Trace the history of trials by jury.
The right to a trial by jury can be traced to the Magna Carta in 1215. This right was incorporated into
Atricle III, Section 2, of the Constitution with respect to the federal government, and in the sixth amendment, with respect to the states.
Analyze the scope of the right to a trial by jury in a criminal case.
The right to a trial by jury applies to all non-petty criminal offenses, usually interpreted as offenses punishable by a term of imprisonment of six months or more. The right may be waived by a defendant, who may opt for a bench trial in lieu of a jury trial.
Evaluate the impact of differences in jury size and unanimity requirements.
Common law juries have consisted of 12 people since the fourteenth century. The Supreme Court, however, authorized smaller juries in noncapital cases, but juries with less than six members are not permitted in criminal cases. Since that ruling, many states have specifically authorized juries of fewer than 12 jurors, but most allow these smaller juries only in misdemeanor cases. Some studies have found very few differences between six and twelve person juries, while others have reported significant deference’s.
Explain how a jury is summoned and selected, including the constitutional limitations on these processes.
Potential jurors are summoned to court using master jury lists. The people who are summoned, called, the “venire,” come to court to participate in voir dire, a process designed to select a fair and impartial petit jury by asking members of the venir about potential biases concerning the case. Those who cannot serve as fair and impartial jurors are exused for cause. A few other memebers of the venire may be excused by either party using peremptory challenges so long as these challenges are not used in a discriminatory manner that violates the constitutional of equal protection. Discuss the function of jury consultants in the process of scientific jury