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Psychology 2990 A.docx

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Western University
Psychology 2990A/B
Doug Hazlewood

Chapter 1: Jury trails A. How common are jury trails? - Jury trials are rare in Canada - 2 types of trials: 1. Civil trail – eg: roommate not paying rent - No absolute right to a jury trail 2. Criminal trials – offences against the crown. “ offence against the queen” - the right to a jury is a constitutional right - everyone has a right to a trail by a jury - only extends to some criminal offences, only for more serious offences (penalty of 5 years or more in prison). - For some criminal offences criminals can get a jury trails - Serious consequences = jury trail Part 2: The role of juries 1. They apply the law as defined by judges 2. To the admissible evidence, and 3. Render a unanimous verdict of guilt or not guilty Also: - Juries “represent the community” where the crime occur, so its assumed that their verdict are more publically accepted - Jurers serve as the conscience of the community, so they can guard against laws that are precived to be unfair - Juries can nullify the law. Eg: Dr. Morgentaler provided abortion in private clinics. This was illegal initially, but the jury was against the law and they changed it. Part 3: Two characteristics of a “Good” jury - Representative of community where the crime occurred. 1. “Typical” selection procedure - obtain list of ppl in community eg: voter registration, census, local phone book. - This is what is called “ jury pool” – potential jures - Then they are randomly selected from the pool - This called a “jury panel” - Each person on the panel is sent a jury summons (court order to appear for jury duty) - If you ignore the jury summons, you can be fined or be sent to jail - Given number - Number are randomly selected (12 in crimincal trails; 6 in civil trail) - If you are randomly selected you “usually become jurors unless 2. Things that can keep people off a jury: - Not eligible for jury dute – Canadian citizen; live in Ontario; 18+ - Must not be: member of house of commons, senate, judge, lawyer, law student, police officer, MD, vet, coroner, a mental and physical disability (it cannot be any disability, just the ones that interferes with your judging), ex-con. b. Being challenged by one of the lawyers - if successful, person is sent back to jury room (might be selected for another trail) 3. Things to note about selection procedure: - no guarantee that jury will be representative eg: biased “pool” such as homeless ppl, such as a voter registration list not everyone is registered as a voter. - Its bias because not all members of the community is involved. Ppl are excluded. - If the lawyer thinks that the juror did not represent the case, lawyers can appeal verdict. Juries must be “impartial” 1. Involves 3 issues : a. can set aside all pre-existing biases (prejudices; attiudes about type of crime) b. must ignore all inadmissible evidence eg: things reported in the media c. no connection to accused; no personal interest in particular outcome of the trail. 2. Steps taken to ensure impartiality: -
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