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Justice and the jury: The role of twelve in society

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Valparaiso...

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  1. Introduction
  2. Different life experiences and viewpoints
  3. An appropriate sample of the community
  4. The current use of peremptory challenges
  5. Determining discrimination
  6. Serving the interest of justice
  7. Conclusion
  8. References

The ethical standard of justice is a universal right that people in all levels of society are entitled to. In America, one way that the Constitution ensures justice is by naming the right citizens have to a trial by impartial jury. In criminal trials, juries are to decide the fate of one person based on the facts and sometimes, the law. In civil suits, juries decide who gets penalized and who gets the spoils. These decisions are made by twelve people who are representative of the parties' communities and who deliberate among themselves to come to the appropriate verdict. The jury is an important part of the American legal system that serves in the full interests of justice because the makeup of a jury provides for the fairest possible trial for those subject to one, and because it allows for the citizens of America to live by rules that they find are right and just.

Compelling a jury to analyze and argue among themselves to come to a unanimous conclusion gives the defendant a more fair opportunity in court. Consider the alternative: one person, the judge, deciding a court case. A trial by twelve of one's peers is more appropriate than a trial by just a judge because the judge is more than likely presiding over more than one case at a time.

[...] In 1789, another Founder and first Chief Justice John Jay said to a jury: is presumed, that juries are the best judges of facts; it is, on the other hand, presumed that courts are the best judges of law. But still both objects are within your power of decision you have a right to take it upon yourselves to judge of both, and to determine the law as well as the fact in controversy? (Smith). Both of these men, integral to the founding of the United States, share the sentiment that it was the right of the jury to rule, not only on the facts, but on the law as well. [...]


[...] These different aspects are to come together and work for form a cohesive answer for the court based on the jury's analysis of the evidence and sometimes, analysis of the law. By creating a sample of the community to serve on a jury, it attempts to ensure that no viewpoint is underrepresented. An appropriate sample of the community is a sample of the community in which the defendant resides. The process of jury selection does the best job in ensuring that an accurate cross section of a population will serve as a jury of peers. [...]

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