Advantages and disadvantages of the jury

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What are the advantages of juries?
Democratic Cross section of society represented Fairer than judge alone Jury independance Jury equity
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Why is the jury democratic?
Jury stems from the fundamental democratic demand that the law is accountable to the people Been described as the bastion of civil liberties Trial by peers Jury acts as a check on officialdom and the judges power
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What did Lord Devlin describe the jury as in 1960?
"the lamp which shows that freedom lives"
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Why is it good the jury comes from a cross section of society?
Random selection to ensure cross section With 12 people any prejudice should be cancelled out and balanced the onus is not placed on one person
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What is jury independance?
They are independant and can not serve if they know anyone involved in case Free from pressure in the deliberation room and free from pressure from the judge
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What case was the independance of the jury established in?
Bushells case 1670
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What does jury equity mean? In what case was this shown
Juries do not have to give reasons for their verdicts and can give verdicts based on their own sense of justice R v Owen 1991
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What are the disadvantages of the jury system?
Not representative, bias, easily swayed, lack of skills, secrecy of deliberations, high acquittal rates in criminal trials, emotional impact on individual jurors, cost, time consuming, inability to assess damages in civil cases
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Why are they not representative?
Electoral lists are not representative Electoral register does not include homeless or those in temporary accomadation A random sampling does not lead to a cross section of society
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What did the case of Thomas and Balmer 2007 Diversity and Fairness in the Jury System show?
Found no evidence that the middle class were avoiding jury service Highest rate of jury service among the middle and high income earners Employed were overrepresented Unemployed and retired were under represented
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How it juries not representative for ethnicity?
electoral roles are not representative found that up to 20% of black and asian people never register to vote in England and Wales
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What did Thomas & Balmer 2007 Diversity and Fairness in the Jury System say to do with ethnicity?
No significant difference in the numbers of ethnic minorities summoned for jury service No difference in proportion of ethnic minorities and while in willingless to do jury White jurors are more likely to be elected 79% of Crown Courts are low ethnicity c
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What did Runciman Commission on Criminal Justice 1993 say on multi racial jury?
There should be a right to 3 jurors of the same ethnic group as the defendant or victim
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Who found what when looking at representativeness to do with gender?
Zander & Henderson 1993 - found 53% if jurors were male whereas they make up only 48% in the population Thomas & Balmer 2007 - found that jury pools at individual courts closely reflected the local population in terms of gender
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What is jury bias?
Jurors are ordinary members of the public and may bring their prejudice to the court room Could be bias for against the police, class, age, gender, ethnicity, clothing, sexual orientation etc
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Jury Bias - Racial Prejudice Who carried out research and what did they find ?
Baldwin & McConville 1979 - carried out research on 276 cases in Birmingham The trial lawyers, police and judges completed questionnaires Found there was a disproportionate number of black defendants in the questionable conviction category Suggests racia
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What happened in the case of Sander v UK 2001 to do with racial prejudice?
A juror complained to judge of racial comments in the deliberation room and the judge allowed the trial to continue The defendant was convicted and appealed Court of Appeal said they were powerless because anything discussed in the deliberation room is c
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What did Sealy & Cornish, Jurors and their verdicts 1973 find about gender bias?
research using a mock **** trial found women were significantly more likely to convict on circumstantial evidence
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What case saw jurors being easily swayed?
R v West 1996 - she couldnt have a fair trial because of the media reports
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What does swaying by the judges look like?
Juries look to the judge for guidance in reaching their verdict Judges should be neutral in their summing up of a case to the jury but this isnt always achieved
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Why is lack of skills an issue and what did Lord Denning say?
no qualification is required argued that jurors should be selected only from those who demonstrated the intellectual ability to serve
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What act makes it an offence to disclose or solicit information obtained in the jury room?
S.20 Juries Act 1974 as amended by S.47 Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015
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What does secrecy of deliberations make difficult?
Appealing against a jurys verdict as juries are not able to give reasons for their decisions Also makes it difficult to conduct research
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What did Baldwin & McConvilles 1979 research show about high acquittal rates in criminal trails?
found judges had serious doubts over an acquittal in 32% of cases only 1/3 of acquittals in Birmingham were seen as clearly justified by all respondents Acquittal rates in the crown court are consistently higher than those in Magistrates 57% as oppose to
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Card 2

Front

Why is the jury democratic?

Back

Jury stems from the fundamental democratic demand that the law is accountable to the people Been described as the bastion of civil liberties Trial by peers Jury acts as a check on officialdom and the judges power

Card 3

Front

What did Lord Devlin describe the jury as in 1960?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Why is it good the jury comes from a cross section of society?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What is jury independance?

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Preview of the front of card 5
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