A jury trial is not to be confused with a bench trial as it often times is. While a bench trial takes places only in front of a Judge who is then tasked with coming to a verdict on his/her own, a jury trial is one that is “composed of members of the community present at the trial to act as the finder of fact” (McGuigan, 2014). The constitutional trial rights that are sanctioned throughout a jury trial is called a trial by jury. This is in the sixth amendment which says that everyone has the right to a fair and speedy trial by an impartial jury. The steps involved in creating a jury for the purpose of carrying out a jury trial will be expressly addressed in this paper. Furthermore, the purpose of this paper will be to discuss, in detail, the steps that are involved in a jury trial which include selection of the Jury, the trial, the Judge’s charge, deliberation, and the verdict.
Selecting the Jury:
The first step in a jury trial is to select and establish a jury; jurors are initially selected from what is called a jury pool and this is essentially a list of all registered voters in the area that are both eligible and acceptable for the purpose of serving as a juror. Depending on the type of case, the size of the jury will vary; it is understood that civil cases will typically employ a jury of six people; misdemeanor cases that are less serious will typically have less than 12 jurors while the more serious cases will have 12 jurors as a requirement. Once a specific group of potential jurors has been selected, each juror will be called for questioning known as voir dire. “Voir dire is the process by which citizens are questioned before being selected to hear actual evidence as jurors” (ABA, 2014).
It is after Voir dire questioning has been conducted that jurors can be dismissed by the just for cause; this would occur in the event that a lawyer believes that a juror might be exhibiting certain prejudices about the case that will negatively affect the courts ability to apply due process. Once challenges for cause have been established, the final phasing out process is peremptory challenges and this is a challenge that “permits a lawyer to excuse a potential juror without stating a cause” (ABA, 2014). Once all of these selection phases have been completed, it is at this juncture that the jurors selected will be sworn in.
The jury plays an integral role during the trial process as it is the job of the jury to listen to all evidence, testimony, and arguments submitted by the prosecuting attorney as well as the defense attorney. It is also during the trial process that the Judge may deliver remarks to the jury that they are to be apply to their decision making process. An example of such would be the Judge telling the jury panel to not take into consideration a piece of information that was shared for one reason or another; if this is done, the Jury is not allowed to use said information for making a determination of guilt or innocence. ...