Normally, named Pena-Rodriguez went into a girls washroom

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Normally, during trial procedures, there are a number of jurors that get together to come up with  a verdict for the case being presented.  What is a jury?  A jury is a group of people that give a verdict during a legal case, depending on the evidence that is presented in court.  Even though it is the jury’s duty to give the verdict near the end of each case, there are a number times where different situations can arise that may seem unfair to the people in the society.  The use of juried trials could hinder the justice process depending on the jury’s verdict on specific cases.  For some juries, it is possible that there could be some biased jury members giving the verdict to help the accused or vice versa.  Some jurors may develop or already have strong opinions similar to the defendant’s, which may affect the trial. When the juries state their verdict, they don’t need to reveal their reasoning for their verdict and it could leave people confused and asking themselves why such a decision was made or how they have come upon this decision. During the trial process, some juries could be very unfair by helping the accused.  This means that the jury is being biased towards the accused by giving unfair better treatment to only one person while the others does not get the treatment at all.  For example, there was a case called “Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado” (Totenberg, “Supreme Court Hears Case On Racial Bias In Jury Deliberations”) where a man named Pena-Rodriguez went into a girls washroom and asked two girls if they wanted to party, the two girls said “no” and tried to leave.  But the man turned off the lights, then committed unlawful sexual conduct and harassment to them both.  ‘Based on these affidavits, which related racially biased statements about Pena-Rodriguez’s likely guilt and the alibi witness’ lack of credibility because both were Hispanic, Pena-Rodriguez moved for a new trial.'(Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado) Adding this up, it means that one of the juror’s was being racially bias during the jury decision making process because the accused and juror were both hispanic.  In the conclusion of the case, it said “Where a juror makes a clear statement indicating that he or she relied on racial stereotypes or animus to convict a criminal defendant, the Sixth Amendment requires that the no-impeachment rule give way in order to permit the trial court to consider the evidence of the juror’s statement and any resulting denial of the jury trial guarantee.”(Pena-Rodriguez v. Colorado) Overall the use of juried trials are very long winded  because some jurors rely on racial stereotypes to make up their decision on whether or not the defendant is guilty or innocent. Through many cases, decision making of a juror could be affected depending on the defendant’s statement.  Sometimes the jurors could have already had a set opinion before the trial or during the trial, which again could affect their decision making because of the emotions they carry.  As stated, by the written work on evaluating people’s behaviour, the jury members process evidence in a consistent manner reflecting hidden judgments that come from their emotional mindset. (Maroney, “Emotion in the Behavior and Decision Making of Jurors and Judges”) Therefore people that are emotionally unstable are unable to think logically and therefore would not be able to process evidence or testimonies that are presented before them.  For example, there is a case called “Maryland v. Craig” where a woman named Sandra Ann Craig, who is an operator of a kindergarten / preschool facility, was accused of sexually abusing a child (age six).  The court allowed the accused to present evidence as a witness wished to present evidence outside the courtroom because they were uncomfortable with the defendant’s presence.  A one way closed circuit television was used for this purpose.  It is a secured video system in which signals are transmitted from a video camera to a specific television monitor.   CCTV(Closed-Circuit Television Statutes) is a room for any witnesses that are traumatized / nervous while giving evidence in front of their sexual abuser to be able to provide their testimony without the presence of their abuser.  After the Judge and jury viewed the evidence, the accused was charged but was later on reversed in the Maryland high court.  The example of this case shows that if the victim does not show emotions in front of the jury members, it would not impact the decision making of the jury.  Since the jury members are human as well, they have emotions which could be swayed easily and usually is swayed by the victims testimonies.  Overall the use of juried trials could hinder the justice process because of human nature.  People have strong emotions and opinions that develop when feeling pity for another person.  Due to this aspect of human nature, it is evident that jury members could easily side with the victims of cases simply because of the pity they feel for them.Generally speaking, there are times where jury members are helpful during the justice process without any flaws.  But in the end, the use of juried trials hinder the justice process because of major mistakes they could make depending on different situations of different cases. There are many cons for using juries in a trial, but there are two main reasons.  The jurors could be biased to the defendant or vice versa during the verdict, which would cause wrongful conviction and another reason would be that sometimes the jurors could be emotionally unstable which would make them have a blocked mindset which would then lead them to be unable to clearly judge and process any evidence or testimonies that are provided during the trial.  Trial by jury does help trials in the sense that it allows for people of the society to feel more relaxed that they get a say in the final verdict because the jury members represent the society but there are too many cons of having trial by juries.  Trial by jury hinders the justice system because it is very long winde and could be very costly as well.

Categories: Decision Making


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