Textbook Notes (369,057)
Canada (162,366)
Psychology (860)
PSY 300 (10)
Chapter 7

Chapter 7 notes Psychology in the Law

4 Pages

Course Code
PSY 300
Tara M Burke

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Chapter 7: Juries 12-person jury necessary for criminal cases in Canada Jury Selection in Canada - Three types of offenses in Canada: 1) Summary offenses: o Less than 6 months in prison o Less than $2000 o Does not have a right to a trial by jury 2) Indictable offences o Less serious: heard by a judge sitting alone, failure to comply with probation order o Highly serious: tried by judge and jury, include treason murder and piracy o Accused can choose whether the trial proceeds by judge and jury or jury alone, include robbery, arson and sexual assault with a weapon. Have the choice to be tried by court judge without a jury/ without preliminary inquiry, tried by a judge with preliminary inquiry or to have preliminary inquiry and to be tried by a judge and jury. If selection not made by offender, the last option is chosen - Juries Act: provincial legislation that outlines the eligibility criteria for jury service and how prospective jurors must be selected - Jury Summons: court order states a time and place to go for jury duty (does not guarantee you will be a juror) - Canada has 12-person juries - Two things lawyers can use to reject potential jurors: peremptory challenges, challenge for cause - Peremptory challenge: crown or defense can use to reject jurors who they believe are unlikely to reach verdict in their favour (allowed more with murder trials 20 vs 12). - Challenge for cause: lawyer must give a reason for rejection Characteristics and Responsibilities of Juries - Two characteristics: 1) Representativeness: jury composition that represents the community where the crime occurred. Achieved through randomness. 2) Impartiality: Jurors who are unbiased. Centers on 3 issues: set aside biases and focus on admissible evidence, must ignore any evidence not deemed as admissible (i.e. media), juror should have no connection to the defendant - Threats to impartiality: difficult to forget biases found in the media; Steblay, Besirevec etc found that exposure to neg pretrial publicity increases the number of guilty verdicts - Methods for increasing the likelihood of an inmpartial jury: 1) Change of venue: moving a trial to a community other than the one the crime occurred in 2) Adjournment: delaying the trial until sometime in the future (might make the witnesses memories fade as well though) 3) Challenge for cause: Option rejects biased jurors. First two people selected from jury pool, third is a prospective juror. Need to consider the following issues: prospective jurors may alter their answers, they may find it difficult to be honest, they must be aware of all biases Jury Functions - Main function is to apply the law to the admissible evidence, as provided by the judge in attempts to render someone as innocent or guilty. Along with four other jury functions: 1) Use the wisdom of 12 (rather than 1) to reach a verdict 2) Act as the conscience of the community 3) Protect against the outdate of laws 4) Increase knowledge of the justice system - Jury Nullification: jury ignores the law and the evidence rendering a verdict based on some other criteria (can occur in controversial issues such as abortion and euthanasia) How do we study juror and jury behaviour? Four methods used to understand jury behaviour: 1) Post-trial interviews: ask the jurors themselves why they reached the verdicts they did. Has high external validity. However, jurors accounts may not be reliable (thus conclusions may be based on unreliable data) jury may try and present themselves more favourably or may be unaware of their reasons for decision 2) Archives: records of trials (trasncripts and police interviews) can be reviewed to figure out relationships. High external validity. Inable to establish cause and effect relationships. Restricted to accessible info only. Unaware of how information was collected and how reliable it is. 3) Simulation: Simulate a trial by using written, audio or video forms. Through this info simulation they have another form of trial and are asked to render a verdict o
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