Legal Studies Essay #2





The Jury system is the corner stone of our judicial system. Trial by our peers should never be altered.


The jury system is a method of trial which seeks to ensure that all cases are heard by an impartial committee of your peers who accurately reflect the values of modern society, this ultimately seeks to provide the accused with a fair and just trial. There are too many problems with the current form of the jury systems and these must be addressed for the method to guarantee a higher level of accuracy.


The intended result of selecting a jury is to represent an independent and impartial body who accurately reflect society as a whole. The problem with jury selection is that the method used to pick the jury is so intense that you have a molded jury, this jury does not reflect the community but rather it reflects what both parties want it to reflect. Another problem is that there are many groups such as teachers who donít have to attend jury duty and as a result the field of eligible candidates for a jury reduces and therefore does not accurately represent the community as a whole.


Letís not forget that there are very rarely highly educated members of a jury such as a professor or a doctor and as a result it seems a little to easy for a smooth talking barrister to pull one over them. The juryís job is to make a verdict on whether or not someone is guilty as a result of one party showing conclusive evidence, not having a fast talking lawyer who talks so confidently that the jury believes their party is correct on the basis that the lawyer must be telling the truth. There is no one to assist the jury in deciphering all the legal jargon used and they are unaware of the rules and expectations of what happens in a courtroom. It is similar to going bungee jumping, would you prefer a qualified safety instructor or would you like someone who saw a documentary on bungee jumping once tying you into your harness? We canít forget most jurors have never partaken in a jury before and as a result the whole process is new to them, just like the bungee jumping your life could be in the hands of people who donít know what they are doing. The jury is way in over their heads and the only way to help them is to change the system. We need to educate our jurors on the above topics and ensure they know the extent and possible meaning of their verdict.


In some cases there is no way that a person can walk into a case with an impartial view of the matter. If they know they are on a case where someone is accused of raping a toddler and killing them any upstanding member of society would be appalled and critical when they walk into that courtroom and would probably form their own verdict very quickly. We canít forget the external pressures that our poor jurors have to endure. The media plays a large role in shaping the views and beliefs of society and has the power of to change peopleís opinion. With this in mind if the jury accurately reflects what society believes at the time then they will rule on how society feels and if society rules from the opinion they have formed from the media then technically the jury is simply delivering the mediaís verdict.


The jury is inefficient, they are large and have no legal expertise. One of the most significant issues is that one of the few people in the room who has any legal knowledge at all is the judge and he attends primarily as an impartial observer. So if you simply that situation you have a very qualified servant of the court twiddling his thumbs at the front of the courtroom and you have twelve or so amateurs sitting along the side whoís only legal experience may be watching a few episodes of law and order.


The jury system need a thorough Spring clean, when thoroughly analyzed the whole idea of peer trials seems both inefficient and impractical. Defendants can sleep easy knowing that the people making the decision