Presentation on theme: "CLN4U The Jury. People who are charged with a certain serious indictable offence have the option of trial before a judge and jury. In a jury trial, findings."— Presentation transcript:
People who are charged with a certain serious indictable offence have the option of trial before a judge and jury. In a jury trial, findings of fact are made by the jury. Judge lays out the law and any legal test that has to be met in order to find the person guilty. The jury will apply the facts as they find them and determine if those facts meet the legal test for guilt or innocence.
The Jury “The jury through its collective decision making, is an excellent fact finder; due to its representative character, it acts as the conscience of the community; the jury can act as the final barricade against oppressive laws or their enforcement; it provides a means whereby the public increases its knowledge of the criminal justice system and it increases, through the involvement of the public, societal trust in the system as a whole” -The Supreme Court of Canada-
Facts There are 12 members Must be a good cross section of society and good fact-finders Chosen by both Crown and defence Exemptions: recent duty over 70 physical disability interfering with capacity to act as a juror
Juries and Jury Selection Let the public see conflict resolved by peers Reflect the conscience of the community Expensive Used in most serious indictable offences Accused may choose a jury in a less serious indictable offense
Juries: Pros / Cons Advantages - Juries Educates the public Fresh perspectives rather than that of the judge alone Decision must be unanimous Decision based on values and empathy rather than strict legal precedent Advantage – Judge Alone Less prejudiced Trained to make decisions based on fact not lawyer’s eloquence Judge provides reason for their decision
Jury Array pool of potential jurors assembled under provincial legislation; also called jury panel or jury roll This process occurs in the early part of jury selection Who is eligible? Generally people 18 years of age and older Who is NOT eligible? Lawyers, doctors, law students, veterinary surgeons, medical doctors, people in the legal profession.
Empanelling a jury Once the jury array has been assembled by the Sheriff, groups of potential jurors are convened for selection. The jury array may be challenged by the Crown or the defence, but only on the grounds of partiality, fraud, or willful misconduct by the sheriff.
Jury Challenges Peremptory Challenge: The procedure by which the defence or Crown can reject a potential juror without giving reasons Authorized by the Criminal Code s. 634. (1) Number predetermined by the charge (example: high treason on Murder 1, 20 challenges)
Jury Challenges Challenge for Cause: Here potential jurors are challenged if either the Crown or the defence believes they will not fulfill the responsibilities of jury duty. The grounds justifying a challenge for cause are set out in the Criminal Code s. 638. (1). The most frequently used example is the Crown or defence say that the jury (jurors) are not impartial.
Other Reasons for a Challenge for Cause Question establishing or confirming the identity of the juror; a juror has a personal connection to the Crown or the accused; a juror has been convicted of an offence for which he was sentenced to a term of imprisonment exceeding twelve months; a juror is an alien; does not speak the official languages of Canada a juror is physically unable to perform properly the duties of a juror
Jury Duty Sworn in and take their seat in the jury box Informed of their duties by judge must not: Discuss the case with non-jury members Follow media reports about the case Disclose any information from jury discussions Usually you can go home at the end of each day unless sequestered – housed until they reach a verdict Jurors may be discharged for valid reasons. If jury falls below 10 – new trial
What is the point of Evidence? Evidence is the way in which the Crown and the defence try to reconstruct the chain of events. The evidence tries to convey the facts to the court so that a judgement can be announced. Only relevant evidence is usually admissible Evidence can be excluded from the trial if proper procedures during the investigative process are not followed.
Types of Evidence: Circumstantial, Direct, Physical Demonstrative Hearsay
Circumstantial Evidence Indirect evidence that links the accused to the crime. allows a judge or jury to infers or accept a fact based on a set of known circumstances. Example: A child is found standing by an open cookie jar with cookie crumbs on his face. The circumstantial evidence would indicate the child ate a cookie. However, he was not actually seen eating the cookie. For example, something belonging to the accused may have been left at the crime scene but there is no direct evidence to prove that the accused actually committed the crime.
Direct Evidence Evidence given by a witness usually a verbal description of what the witness knows about the events. Example: Someone sees a child eat a cookie out of the cookie jar.
Direct Evidence The way a witness describes and interprets the event depends on the individual’s personal filters (what they saw, heard, smelled or felt about an event) How Reliable is direct evidence from a witness? Eye Witness Reliability Eye Witness Reliability
Direct Evidence cont… The witness first tells his/her story (testimony)to the court in examination in chief. Examination in chief: oral examination of witness by the lawyer who summonsed the witness to testify The witness is then subject to cross examination by the opposing lawyer. Cross examination: oral examination of a witness by a lawyer who did not summons the witness to testify, designed to challenge the witnesses’ evidence
Physical Evidence A.K.A.- Real Evidence evidence that consists of physical objects that can be offered into evidence. Example: The cookie jar with the child’s fingerprints on it. Other typical examples… weapons, tools, tool markings, fingerprints, blood, hair, skin samples
Demonstrative evidence: evidence that assists in presenting or demonstrating a fact. Example: A map of the kitchen showing the child’s proximity and access to the cookie jar. Other typical examples… charts, maps, photographs, crime sketches Demonstrative Evidence
Hearsay Hearsay: Evidence consisting of matters that a witness was told and did not witness themselves Witnesses cannot testify about indirect knowledge. Their testimony will not be admissible Example: Dan assaults Dylan. Paul was there to see it. If Jesse, testifies that Paul told her that Dan assaulted Dylan it is deemed second hand information and therefore hearsay.
Voir Dire a mini-hearing held during a trial on the admissibility of challenged evidence. Example: a defendant and his/her counsel may object to a plaintiff's witness. The court would: 1. Suspend the trial, 2. Excuse the jury (if it is a jury trial) 3. Immediately preside over a hearing on the standing of the proposed witness, and then, 4. Resume the trial with or without the witness, or with restrictions placed on the testimony of the witness