An introduction to the value of a jury system in the united states

For normal cases, the courts were made up of dikastai of up to citizens. In such large juries, the unanimity rule would be unrealistic, and verdicts were reached by majority. Juries were appointed by lot.

An introduction to the value of a jury system in the united states

Grand juries in the United States A grand jury decides whether or not there is enough evidence "probable cause" that a person has committed a crime in order to put him or her on trial.

If a grand jury decides there is enough evidence, the person is indicted. A grand jury has members, and its proceedings are not open to the public. Unlike a petit jury, defendants and their attorneys do not have the right to appear before the grand jury.

Petit juries are responsible for deciding whether or not a defendant is guilty of violating the law in a specific case. They consist of people and their deliberations are private. Their decision is known as a verdict and decides whether a person is guilty or not guilty.

Most states' constitutions also grant the right of trial by jury in lesser criminal matters, though most have eliminated that right in offenses punishable by fine only. The Supreme Court has ruled that if imprisonment is for six months or less, trial by jury is not required, [4] meaning a state may choose whether or not to permit trial by jury in such cases.

Specifically, the Supreme Court has held that no offense can be deemed 'petty' for purposes of the right to trial by jury where imprisonment for more than six months is authorized.


Justice Black and Justice Douglas concurred, stating that they would have required a jury trial in all criminal proceedings in which the sanction imposed bears the indicia of criminal punishment.

Chief Justice BurgerJustice Harlan and Justice Stewart objected to setting this limitation at six months for the States, preferring to give them greater leeway. The Supreme Court found that the disadvantages of such a sentence, "onerous though they may be, may be outweighed by the benefits that result from speedy and inexpensive nonjury adjudications.

An introduction to the value of a jury system in the united states

The two exceptions are Vermont and Virginiawhich provide the defendant with the right to a jury trial in all cases, which means if one is willing to pay the cost in case of a loss, one may even obtain a jury trial for a parking ticket in those states.

In Virginia, one wanting a jury trial on a minor misdemeanor or traffic offense would actually have a right to two trials if they wanted a jury trial on the issue, first by bench trial only in District court, and then, if they lost, to a trial de novo in Circuit court, this time with a jury if they chose to do so.

Many juvenile court systems do not recognize a right to jury trial, on the grounds that juvenile proceedings are civil rather than criminal, and that jury trials would cause the process to become adversarial.

New Jersey[10] and Blakely v. Washington[11] the Supreme Court of the United States held that a criminal defendant has a right to a jury trial not only on the question of guilt or innocence, but any fact used to increase the defendant's sentence beyond the maximum otherwise allowed by statutes or sentencing guidelines.

This invalidated the procedure in many states and the federal courts that allowed sentencing enhancement based on "a preponderance of evidence", where enhancement could be based on the judge's findings alone.

Depending upon the state a jury must be unanimous for either a guilty or not guilty decision.

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In the event of a hung jurycharges against the defendant are not dropped and can be reinstated if the state so chooses. In the federal system, a unanimous verdict is required. Both prosecutors and defendants often have a strong interest in resolving the criminal case by negotiation resulting in a plea bargain.

If the defendant waives a jury trial, a bench trial is held. Research indicates there is not a consistent difference between penalties handed down in jury trials and those handed down in bench trials.

The right to a jury trial is exclusively that of the criminal defendant; where one has the right to waive a jury trial, and does so, the prosecution cannot ask for one. United States[16] one of the jurors became incapacitated and counsel for the defendant and the government agreed to continue with 11 jurors.

Supreme Court ruled that this was acceptable if the prosecution and the court, as well as the defendant, agreed to this procedure.Jury trials in criminal cases were a protected right in the original United States Constitution and the Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Amendments of the U.S.

Constitution extend the rights to trial by jury to include the right to jury trial for both criminal and civil matters and a grand jury for serious cases.

The United States Court system has provided order and justice for the United States of America. The court system was made to make sure all citizens are receiving a fair trial despite gender, race, color, national origin, or religion. Coordinates. The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S.

or US) or America, is a federal republic composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At million square miles ( million km 2), the United States is the world's third- or fourth-largest country by total area and just fractionally smaller.

Plaintiff, Moorish American Nation, Inc versus United States Of America, United Kingdom, Portugal, Spain, France, Netherlands, Belguim. A petit jury, also known as a trial jury, is the standard type of jury used in criminal cases in the United States. Petit juries are responsible for deciding whether or .

On the Theory of American Adversary Criminal Trial Gary Goodpaster Follow this and additional works I.

An introduction to the value of a jury system in the united states

INTRODUCTION The adversary system is a foundational feature of our legal sys- United States, U.S. 24 (). A jury trial, however, is central to the American system of.

Introduction - The Jury Rules