A jury is an avowed body of persons set up to give an unprejudiced judgment officially presented to them by a court. The current juries are found in the courts to determine the guilt or innocence in a given presented crime. Juries are made of jurors who have the obligation to find the facts. These groups of people are not professionals. Their work is to establish whether enough proof exists to put someone on trial. The juries exist in different types or categories; the trial jury who listens to pieces of evidence in a trial and after hearing the proofs they normally retreat to determine the verdict. Another type is the hung jury who is normally unable to reach to a verdict by himself hence they must be in a group of 12 jurors to make a verdict. This is normally a capital punishment verdict (American Judicature Society, 2009, p. 1). In this paper, the necessity of juries will be discussed supported by case evidence presentation to approve of their necessity or irrelevance.
The necessity of juries
The jury system contributes to reforms in the United States system of justice. Their experience in analyzing and checking the current system of laws is necessary as to balance the jury system. This is achieved through their constant interaction with the democracy and the effects of the justice system to the majority of the Americans and its society at large. Through the juries the constitutional rights are protected and safeguarded from malicious influential persons which are the main keystone of our sovereignty and righteousness.
Besides, the jury is the best method that can ever result into a fair outcome or judgment. This is attributed to the fact that the jury contains a variety of people who come from wide background diversity. It is for this fact that they can make the best judgment compared to a person who is acting all alone. Any traces or cases of favoritism are very minimal since they collectively deliberate on issues to make a common verdict based on consensus as noted by (Forsyth, 2010, p.31). Therefore quality work is enhanced to avoid further complaints or dissatisfaction among the parties involved. Those judges who issue very harsh sentences not respecting Jury’s decision, their sentences are always refuted compared to jury’s as illustrated in Ring V. Arizona, 536 U.S. 584 (2002) where the United State’s Supreme court made use of the rule in Apprendi V. New Jersey, 530 U.S 466 (2000) to issue a death sentence while giving evidence of the sixth amendment that stipulated of him to find infuriating reasons crucial to give a capital verdict. This overrode a jury’s verdict for life imprisonment. Other juries were indifferent with him as they noted that death sentence was supposed to be issued under procedural safeguards.
The service of jury is very meaningful to the individuals, the society and the State. Any verdict made by the juries has an impact on the individuals’ social rights, possessions rights and liberty rights including right to life. The fairness or impartiality wholly relies upon the integrity of the juries who are involved in the type of cases being presented. Therefore, the compliance of all the summoned parties is significant to make certain of their representation and impartiality from the juries. Notwithstanding those who may not be directly involved in the jury system help sustain the system of justice by making their appearance in court. In Australia the constitution stipulates that any trial on accusation of any crime against the commonwealth law shall be conducted by the jury. As illustrated in Cheng V. The queen (2000) 203 CLR 248 it was found that, it was in line with the constitution not to try homicide crime on mere accusations but assault could be tried on accusations. Many law experts saw this as a great mockery of the section depicting it as useless as noted by Bayer et al., (2010, p. 41)
Even though the service of the juries can cause inconvenience or anguish to some parties involved, it is worth of paying such a small price in return for the dispensations and fortification of our State. With liberties and freedom comes accountability. In emphasis though it is jury once-over is a duty owed to the citizenship which is similar to tax compliance and a right to vote. According to Simon (1999) these groups of people do take their work very seriously as important de3cision makers. Sometimes it may be difficult to ascertain the rationality of a jury either letting free a criminal or putting him behind bars. In this respect therefore, it is necessary to appreciate the services of juries in our State in order to enhance true patriotism. In United States; the States v. Moylan, 417 F.2d 1002 (4th. Cir. 1969), it was collectively decided that whether the jury has a feeling that under the existing law the accused is unjustly judged, then the jury has the power to through the actions justified for any purpose or reason that appeals to the normal and logical reasoning, the jury can let the person free and the courts must respect the decisions. This is found under the fourth circuit Court of appeal
Nevertheless, the juries are human just like any other person where they might be tempted to take bribes in order to compromise with some cases. This must be accepted to a particular level but not to the point of refuting the fact that juries are needed as such incidences rarely occur in the justice system. It is the duty of the society therefore to be watchful not to compromise with the decisions of the juries through issuance of bribes. Sometimes the jury’s are easily influenced by influential barristers who may make the real offender be acquitted of their crimes. This is normally seen in the negative perspective of the public contributing to the constant criticisms of the juries.
In conclusion, the juries have a legal obligation to all the citizens, society and the State hence they have a duty to service derivatively. The critics of jury system have something to think about as this system wholly depends on the interests of all to contribute to the nation building. Any one involved in a court proceeding will command integrity and honesty from the jury. Anyone who ignores the summons by the jury might easily get fined or jailed and the person will be doing injustice to themselves. The juries assures of certainty subject to the reforms in the justice system. Hence it is the responsibility of the public to accept the jury’s decisions.
American Judicature Society, (2009), importance of Jury systems, American Judicature Society
Australian Commonwealth constitution, Cheng V The queen (2000) 203 CLR 248,
Forsyth, D.R. (2010), Group Dynamics, 5th Edition, Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.
Patrick J. Bayer, Randi Hjalmarsson, Shamena Anwar, (2010) “Jury Discrimination in Criminal
Trials” (September 2010) Economic Research Initiatives at Duke (ERID) Working Papers Series No. 55
Simon, R. J. (1999). The jury: Its role in American society. Lexington, MA: Heath
United State’ Constitution Moylan, 417 F.2d 1002 (4th Cir. 1969)
United State’ Constitution, Ring V. Arizona, 536 U.S. 584 (2002) United State’ Constitution