Presentation on theme: "A play by Reginald Rose. Be ready to share the following questions with the class. Are you one who is quick to jump to conclusions or do you like to hear."— Presentation transcript:
Be ready to share the following questions with the class. Are you one who is quick to jump to conclusions or do you like to hear the entire story? Do you find yourself making quick judgments based on one’s social background?
12 Angry Men Is a play about 12 jurors (in this case, all men) who must determine whether a young man murdered his father.
Juries Civil cases consist of six jurors Criminal cases consist of 12 jurors wherein a felony is charged. Criminal cases consist of only six jurors if a felony is not charged. Jury members are selected randomly, generally from electoral polls or drivers licenses.
Juries To be eligible, you must be at least 18 years of age. a citizen of the United States a resident of the county in which you are to serve as a juror, and you must be able to communicate in English. If you have ever been convicted of a felony, you must have had your civil rights restored. Those eligible may be excused from jury service if they have illnesses that would interfere with their ability to do a good job, would suffer great hardship if required to serve, or are unable to serve for other legitimate reasons.
Juries Before a citizen can sit on a jury, lawyers and judges must determine if the citizen is fit to be a jury member. A jury member cannot have prior knowledge of the case. Lawyers often ask potential jurors questions to determine if they will be a fair and impartial juror. Today, lawyers often use a jury selection process and outside help to choose a jury.
The process Step 1: Selection of the jury Step 2: Opening statements Step 3: Presentation of evidence Step 4: Jury instructions Step 5: Closing arguments Step 6: Jury Deliberations Step 7: Announcement of the verdict
Other interesting facts… In the United States, capital cases (cases where the prosecution pursues the death penalty), the jury must often be "death- qualified". A death-qualified jury is one in which all members of the venire that categorically object to capital punishment are removed. This has the effect of ensuring that the jury will be willing to hand down a sentence of death, if they feel the crime warrants it. The United States Supreme Court has ruled that the practice is constitutional. Critics object to death-qualification because empirical evidence has shown that death-qualified jurors are more likely to convict defendants of crimes than are jurors generally.
Sequestered juries If a jury members are involved in a high profile case, the judge may sequester the jury as to avoid outside influence affecting a jury member’s decision. This may also be done to protect the jury from the press. Some lawyers believe the case is decided when a jury is selected.
John Hinkley Jr. The verdict of "not guilty" for reason of insanity in the 1982 trial of John Hinckley, Jr. for his attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan stunned and outraged many Americans. An ABC News poll taken the day after the verdict showed 83% of those polled thought "justice was not done" in the Hinckley case. Some people--without much evidence--attributed the verdict to an anti-Reagan bias on the part the Washington, D. C. jury of eleven blacks and one white. Many more people, however, blamed a legal system that they claimed made it too easy for juries to return "not guilty" verdicts in insanity cases--despite the fact that such pleas were made in only 2% of felony cases and failed over 75% of the time. Public pressure resulting from the Hinckley verdict spurred Congress and most states into enacting major reforms of laws governing the use of the insanity defense.
Taking the trial on the road If defense lawyers suspect that pretrial publicity might have turned local residents against their client, they can ask judges to order the trial moved to another jurisdiction where residents will have heard less about the case.
Jury stereotypes… Women are harsh in rape cases. People who know someone who has been murdered or who have had a family member murdered tend to be harsher. Parents tend to be fair jurors.
Some questions to ponder… What might make one unable to sit on a jury? How might a jury be different if it were comprised of all men? All women? Can a jury member be impartial?