The different forms of jury trial are in criminal and civil courts. In civil courts, veryery few cases are trialled by a j,ury, but examples of casbe are libel and slander, malicious prosecution, false imprison, ent and fraud. In criminal cases, trial by jury is now confined to trials on indictment before a crown court; therefore,,, only a small amount are tried by jury. Also, it is considered that the greater expense involved in holding a jury trial is justifiable for more serious offences.
I don’t think that it is justified to refer to the jury in terms of ‘the lamp that shows that freedom lives for many reasons firstly if people have to attend the trial when being called as a juror,,, that is anything but freedom as they don’t have a choice whether they want to do it or not. Although on the other hand, some may say that it is justified as it means that the general public are getting a say. The advantages of jury trials are that it adds certainty to the law, giving a general verdict that cannot be misunderstood. For example, in a criminal case, the jury states whether they are finding the person guilty or not guilty. Also, they can be seen as protection against oppressive or politically motivated parties as they have the right to find defendants innocent or guilty.
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Disadvantages of the jury system include that many jurors aren’t sufficiently qualified to do the task. Some say that some jurors being summoned aren’t intelligent enough and haven’t got a good enough education. Also, there has been a concern with the average jury’s understanding of complex fraud cases. Another disadvantage is that research has shown that an acquittal is about twice as likely in a jury trial due to their inability to do the task or sympathy with defendants. There are also problems with the fact that jurors may be biased for or against certain groups. Examples may be that they may favour attractive members of the opposite sex or be prejudiced against police or other authority members. Another disadvantage is that manipulation of the right to a jury trial is a problem.
Many guilty defendants choose jury trial to make use of the delay that comes with this; there are three main reasons for this; it may put pressure n the Crown Prosecution service to reduce the charge in exchange for the defendant pleading guilty. Second, they may also do this because it may make the prosecution witness less likely to fail to attend the trial or weaken their recollection. The final reason they may do this is that if they are being held on remand, they are kept in a local prison they are allowed privileges that convicted criminals aren’t. Another problem is that trial by jury costs more; also jury service is unpopular, but refusal to act as a juror leads to contempt of court. Finally, another disadvantage could be that some details of cases may stress members of the jury.