Jury system is the ultimate trial. The supreme decision of our justice system. The last conclusion of right or wrong. This system has existed for almost 800 years. Jury system first start in England. Over the years the system of jury applied to most of the country in the world.
A jury is a group of people convened to detect a matter, officially submitted to seat for judgment. The jury decides whether someone accused of a crime is innocent or guilty. They usually try the more serious crime, like –murder,rape,burglary,fraud,assault.
A person who serving on a jury is a juror. This service is a important public duty. Around 200000 people perform this duty each year. Jurors perform a vital role of justice. The judge determines the law to be applied in the case while the jury decides the fact. So it is very important ways jurors become a part of the court itself. The protection of right largely achieves through judge and jury. Jurors should be men or woman who process absolute honesty, sound judgment and fair less. Each juror stand as a judge he/she represent the highest judge in the land.
Qualification for jury service
Be a citizen of the state and name appears on electoral register
Age should be within 18 to 69 years
Be of sound mind and good moral character
Be qualified under the constitution and laws to vote in the country in which the persons have to serve as a juror.
Be able to read or write. Especially English have to know properly.
Have not been convicted of theft.
Responsibility of juror
Each juror should stand as a judge. He/she represent the highest judge in the land.
Each juror should take part as both criminal and civil trials. Listen the evidence of the case and decision of apply law if the person is guilty.
Jury should listen the law years opening statement, the expiration of witness.
Jurors put there thought forward, which will vary greatly from juror to juror. Juror should not afraid to speak up.
Jurors should not talk unrelated material like magazine ,books ,game, in the court room
Jurors should be open minded, fair, and impartial
Jurors should talk on their knowledge, from the own background and life experience
Jurors should be providing with the note book and they should take note.
The jury decision is called “verdict”.
Jury selection process
Choosing a jury is a succession of random selections. All trial begins with the electing of the jury. When the defendant is ready for the trail, then clerk will then begin to take out cards at random from a box and call out the number on each card. If any number is called, then he/she should make their self known to the court security staff and make his/her way to the jury box at the front of the court. When all people are in the jury box then court will again call the number. As each juror number is called out either the prosecution or the defiance may call out “challenge”. This is what is known as challenging for cause, it is not very common, but do not be alarmed, if it does happen to any person. The legal representative who is seeking to challenge the juror will have to provide a good reason why that person can’t serve as a juror in this case and it will be up to the judge to decide whether or not that person can become a sworn juror. Very occasionally when each person number is called he/she may be required to stand by. This means that that persons will not be required to sit on this jury unless the jury list becomes exhausted when stand by’s will be recalled and he/she may then be sworn as a juror. If no challenge or standby is called out, then the person will be invited to take the jurors oath. The first person selected as a juror acts as the foreperson. He or she also acts as chairperson in the jury room and delivers the verdict to the court. Twelve people are selected to form the jury for the duration of the case. Most trials are over the same day, but some trials can last much longer.
The privacy of jury system:
Once jury is selected. Then juries are not allowed to communicate with anyone than the judge until after the verdict is delivered. The privacy or secrecy are
It ensures the Freedom of discussion in the jury room.
It ensure the Protect jurors from the outside harassment
It ensure the finality of the verdict
If the people know how juries make the decision of verdict they might respect the decision less.
It enables jurors to bring in unpopular verdicts.
Without secrecy citizen would be happy to serve as jury.
Generally juries should produce a unanimous verdict .when the juries withdraw to consider their verdict they must be told by the judge to reach a unanimous verdict. If , however, the jury have failed to reach a unanimous verdict after that the judge will consider a reasonable period of deliberation. The judge can direct them that they may reach a majority verdict. The foreman of the jury must state in open court the member of the jurors agreeing and disagreeing with the verdict.
Effectiveness of jury system
Prosecution and defense “challenges” correct the problems caused by random selection.
Public acceptability of jury decisions. And perverse verdicts enjoy public respect.
Perverse jury verdicts can provide a “criminal equity”.
Independent of the executive and the judiciary.
Judge can correct any unfairness of the array.
Provide a barometer of public opinion.
Ordinary honest citizens applying local knowledge and values. Reputed to do their best according to the law.
Character and honesty can be judged by ordinary persons, it does not require legal skills.
Defendants can elect jury trial.
Efficient system, with 800 years of success.
Less effectiveness of jury system
Jury vetting is against the principle of random selection.
Expense of jury trial. Defendants manipulate the system.
Perverse verdicts undermine the principle of justice, and the rule of law. (and are actually very rare)
Jurors may be tempted to reach a quick verdict in order to get it over with and go home.
Selection of juries to obtain racial mix not allowed
Easily influenced by impressive barristers, or the judge. Juries not required giving reasons for verdicts.
Inconsistencies throughout the country. Young jurors no life experience.
Jury members can have a string of convictions not serious enough to disqualify. Also, disqualified jurors still find their way into the jury box.
Reforms of jury system
A wide range of proposals has been put forward for the jury system. Jury should use a single judge, as happen in the most civil cases .this has the advantages of making trials quicker, reducing the likely hood of perverse verdict and defending the problem of jury hobbling. Jurors are allowed to question witnesses during the trial. Allowing jurors to ask questions radically departs from the traditional practice, which dictates that the jury sits passively and view the evidence as the lawyers present it. Jurors could improve their ability to decide cases efficiently and accurately. Allow jurors to discuss the evidence as it is presented, rather than requiring them to refrain from discussions until they begin formal deliberations at the end of the trial. Jurors frequently report that they simply do not understand the law they are expected to apply. So it is the judge responsibility to instruct them at the beginning of the trial which help them decide the case more quickly and more accurately. jury service should be compulsory public duty for all. There should be reserve juror. These reserved jurors would be able to replace juror who are unable to continue to hear a case, for example-because of illness.
The jury system is the great system of equalizer. Without a jury every defendant would be declared guilty by the government whether fairness, equality and justice would be unknown. But jury system makes the final decision of whether or not defendant is guilty. Jury give protection of their right and also gives people a great hope. The jury system is also effective in delivering justice by ensuring that the community’s values and expectations are reflected in the verdict, by recognizing the rights of the victims, the defendants and the community, and by maintaining the accessibility of justice. However, reforms to the jury system are necessary to improve its resource efficiency and to maintain its effectiveness in upholding justice.