Lay Personnel: Jury and Magistrates

Topics: Want, Need, Thought Pages: 2 (664 words) Published: January 14, 2011
Lay Personnel are made up of the jury and magistrates. These are people who do not need to be qualified and are unpaid. Both positions make decisions due to their own view of the case and have to decide a serious outcome for it.

To be eligible for a position as a jury you have to be over the age of 18. Then the government picks randomly someone to become a jury for a case. There will be a letter in the post informing that person they have been chosen and they will have to participate in this by law as part of being a citizen of the United Kingdom. However if a person has a mental disability or other very good reason they are exempt.

Some people would say that this is a good way of picking a jury as it gives an input of someone that would not be biased as they would not be able to take part in being a jury for a case that they know the person involved. Another good reason for picking in this way is that everyone has to take part in a decision for someone that lives in the community and not just have others make decisions for everyone. However I believe that this is not a good way of selecting a jury. I believe this for several reasons, one of these reasons being that some people have very stressful lives and are very busy, resulting in them not wanting to take part in the case as a jury. Many do not want to take part as they would have to take time off their work to do so, this could result in not getting paid for the period of time the trial is, this may cause more stress within the family or for the person taking part as they may need the money for financial reasons. Another reason I do not agree with this is that they ask the defendant if they know the jury and if the defendant does. They may lie if they are family or friends with the jury, and due to this the jury will be biased to that defendant despite the crime they have committed. I believe that lawyers or solicitors should be jury’s as they are qualified and know about the legal system and...
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