Essay on Jury System

1264 Words Jun 28th, 2013 6 Pages
The Jury System


By: Khalil Meghji

The jury system has been used for thousands of years to fairly determine innocence or guilt in a trial. Although not utilized as much as in the past it is still used for most criminal and some civil cases. This leads to an unjust legal system full of bias. The jury system was first seen in use by the ancient Greeks thousands of years ago[1]. Though the system was the fairest way to produce a verdict, it cannot apply today because society has endured a change which taints the foundation of a fair trial by jury. Juries are much more open to tampering by interested parties through which can be undetected by the
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This great window for a juror’s vote to be tainted is too large to ignore. In a particular case in Calgary a psychiatrist who was charged with sexually assaulting 5 of his patients and 2 counts of fraud, his wife tried to offer a juror one thousand dollars for a not-guilty verdict on a subway platform. The courts only knew of this because the juror informed them[5]. If someone wanted to buy a vote through a juror they could easily approach one outside of the court and the juror can be easily swayed by a nominal sum of money often not noticeable by any financial regulatory agency of member of the court.

Potential jurors are often very biased and have prejudice against a defendant based on outward characteristics such as race or socio-economic condition. Either the crown or the defense can know a potential juror’s beliefs or values based on what they say. Jurors can also hold a subconscious bias towards certain characteristics which they are not aware of which can invalidate a verdict. Jurors are not trained to be impartial towards a trial and can often deviate from the evidence and testimony which is what the decision should be based on. Even in the modern world prejudice and stereotyping based on race, sexual orientation, gender and age is prevalent among a majority of the population. Although society for the most part has tried to rid themselves of these stereotypes they are still reinforced through pop culture. This

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