PSYC 2400 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Voir Dire, Peremptory Challenge, Note-Taking

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25 May 2018
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Unit 6: Juries: Fact Finders
Justitia (Lady Justice)
o She holds a sword in her hand to melt out punishment
o Hold scales of justice (balance & weigh evidence)
o Blindfolded (justice should be blind)
Section 1: Characteristics of Juries
How do Judicial Systems Differ?
Judicial Systems
o Adversarial
Judge not really involved
Judge makes decision based on evidence presented to them
o Inquisitorial
Investigation
Judges more involved
Juries
o Primarily used in criminal cases
Rare, only 20%
Only when perpetrator pleads not guilty, most plea barging/guilty
o Consist of 12 people
o Final verdict must be unanimous
Jury Selection
Representativeness
o ju of oes pees
o Randomly selected from community
Impartial
o Juror needs to set aside on biases or prejudices
Jury selection occurs in 2 stage
o Venire
Receive summons
Requirements to participate
o Voir dire
speak the tuth
lawyers question jurors
Type of Prejudices
Interest prejudice
o Personal connection
Specific prejudice
o i.e., seual assault ase & oue epeieed soethig siila
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Generic prejudice
o Racial or religious
Normative prejudice
o High profile case; whole community has bias
What can be done if jurors are not impartial?
Adjournment
o Delay trial
o Problem itess eo ot e as good
Change of venue
o Move trial to a different city
Peremptory challenge
o Disiss potetial juo ased o laes disetio
Challenge for cause
o Dismiss potential juror based on bias/prejudice
o Other jurors decide
A Biased Juror: R. v. Guess (1998)
Gillian Guess: juror in a murder trial
Peter Gill: defendant charged with 2 counts of 1st degree murder (out on bail)
Gill: found not guilty
Both convicted of obstruction of justice
Guess: I hae ee convicted for falling in love and nothing more. I have not committed
a ie
Legal Function of Juries
2 legal functions
o to decide the facts from the trial evidence
o to decide on a verdict
Burden of proof: beyond reasonable doubt
Sentencing is not a function of Canadian juries (except recommending parole eligibility
in 2nd degree murder)
Section 2: Jury Selection Methods
Jury Selection: General Attitudes
Personality traits Authoritarianism
o “oeoe hos e igid, eall espets authoit, eliee i the la
o Legal attitudes scale
too a oiousl guilt pesos esape puishet eause of legal
tehialities
upstadig itizes hae othig to fea fo polie
o prosecutors would wat juos to hae this tait, & defese ot
Bias
o Pro-prosecution or pro-defense
o Juror Bias Scale
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