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Lecture 4

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PSYC 3310
Gwen Jenkins

Lecture 4 – Jury Selection & Research – May 17 Courts in Canada  Canadian jury system founded in English traditions  Stare Decisis = “let the decision stand”  Supreme Court o Last court where decisions are made  Provincial Court o “summary” offences, small civil, family, traffic, bylaw  Superior Court o Divorce, appeals, large civil, “indictable” offences o It is also the first level of appeal o Only reason you can appeal in Canada is because of procedural error (i.e. judge mistake)  Cannot appeal because you do not like the verdict  Administrative Tribunals o Human rights, environment, worker’s compensation, policy development TYPES OF OFFENCES  Three types of offences: indictable, summary, hybrid  INDICTABLE = most serious o High treason (crimes against the country), treason, terrorism, sabotage, forgery, murder, robbery, breaking and entering o Trier of Fact: usually jury, but accused (prosecutor must be willing) can often choose judge or jury o Penalties vary: most sever offences = life in prison (i.e. high treason), other offences = “imprisonment not to exceed...” o Most likely to be heard in a superior court o Difference between robbing and stealing  Robbing usually involves use of a weapon or use of force  SUMMARY = least serious o Causing a disturbance, trespassing at night, taking a motor vehicle without owner’s consent o Trier of Fact: judge o Penalties: fine 19 years, Canadian citizen, resident of jurisdiction)  Disqualifications: o Police officers, lawyers, conviction in last 5 years, employee of Ministry of Attorney General, etc.  Competency: i.e. must be able to understand proceedings, evidence, etc. Jury Selection Process: Voir Dire (“To Tell the Truth”)  Questioning process by which lawyers can remove (deselect) or “challenge” potential jurors  Information limited to name, sex, age, occupation  Process 1. Present: Crown, Defense, accused, Judge, staff, potential jurors 2. Court clerk reads charges, asks accused to plead “guilty” or “not guilty” 3. If accused pleads not guilty, expected duration of trial is announced 4. Potential jurors’ names drawn at random 5. If present, move to front of court (15-20) 6. Crown/Defense may “challenge” or accept juror  Challenging potential jurors o Peremptory challenge (s. 634, CCC) (e.g. lawyer does not like the look of one person and therefore does not want them on the jury)  20 each side: high treason, 1 degree murder  12 each side: indictable offences >5 year sentence  4 each side: less serious offences o Challenge for Cause (s. 638, CCC): no limit on quantity, long process  Cause must have legal basis  Lawyer must decide if they want that potential juror on the jury  If they do not, Judge questions potential juror  After the judge asks the questions, two “sworn-in” jurors decide potential juror’s partiality (keep or dismiss)  Reasons for challenging jurors 1. Juror already formed opinion (e.g. juror related to accused, stereotypes/prejudice, case relevant to jury pool community) 2. Identity of juror is not listed name 3. Juror has been convicted of a serious offence 4. Juror not a Canadian citizen 5. Juror physically unable to perform duties 6. Juror does not speak an official language of Canada Juror Dismissal after Case has begun  Conflict of interest (e.g. R. v. Gill, 1995)  Unethical behaviour (e.g. speaking with press, bribery)  As long as “at least 10 jurors” trial may proceed Jury Functions (important)  Main function: to apply law to admissible evidence and render verdict  In addition: 1. To use wisdom of 12, rather than 1, to reach a verdict 2. To act as a conscience of community 3. To protec
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