This week’s discussion will focus on the jury.
The Constitution specifies that a criminal trial’s jury be impartial, but contrary to popular belief, does not specify that it be comprised of the defendant’s “peers.” During jury selection, the attorneys use peremptory challenges to dismiss potential jurors that seem to be unsympathetic to their case. Should there be any restrictions on the use of these challenges? Explain your reasoning.
Some legal scholars argue for the establishment of professional jurors. These jurors would be employed by the court and be trained to understand the law. Hearing cases would be their full-time job.
- What are the pros and cons of such a system? Would you be in favor or would you oppose it?
You are facing a jury trial because the corporation you work for has accused you of embezzlement. If found guilty, you could serve up to 10 years in prison.
- What specific characteristics would you want your jury members to possess? Why?
- Explain how jury members with these characteristics may influence the outcome of the case. Provide rationale and examples to support your opinion.