as authoritarian means of gathering information', which first appeared as the inquest of the Frankish kings. The best known example of this is the Domesday Book which contains statement of sworn bodies of men. This assertion is disputed by Hurnard who argues that, as no references have been found to sworn inquests of the Frankish type in Normandy before 1066, it is more reasonable to conclude that William the Conqueror found that system at work in England when he arrived. Nevertheless, the jury did not develop as a legal institution proper until the reign of Henry II. Early development of the jury and the common law Henry II is recognised as the originator of the jury as a regular judicial instrument, first in Normandy and later in England. Turner states that, 'it was only after Henry came to the English throne that what had been a royal monopoly came to be a part of the common law' 2. As early as 1127 there is evidence that juries were summoned to settle boundary disputes, in cases such as Abbot of Ramsey v King of Scotland. The 12 free men would be specified in the writ of venire facias and were then summoned to 'make recognition' of the facts - meaning to discover and declare them. The classical form of 'petty jury' appeared first in criminal suits, where its use was warranted by the complaint of a breach of the king's peace, following the abolishment of ordeals by the Lateran Council in 1215. By the late 13th century the assize of novel disseisin (a special type of petty assize) had become the principal means of trying title to land and the assize of mort d'ancestor, was required to tell whether A was seised of certain land on the day of his death and whether B was his next heir. It was the role of the jury in deciding these cases that initially spurred the sophistication of the common law and the separation of law and fact in jurisprudential thinking. The question put to the jury, whether the plaintiff was 'seised or disseised', was complex. The unwillingness and inability of juries to answer such technical questions lead to the passing of the Statute of Westminster II, Chapter 30. This chapter provided juries with the right to speak specially. The device of a 'special verdict' was often employed as it allowed juries to avoid liability in an attaint for misapplication of the law to the facts. Arnold submits that, 'It is likely that the special verdict did more to develop the peculiar English rules of real property than any other single device.'3 It is evident that the introduction of the special verdict prompted a develop of the substantive common law because it forced a recognition of the relevant facts and obliged 1

'Die Entstehung der Schwurgerichte' by Heinrich Brunner 'The origins of the medieval trial jury' by Turner 3 'Law and fact in the medieval jury trial: out of sight and out of mind' by Arnold 2


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