March 16, 2015
CJA/364 Criminal Procedure
Jury Trial Analysis
In today’s society, there are many people who know what a jury trial is and what is expected in the process of a jury trial. They may also know why the process is important and very necessary as it protects the citizens of the United States. The part that some people may not know about is the process that is taken during the pre-trial phase. Any and every individual that has been accused of wrong doing have the right to a fair trial. In addition, everyone has the right to an attorney to help then fight and understand the legal side of the defense. A jury trial can consists of 12 adjudicators which as selected at random that will take all information into consideration and decide upon the facts of the civil or criminal case. Criminal cases are more serious than civil cases. “In this case, serious offense refers to offense carrying a punishment of over six months (Gaines & Miller,2011).
A jury trial consists of six steps that must be followed in order to ensure a fair trial. The prosecution as well as the defense is very needing of these steps in the criminal justice system. If it should happen to be a violent crime then a fair and impartial jury would have to be the ones to give the prosecution the verdict. However, if it turns out that the accused is not guilty then the accused have the right to due process and a fair trial. A jury trial is very important because they make sure that the trial is fair based on the information that is provided and deciding on the punishment for the accused offender. The first most important step in a jury trial is to make sure that the group of selected individuals is fair and is unbiased. This process is known as “voir dire” which is when the jury has to answer a series of questions to find out if they are interested in the case, is biased, or if they are prejudice which can turn out to negatively impact the verdict. The criminal court system will be sure the give the defendant their rights during the selection of the jury to prevent an unfair trial. This will allow the defendant to be given a chance to dismiss any person that is a part of the jury stand that they may think to be unbiased. According to Lundguist (2008) “the judge and the prosecution can also dismiss unbiased jurors from the jury.” This is ensuring that the evidence is considered that is presented in the case to make their final decisions.
Following this further, “the first step to consider when selecting a fair jury is getting a fair jury pool, which is a collection of potential jurors assembled to carry out jury duty” (Carlson, 2005). The jury has a right to anyone in the community to serve as a juror and not to exclude certain groups such as Hispanics, women and black Americans among others. When the jury selection is done it is done at random and not to be based on sex, religion, or race. After the jury selection is complete, those individuals that were selected at random are summons to court to be questioned to determine their impartiality. The only other people that may question the jury selection would be the defense attorney as well as the prosecutor to determine their biases. Attorneys also have the right to ask the juror to be excused from that criminal or civil case. This can either be a challenge for cause or peremptory. When it is a challenge for cause this is usually this is steamed from a stated reason. In most cases it is usually actual or a bias of that person. Some examples of this may include but are not limited to a connection between the defendant and/or law enforcement or if they were previously involved in a similar case. On the other hand, the other challenge being peremptory would be them asking the juror to excuse themselves from the case without any justifiable reasoning. This is usually made by the attorney based on their gut experience of feeling. However,