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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.

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Introduction

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 UK by the time they reach 18 years of age. ...read more.

Middle

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. After the closing speech the judge will: * Sum up the facts of the trial. * Tell jurors about the particular law which applies to the case in question. * Ask the jury to choose a foreman/woman. All the jury must agree on a verdict, if this is not possible then the judge will take a majority verdict. ...read more.

Conclusion

If the press are reporting about the case then they may mention about previous offences that the defendant has committed which may influence the decision of some of the jury. Some jury members may have also signed deals worth a lot of money with certain tabloids so that they can sell their story, and tell about parts of the trial which weren't made public, this may influence the decision they reach at the end of the trial, deciding on a certain verdict may make their deal with the tabloids more profitable. Jury service may also be very stressful on certain individuals. Another disadvantage of trial by jury is that nobody knows how the jury came to their decision, its something that is known only to the fellow jury members. Some jury members may also have strong opinions which influence the other jury members. Jury service is valuable to our country but it also comes with many advantages and disadvantages. ...read more.

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