The Pros and Cons of Trial by Jury

We are taught that being selected as a juror is our civil duty and constitutional right as citizens. I see it as a position of honor because it is where ordinary people participate in making decisions on serious high court matters and those decisions exercise real power. On the other hand there are a lot of citizens that don’t feel the same and would rather not take part in this civil activity at all. Most of them view it as a great inconvenience and a waste of their time.

I believe that if they truly weigh the factors of it they will have a change of heart. Thus, I shall take this time now to discuss the selection process of the trial by jury and its pros and cons. To begin with a jury is a collection of twelve randomly selected persons between the ages of 18 and 65 from the electoral roll. They are all registered voters and are resident citizens of the country who have resided therein for more than five years.

The history behind the jury selection process is that the leaders of the country believed that it would be fairer to have serious matters of the court heard by the accused peers. When the selection process first began it only involved persons of a wealthier class that held title to property but that change to accommodate all citizens to break the barriers of cultural diversity. Now we have today an assortment of twelve persons from all avenues of life that can identify with the accused social ailments.

In addition to having a chance to being a part of this process, there are some benefits one leaves with after experiencing this activity. Here are some the pros of its system. The jury system provides a unique opportunity for citizens to participate in their government. The jury system also provides a rare check against excessive government prosecution. It also gives an opportunity for a defendant to be judged by a group of their peers. Moreover, individual prejudice and irrationality is checked by the group, leading to a fairer and a more logical supervision of justice.

What this does is bring a freshness and insights of those who are new to the system and have not become case hardened or cynical unlike judges. Jurors are not cynical, neither are they naive, and they are able to detect where the truth lies when faced with the conflicting accounts of witnesses. Not to be left out let’s discuss its cons. One of the main agreements about jurors is that jurors have no legal experience. Some have argued that they are easily manipulated by clever lawyers who can confuse the jurors with technical legal jargon.

Some say that its system is extremely inefficient, costing a criminal defense system enormous resources. It increases the length of time and the cost of conducting a trial which is due to the fact that common people cannot understand the law. Most of these trials require extensive controls to guarantee quality results. Many rules of evidence are constructed to prevent jury's from hearing complicated, inflammatory, or prejudicial evidence for fear that the jury will give improper weight to those types of evidence.