PSYCH 3CC3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 7: Jury Duty, Summary Offence, Sexual Assault

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24 Nov 2014
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Criminal cases are those in which an act was allegedly committed as found in the Criminal Code of Canada. In contrast, civil cases are
those that involve a breach of contract or other claims of “harm” (known as torts ). Civil cases can be heard by jury or judge alone, as
can criminal cases.
Only some types of offences can proceed with jury trials
Majority of trials are tried by judges alone, the minority are actually tried by a jury
Sentence
Maximum is 18 months
Mostly fewer than 6 months
Less than $2000
No right to trial by jury
Judge alone
Summary Offences
1.
Tried by judge alone
Exp. Theft, money under false pretenses, probation breach
Less serious - sec. 553
i.
IF attorney general & accused agree, trial can be judge alone
Tried by judge & jury
Exp. Treason, murder, piracy
Highly serious - sec. 469
ii.
Defendant has the option to choose (1) to be tried by a provincial or territorial court judge without a jury and without having had a preliminary
inquiry, (2) to have a preliminary inquiry and to be tried by a judge without a jury, or (3) to have a preliminary inquiry and to be tried by a judge
and a jury. If a defendant does not make a selection, he or she will have a preliminary inquiry and be tried by a judge and a jury.
Accused can chose if judge alone or jury
Exp. Robbery, arson, sexual assault with weapon
Not listed under 553 or 473
iii.
Three categories
Indictable Offences
2.
Cross between indictable and summary offences
Summary - tried by judge alone
Crown decides whether to move forward with an indictment or summary offence
Sentence
Maximum 5+ years
Proceed by indictment:
Maximum 6 months or 18 months
Proceed summarily
Hybrid Offences
3.
Three types of offenses in Canada
Minimum age, profession for exemption
Differences across location:
Provincial and territorial legislation that outlines the eligibility criteria for jury service and how prospective jurors mus t be
selected
Juries Act
Court order that states a time and place to go for jury duty
Jury Summons
Jury Selection
Ch. 7 - Jury
Wednesday, November 05, 2014
8:05 PM
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Court order that states a time and place to go for jury duty
Ignoring = fine or jail time
12 person jury
Criminal trials
6 person jury
Civil Trials
Canada
Murder = 20 peremptory challenges
Other crimes = 12 peremptory challenges
No reason necessary
Peremptory
Reason must be provided
For Cause
Name, address, occupation, physical demeanor
Note: very little information is known about the juror
In many Canadian cases, they aren't allowed to ask jurors further questions before rejecting them
Two types of challenges
Jury composition that represents the community where the crime occurred
Any eligible person from the community has the chance of being a juror
Achieved through Randomness
If you live on reserves, not apart of list that can be used to identify possible jurors
Exp. Aboriginals are underrepresented in juries, why?
May challenge the jury if not representative of the community or of the defendant's peers
Representativeness
1)
2 men charged with assaulting 12 yo aboriginal girl
All those on jury were Caucasian
Defendants admitted to the crimes, yet were voted not guilty
New trial was ordered, based on judge's instructions to the jury, not the race
Box 7.1: Was the jury racially balanced? R. v. Brown (2005)
Base entirely on admissible evidence
Set aside biases, prejudices or attitudes
1)
Ignore information not apart of admissible evidence
2)
No connection to the defendant
3)
Jurors are unbiased
Emotional and biased media coverage may influence verdicts
Positive relationship between exposure to negative pretrial publicity (ptp) and guilty
judgments
Steblay, et al, 1999
Negative PTP
PRETRIAL PUBLICITY
Threats to impartiality
Impartiality
2)
Supreme Court of Canada (1991) - 2 fundamental jury characteristics
Characteristics & Responsibilities of Juries in Canada
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Even when told to ignore the information, they still discussed it
Jurors given anti-defendant information discussed unclear details in a way that supported
the prosecution
Ruva & LeVasseur, 2012
Positive info biased jurors positively towards the defendant (fewer guilty)
Ruva & McEvoy (2008)
Rare in real life
Positive PTP
Both positive & negative PTP has an effect on verdicts
Publication Ban
Must show they'd be prejudiced against the defendant
Moving a trial to a community other than the one where the crime occurred
Not often granted, and if so it stays within the province
Change of Venue
1)
Delaying the trial until any biases have dissipated
Con: Witness & prosecutor memories may fade & they can move or die
Infrequent
Adjournment
2)
Must demonstrate that there is partiality in the community from which the jury pool will be drawn
If judge grants this, jurors can be probed with questions (<5 pre-approved)
Changes how a jury is selected
Unique to Canada
First, two individuals are selected from the jury pool and are sworn to act as triers. A third person is selected as a prospective juror.
The lawyers or judge question the prospective juror, while the two triers listen to the answers provided. The triers then dis cuss the
answers with each other to reach a unanimous decision as to whether the prospective juror is impartial. If the triers decide that the
prospective juror is not impartial, the prospective juror is dismissed, another person is selected to be a prospective juror, and the
process begins again. If the triers decide that the prospective juror is impartial, then that person becomes the first member of the jury
(unless the Crown or defense uses a peremptory challenge) and replaces one of the triers. This first juror acts as a trier fo r a second
juror. Thus, jurors 1 and 2 will act as triers for juror 3, jurors 2 and 3 will act as triers for juror 4, and so on, until 1 2 jurors are selected.
Steps:
In an open court, they'd hear the questions and the outcomes
Jurors may change answers according to if they want to serve on jury or not
i)
Difficult to be honest about a bias that may make them look bad
ii)
Not helpful if you don't know
We are generally unaware of our biases and how they affect our behaviour
iii)
Is this useful in identifying biases?
Are black Jamaican men more violent?
Would you biased by the fact the accused are Jamaican and the deceased was Asian?
Focused on racial bias
R. v. McLeod
A lot of pretrial publicity
Pig Farmer Trial - murdered 26 women
Box 7.3: Cases allowing a challenge for cause
Challenge for cause
3)
Increasing likelihood of impartial jury
Use wisdom of 12, not 1
1)
Act as the conscious of the community
2)
Apply the law as provided by the judge to the admissible evidence in a case and to render a verdict
Jury Functions
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