CCRM308 – Week 6: the Jury
Monday, February 24 , 2013
- Supposed to be representative of the community
o Two types of people generally put on a jury: retired people, those who work for
the government or in a union because they will be paid for it (students need to
finish their studies if they are away from their duties for a period of people, sole
store owners cannot be away from their shop for too long, parents cannot leave
their children unattended, etc.)
- Expect jurors to perform duties, be in environments that are not luxurious, and no great
pay: an indefinite amount of time, working with 11 other individuals and try to retain the
information, keep it secret, and seclude you to make a decision and must be unanimous.
- Eligible for jury duty:
o Reside in Ontario
o Canadian citizen
o Over 18 years old
- Ineligible for jury duty:
o Thinking of going to law school
o Member of the Privy Council
o Member of the Senate/House of Commons
o Judge or Justice of Peace
o No doctors or veterinarian surgeons
o Every person engaged in the enforcement of law including but not excluding:
jailors, keepers of prison, correctional institutions, police officers, firefighters,
o NOBODY THAT UNDERSTANDS THE LAW
- Difference between trial by judge alone: the judge has a duty to give reasons for
convicting or acquitting someone; an accused person is entitled to know why they are
going away or the public is entitled to know why such serious charges have been
dropped. Juries are just expected to say guilty or not guilty, no explanation needed.
Jurors cannot talk about discussions in the deliberation room – it is illegal. (Security, to
protect the jurors from the worry) - Judge will explain burden of proof, factors to look at when assessing guilty, explaining
central elements of the case, etc.
- Unreasonable verdicts?
How to keep a jury representative of the community?
- Toronto, for example, is very multi-cultural: the jurors will not look like, speak like, act
like, or live in similar conditions as the accused
- Potential jurors: there is a pool that they will pick from (weed out those with hardship)
- “Challenge for Cause”: in particular, Black accused were saying in particular that –
discrimination would impact the decision. To try and eliminate it Challenge for Cause:
jurors are asked if they are racist – As long as the accused is Black, this question can be
asked – Would you be affected if the accused were Black.
o How would you say “yes” in front of a whole room? Is that question alone enough
to minimize racism on that jury?
What if they say “yes” just to get out of jury duty
What if they “no” just to escape criticism of onlookers
Why is Challenge of Cause not extended to others?
Challenge of Cause for cases with lots of media attention (ex: Rafferty
- Criminal Code has a mandated number of challenges available to the defence and the
Crown, like trump cards. If you like the juror, you say “content” or if you don’t like them
you say “challenge”. You need both to say content if you are to be part of the jury. How
much do they know about jurors as they come up? Their name, age, and occupation is
all the information you get as a Crown/defence. Stereotypes: once you are looking at a
potential juror, you are subject to discrimination. You don’t have to give a reason as to
challenging a potential juror.
- Bouche Crown – why would the Crown care about who’s on a jury?
o Their only concern should be the bias, but will they want people who will convict
and persuade or want someone ea