Jury System

Topics: Jury, Law, Court Pages: 4 (1256 words) Published: June 20, 2013
The Jury System

CLU 3M1

By: Khalil Meghji

The jury system has been used for thousands of years to fairly determine innocence or guilt in a trial. Although not utilized as much as in the past it is still used for most criminal and some civil cases. This leads to an unjust legal system full of bias. The jury system was first seen in use by the ancient Greeks thousands of years ago[1]. Though the system was the fairest way to produce a verdict, it cannot apply today because society has endured a change which taints the foundation of a fair trial by jury. Juries are much more open to tampering by interested parties through which can be undetected by the authorities. Jurors can hold bias and prejudice against a defendant based on a variety of factors. To offset this there are many alternatives to replace the dated system to produce more just verdicts.

The jury system was developed by the ancient Greeks thousands of years ago. They called this system the “dikastaí” this system involved the selection of up to 500 citizens for normal cases. For capital cases the number of citizens enlisted ranged from 1001-1501[2]. This basic idea of a jury system is still used in the modern legal system. Eligible citizens are enlisted, screened for bias and then sit in court hearing presentations from both the defense and the prosecution to prove their cases. After the proceedings have concluded the jury votes on a decision[3]. The Ancient Romans also used an interpretation of this system, they used civilian judges instead of government officials to eliminate any conflict of interest[4]. Though these were crucial steps in the path to fair trials and verdicts it is still a flawed system in the modern world.

A jury can be tampered by interested parties and this can happen quite frequently. The jurors are members of general society and can be easily swayed by financial or extortionist methods to...

Cited: Forsyth, William , and Appleton Morgan. History of Trial by Jury. the University of Michigan: John W. Parker, 1852. Print.
Stastna, Kazi. "Jury duty: Unfair burden or civic obligation? - Canada - CBC News." CBC.ca - Canadian News Sports Entertainment Kids Docs Radio TV. N.p., 6 Mar. 2011. Web. 24 May 2013. .
The Globe and Mail. "Calgary woman accused of jury tampering during her psychiatrist husband’s trial - The Globe and Mail." Home - The Globe and Mail. N.p., 8 Feb. 2013. Web. 19 May 2013. .
[2] Forsyth, William , and Appleton Morgan.History of Trial by Jury. the University of Michigan: John W. Parker, 1852. Print.
[4] Forsyth, William , and Appleton Morgan.History of Trial by Jury. the University of Michigan: John W. Parker, 1852. Print.
[5] The Globe and Mail. "Calgary woman accused of jury tampering during her psychiatrist husband’s trial - The Globe and Mail." Home - The Globe and Mail. N.p., 8 Feb. 2013. Web. 19 May 2013. .
[6] Stastna, Kazi. "Jury duty: Unfair burden or civic obligation? - Canada - CBC News." CBC.ca - Canadian News Sports Entertainment Kids Docs Radio TV. N.p., 6 Mar. 2011. Web. 24 May 2013. .
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