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09/08/2019

Do you think the jury system is fair? why or why not?

QUESTION
Do you think the jury system is fair? why or why not?
I’m doing an essay on opinions and facts about this .

ANSWER
I think more than a simple fair/not fair answer, I would say it’s more a question of “to what degree” is it fair/not fair? Simply put, the jury system is not perfect but it is very good. Someone who is charged with a crime can opt-out of the jury system and choose to go with a “trial by judge,” where they judge serves the additional function of acting as jury. Or, they can choose to be tried by a jury of their “peers.”

Since both the prosecution & the defense sides of a case may interview the jurors & dismiss an equal number of them, there are lawyers who specialize in jury-selection. This leaves some room for a certain amount of manipulation by criminals who have large amounts of money. Some lawyers are much better at selecting jurors than others, and the really good ones are pretty expensive. This can give an unfair advantage to the rich, in some cases.

Then are the situations where you have 1 or 2 jurors, out of 12, who disagree with the rest of the jurors. This can result in a “hung jury” and a re-trial, or conviction on lesser charges. This delays justice for the victims of crimes, which has got to be a difficult thing to go through – especially if the victims’ testimony has to be a part of the court proceedings.