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Lecture 1

Psychology 2990A/B Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Paul Bernardo, Coroner, Jury Trial

5 pages58 viewsWinter 2017

Department
Psychology
Course Code
Psychology 2990A/B
Professor
Doug Hazelwood
Lecture
1

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2990 Lecture One: Psychology and the Law
How common are jury trials?
- Jury trials are relatively rare in Canada
- Two basic types of trials
- Civil trials
o Disputes between citizens/groups
o i.e contract law
o no absolute right to jury trial (depends on provincial territorial legislation) ie
allowed in Ontario not Quebec
- criminal trials
o offences against the crown, not between citizens
o against the queen, our lady and peace
o right to jury trail guaranteed in criminal code not mentioned in the charter,
only the right to a fair trial
o but, only for more serious offences (penalty of 5 years or more)
o when juries are involved, they are involved in serious with serious consequences
The role of juries
- three roles
- they apply the law (as defined by judges)
- to the admissible evidence, and
- render a unanimous verdict of guilty or not guilty
- also assumed jury will play two other roles:
o juries represet the ouities here the rie ourred adds legitiay
and public acceptance to verdicts)
o serve as the conscience of community (ca guard against laws perceived to be
unfair) i.e. dr. Morngentaler and abortion laws
Characteristics of a good jury
- must be representative of community where the crime occurred
o resemble and look like the community
o typical selection procedure
obtain list of people in community (eg voter registration; census; local
phone book)
jury pool
randomly select people from pool (e.g. 100)
jury panel
each person on panel is sent a jury summons (court order for jury duty)
if it is ignored can be in jail for up to five years and you would not
be entitled for jury trial if you have an offence
given number and placed in jury room
numbers are randomly selected (12 in criminal trails; 6 in civil trails)
these people usually eoe jurors uless
o two things that can keep people off a jury
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not eligible for jury duty (varied by province)
must be: 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 disability,
ex con
being challenged by one of the lawyers (see below)
if successful, person is sent back to jury room (might be selected
for another trial
o thing to note about selection procedure
no guarantee that jury will be representative
e.g. iased pool e.g. o hoeless people
a and b above limit representativeness
lawyers can appeal verdict (ask for new trial) uf it can be proved that jury
as ot represetatie i a iportat ay e.g. too fe oe or
native Canadians)
o juries ust e ipartial uiased
involved three issues:
must be able to set aside all pre existing biases (prejudices,
attitudes about type of crime)
must ignore all inadmissible evidence (e.g. things reported in the
media)
no connection to the accused; no personal interest in a particular
outcome of the trial
o steps taken to endure impartiality
jurors swear oath to be impartial
12 jurors (cancels-out biases of any single juror; see research p. 27-28)
jurors at disuss delieratios after trail is oer it’s a riial offee;
not like the US!
Canadian courts impose publication bans after a preliminary inquiry
(limits what media can report) prevents jury pool from being exposed
to information that might bias them
Are publication bas effective in preventing jury bias?
- Do publication bans prevent biased info from being published? Not always:
o Biased info can be published before ban is imposed (e.g. bodies on Picktons pig
farm)
o Info published after ban is impsed (American websites and TV e.g, Bernardo)
- Can jurors ignored biased pretrial publicity?
o Need to conduct research
Interlude: research methods for studying juries
- Interview actual jurors after deliberations (cant do this in Canada; can do it in US)
- use stiulated ok juries e.g.
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