The Selection and Role of a Jury in a Criminal Trial This assignment focuses on how a jury is selected and its role in a
criminal trial. The advantages and disadvantages of using a jury to
decide the outcome of a criminal case will also be considered.
A Jury is chosen at random, by a computer using names on the electoral
roll. The jury is made up of 12 people from all walks of life who have
no legal qualifications, jurors play a vital part in the legal system.
To qualify for jury service you must be between the ages of 18-70
years old, though if you are between the ages of 65-70 years old then
you can refuse.
Potential jurors must also have been resident for 5 years in the UKby
the time they reach 18 years of age.
Certain people are exempt from having to do jury service and these
include: Doctors, Members of Parliament, Police, Barristers,
Solicitors, Priests, Vicars, Member's of the Armed Forces and people
who are mentally ill. If you have done jury service within the last 2
years then you are also exempt.
Jury service normally lasts for about 10 days and loss of earnings
will be paid up to a maximum of £52.63 for the first 10 days and a
maximum of £105.28 for subsequent days.
In the past the jury used to be made up of people who had witnessed
the actual crime or people who knew the victim of the crime, this is
not the case today as the jury are now chosen at random so as to get a
fair cross-section of society who are not biased in any way.
It is the right of the jury to judge what the facts are, what the law
is and establish what was the moral intent of the accused.
The jury listen to the entire hearing and are allowed to take notes or
ask to have certain things clarified if there is anything they aren't
sure of, as it is extremely important that they have understood what
has been said so that they can later reach a fair verdict.