Innocent Judged By Ignorants Essay

1853 words - 7 pages

"The jury has the right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy. " Said John Jay, first president of the United States Supreme Court. Society in the last couple of decades has improved when it comes to take decisions that punish criminal acts. There are certain ways to decide whether an individual is guilty or not, these decisions are taken by judges in court but is has not always been that way. Courts all over the world decided that the best way to be impartial when taking a decision was to choose unrelated individuals from any ethnicity or group as a jury. This is better known as Jury of peers. It suggests that individuals chosen from a wide group of social and ethnical roots could take a more ethical and impartial decision about a court case. This jury of peers was later in history proven to be not as accurate since factors like emotions, groupthink and personal interests came into play when taking a decision. Twelve Angry Men, movie from the 1957´s, written by Reginald Rose and Directed by Sidney Lumet explains in depth what jury of peers is all about. It shows that this type of justice is not effective by giving an in depth tour of possible factors and scenarios that surround the twelve angry men jury. An in depth critical examination of the movie will be made to support the abolishment of jury of peers. This kind of justice method is an unexamined tradition. It should be abolished because it is not effective, instead it becomes ineffective since its based in empirical evidence, not real in depth research. It is thought as normal since it has always been used in history but it is not often seen from a critical thinker point of view. To begin, there must be a clear definition of what is expected from a jury when taking a decision.

A Jury is defined as a sworn of people brought together to make an impartial verdict in court or to set penalty or judgment. Using this definition it is clear that the purpose of using juries is to be as fair and equal as possible when making life changing decisions. The term jury of peers comes from a used method where court chose people randomly from any root of society. They were put together in court without any connection to the accused and they had to hear evidence and according to the law of the state or province they choose if the accused was either guilty or non guilty with the empirical evidence provided. These juries are chosen in a two step process, said Dennis Hale, political scientist and professor. First, consultants help attorneys chose juries that look in favor of the hiring side. Second, attorneys present the case in the most persuasive way by presenting witnesses and preparing evidence. This method was thought to be the best because who could be a better jury than people who lived in equal circumstances. This method also had rules, if one of the juries agreed the accused was non guilty and this decision was made with a reasonable doubt, then the court would have to let the...

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