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Weakness in the Jury System

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Introduction

´╗┐WEAKNESSES IN JURY SYSTEMzl There are several weaknesses in the jury system. There are problems with the selection of jury. Firstly, electoral registers tend to be inaccurate. They underreport the number of ethnic minorities and young people. This excludes them from being selected. Also, random selection does not equate to equal representation. Although there are efforts made to ensure that it was as random as possible, all white, all male, all women juries are possible. This does not guarantee that jury come from all walks of society. z Judge may also discretionary excuse some of the jury if they have booked holidays, childcare problems, business meetings. ...read more.

Middle

Firstly, the electoral registors may be in accurate. It may under report the ethnic minorities and young people- hence excluding them to be selected. Next, random selection does not equal to equal representation. For example, all white, all men and all women juries are possible. This does not guarantee that juries come from all walks of life. Juries do not need to explain their decisions due to secrecy of the jury. Hence their decisions may be unaccountable. This is the case in R v Young where a few jurors under alcohol influence used an Ouija board to obtain the verdict. ...read more.

Conclusion

Jury may be distressed as they do not have legal knowledge and counselling may then be required. Also they may be too eager to convict as opposed to case hardened magistrates. Jury may be sympathetic with the defendant and may lead to perverse decision being made. There is no appeal on perverse decisions however it is This is unjust to the losing party. In the case of Rv Owen, the defendant shot a lorry driver who had killed his son. He was acquitted. There are several weaknesses and strengths with the jury system. However some of the weaknesses can be eliminated such as allowing appeals and investigations on alleged impropriety. Judges can direct jury to answer questions when reaching a verdict too. zl ...read more.

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