In order to achieve fairness and for the courts to function properly, there are at least six suggestions that can be looked into. One is for the jury to be placed in a separate room, unable to see the witness but able to view the lawyers and the evidences and only able to hear the witness. Also, the witness is, or the witnesses are, unable to see the members of the jury in person while in court. These things are suggested so that there will be no bias to emotion or that the jury will make judgment based on appeals to emotion instead of weighing the situation according to its merits before the law.
Two is for the judge’s back to face the people such that the judge is unable to see the witnesses to the crime, the victim and the accused. This is in order to avoid the judge being influenced by the appearance of the victim, accused and witnesses and by the highly probable appeals to emotion. As far as evidences are concerned, lawyers can personally bring the evidences right before the judge during the hearing. The lawyers can also personally bring the evidences right before the presence of the ‘unseen’ members of the jury.
Three is for the accused who are already imprisoned to wear civil clothes without the handcuffs instead of prisoner’s clothes during hearings. This is in order to bring about fairness to the prisoner insofar as all people are equal before the eyes of the law. For security purposes, though, law enforcers are suggested to accompany the accused throughout the hearing. Four is for the members of the jury to be composed of private citizens not from the locality but from some other neighboring towns or cities.
This is in order to remove the possibility that the members of the jury know the accused, the victims or the witnesses or have prior knowledge about the affairs of these people. Implementing this suggestion will also make the hearing fairer in the sense that both the accused and the victim will have the equal chance to establish their personal backgrounds without being comforted by the possibility that some of the members of the jury already know them and will decide to their favor.
Five is for the legal or judicial system of the government to provide the accused with a legal team composed of several lawyers and other professionals if the accused is unable to provide a legal team for his self for financial reasons. This is in order to provide the accused with an equal chance of defending himself from the case filed against him especially when the complainant or complainants are rich and can easily afford the services of big-time law offices.
This suggestion, however, should only be implemented if direly needed, especially in complicated cases that require the manpower of more than one defense attorney. And six is for the witnesses, the accused and the complainant/victim to be placed in separate rooms before the hearing. The witnesses, the accused and the complainant/victim should also remain in those rooms when any one of them is testifying before the court or is under cross-examination.
This is in order to avoid the situation where any one of the accused, the complainant or the witnesses is able to change their minds about what to say before the court. This is also to not influence the perception of the witnesses with regard to their oral testimonies so that fairness will be maintained at the least and that the credibility of their testimonies and of their selves as witnesses will be scrutinized. In every proposal or recommendation for reform, there is a group of critics and evaluators who analyzes the feasibility of these ideas.
Conceivably, justice is achieved when two sides are heard in a fair system. This connotation falls for both the interpretation of recommendations and the achievement of justice inside the courtroom (Nemeth). Having the jury seated on a separate room is probably acceptable inside the courtroom because it appears that in some cases, the jury’s reaction to the person in the stand changes the impression of the judge towards a person. Sometimes, the jury—being a set of diverse individuals—disturbs a trial with unnecessary movements and if these changes are made, then these instances would be prevented.
It also gives lawyers a pinch of anticipation on what they are thinking that if prevented will help in achieving a robust and fair result in a case. Hence, they may not consider this recommendation for the reason that it will deprive the individuals under trial to express their emotions and be understood or that it will cost a lot of time especially when it deals with the presentation of evidences. The idea of having the judge not to face the people neither the individuals who are a part of the hearing will surely spur the deliberative minds of critics.
But once they learn the impact of looks and the effects of nonverbal body language inside the courtroom, they will understand that this reform will help improve the attainment of fairness. Their skepticism would most likely come from the thought of it being absurd because it is very unconventional. Accordingly, there is a huge probability that the third suggestion will be implemented since it will enable the accused to feel that everything is just and fair inside the courtroom.
The fourth suggestion however will commence debates for the reason that others may feel that having a set of jury from a different town will worsen a case since there is an existing diversity and different set of values in every place. The fifth suggestion is only a slight improvement of the existing trends when it comes to giving legal aides to the accused. So it will probably be implemented. And lastly, the only cited problem on the sixth suggestion is the amount of time that it will cost the hearing. Works Cited Nemeth, Charles P. Aquinas in the Courtroom: Lawyers, Judges, and Judicial Conduct. London: Praeger Paperback, 2001.