Flashcards in 8 Preparing for Trial Deck (42):
Why do we have trials?
- Search for the truth
- A test of credibility
- Conflict-resolving ritual
What does the jury serve as a purpose? (3)
- Fact Finder
- "Conscience of the community"
What are the requirements in Canada for Jury selection?
- Be 19 years of age
- Be a canadian citizen
- Be a resident of the province
that served you.
- Have not been convicted of a
- Be physically able to perform
- Can speak an official language
The pool of jury selection must represent a cross section of the community. Why?
- It makes juries more hetero-
genous. More diverse.
- The larger the panel, the more
members of smaller religious
and ethnic groups there are on
Does having a cross section of the community as a jury help?
Yes. Groups composed of diverse
people are better problem-solvers than those who share the same background.
Why is it a good thing that the Jury give the appearance of legitimacy (by being diverse.)?
The jury should reflect the standards of the community. If there are certain parts excluded, the community is likely to reject both the legal process and it's outcomes.
How do you get chosen to participate in a jury?
Your name gets drawn at random from the voter's list.
What happens if you get a letter saying you are picked for jury duty?
You must complete the Jury Certification Form and return within 10 days of receiving your summons.
Who is exempt from serving jury duty?
- Police officers, lawyers, trustee
in bankruptcy, employee of the
ministry of Attorney General, a
person convicted of certain
criminal offences within the last
If you are exempt and are chosen, what do you do?
Mail a copy of your birth certificate, note of occupation, job title and department to the sheriff's office.
Do we take part in litigation consulting and jury "manipulation" in Canada?
No. But the United States does.
What does the Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1982) ensure about Jury selection?
That the supreme court ensures juries are unbiased. There are random samples of citizens and the criminal code provides a means to challenge jurors.
Why is there limited research in jury decisions?
Not allowed to observe jury decision making in real cases or interview jurors about their decisions.
What happens before the trial starts?
- Written Interrogatories
What does discovery mean?
Gathering statements by witnesses, police records, documents, material possessions, expert's opinions, etc.
What is it called when the verdict is decided by a judge?
When can a bench trial happen?
In criminal trials if the opposing party consents they can choose to have a bench trial instead of a jury trial.
What did Eisenberg et al. (2005) find about data collected from jurors, judges and attorneys?
- 350 trials
- The rate of jury/judge
agreement was 70%. When
there was a disagreement, the
juries became more lenient.
- Judges and juries did not differ
substantially, but these results
call into question the notion that
juries are unable to set reason-
able limits on punitive damages.
What does "venire" mean?
Forming a panel of prospective jurors.
What does the supreme court forbid about jurys?
The systematic and intentional exclusion of religious, racial and other groups from jury panels.
Historically, what population usually made up these venires?
Middle-aged, well-educated white males.
How many qualified jurors ignore jury summons, even though doing so constitutes a violation of law?
- About half
What is the voir dire process?
To determine if the prospective jurors are prejudice, the judge / attorneys question prospective jurors.
Can the attorneys ask the jurors anything they want in a voir dire?
Who asks, what questions, how the questions are phrased, how long the questioning goes on is all up to the judges discretion.
What is a limited form of voir dire?
Involves yes or no questions asked by the judge and answered by the group.
What is the problem with limited form of voir dire?
Yes or no questions offer little insight into jurors' beliefs and attitudes. Many may be hesitant to publicly state their biases.
Social desirability effect.
look up in text.
What is an extended voir dire?
Judges and attorneys ask open-ended questions and question jurors individually.
What are the advantages of extended voir dires?
Open ended questions encourage jurors to talk more about their feelings and experiences. Individual questioning can result in disclosures that jurors might not otherwise offer.
Why do most courts not use extended voir dires?
They take a long time.
What is a typical voir dire procedure like? (limited or extended)
Involve a compromise between the two versions. They ask group questions, but have brief follow-up questions of selected individuals.
What are the two mechanisms by which panelists are excluded from serving on a jury?
1) Challenge for cause
2) Peremptory challenge
What is "challenge for cause?"
In any trial, each side can claim that particular jurors should be excluded because they are biased (have a relationship with one of the parties)
*Each side has an unlimited number of challenges for cause.
What is "Peremptory Challenge?"
Each side may exclude a designated number of prospective jurors without a reason stated. The number allowed varies by jurisdiction, type of case and seriousness of the charge.
What is the purpose of the peremptory challenge? (multiple)
- Allow attorneys to challenge potential jurors who they believe are unsympathetic to their client.
- Allow those in a lawsuit to play a role in selecting the people who decide the outcome, thus they may be more satisfied with that outcome.
- Allow the attorney to "coach" prospective jurors and influence those who will make up the jury.
What can peremptory challenges not be based on?
Solely on a jurors race or gender.
What is an implicit personality theory? Is this legitimate?
A peron's organized network of preconceptions about how certain attributes are related to one another and to behaviour.
What are jurors personality/attitude characteristics as predictors of verdicts?
Research suggests that enduring aspects of one's personality (ex: authoritarianism, extraversion) may influence courtroom decisions. This is usually only to a modest degree.
What is the similarity-leniency hypothesis?
A strategy of jury selection based on the assumption that jurors who are demographically or socially similar to the litigant will be predisposed to favour that litigant.
What is the black sheep effect?
People may sanction those who reflect negatively on and embarrass the in-group.
Do Juror's demographic characteristics predict verdicts?
They are sometimes related. However, the correlations are weak and inconsistent.