Which type of jury is better, a unanimous jury or a majority jury? While both have their advantages and disadvantages, I believe that a unanimous jury of ordinary people is the best way to come to a verdict.
It is the jury's function to protect defendants from government oppression. Juries do this by using their common sense. It is this common sense that separates ordinary citizens from panels of judges and legal experts. Judges and legal experts have been trained from countless years on the law and it's loopholes and sometimes this overshadows the goodness of commonsense and simple logic. While a legal expert or judge may have more experience, average jurors make legal decisions that are fairer.
The original unanimous jury is the heart of the judicial system. It is seen in movies and novels countless times; a lone juror holds out to protect an innocent defendant and ultimately persuades his fellow jurors. This idea captures the public's imagination. It proves that every juror's opinion counts and that the verdict can be changed by the persistence and passion of one person. It also forces jurors to deliberate and confront unpopular views rather than simply outvoting them.
While I believe that a unanimous vote is the best way to decide a trial, majority also has it's advantages. Trials can be excruciatingly long. With a majority system, coming to a verdict would be much faster. This would make the judicial system more efficient. Also, it would save money by not having retrials. These qualities make majority verdicts an arguable idea.
Both systems have their pros and cons. But in the end, a unanimous jury is still the better way to decide a trial. [continues]
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