Your task is to take a convincing position (Pro or against) on our current system of trial
Please read and edit my essay based on the task above.
The essay should be focus on the jury system, not the different trials
You can rewrite or add your opinions to convince your position used other credible resources.
One of the most controversial issues today in the area of criminal justice is that of the right of all defendants to a trial
by jury of his or her peers. Often, as seen in the pairing of the essays of the noted defense attorney, media personality, and Harvard Legal scholar Alan Dershowitz against the words of Christie Davies, the debate can be very polarized. Dershowitz calls juries ?Unsung Heroes,? stating that ?Juries Offer True Justice? in the populist and democratic spirit of America, while Christie Davies?s ?Trial
by Jury Should Be Abolished? takes the contrary view, calling the right to trial
by jury an outdated system that was viable only in eras of less complicated legal and technical questions, and in a more homogeneous America.
However, the polarized views of Dershowitz and Davies must be given more nuance with references to actual specifics of the jury system. A further consideration of specific issues and kinds of cases suggests that trial
by jury should not be maintained an absolute right. Nor should it be abolished entirely. Instead, the idea of trial
by jury can be retained in the American legal system through the use of introducing more exceptions and special courts. Thus, the best solution may be to compromise and to limit trial
by jury to specific cases and courts. Having particular courts for particular legal issues, like medical malpractice or other highly technical issues would remedy many of the problems that critics of the current system currently grapple with as legal scholars and moral individuals.
Historically, it is important to remember that when trial
by jury was introduced in England to replace trial
by ordeal, ?it was unquestionably an improvement. Trial
by jury enjoyed high favor in the enlightened world through the 18th century and was passed from England to the United States. And there it still rests in our Constitution's Sixth and Seventh amendments.?(Grenier, 1994) But, Davies and Richard Grenier both point out that ?during the last decade ignorant and often quite silly jurors have dished out awards of millions and even billions of dollars? in medical malpractice cases under questionable circumstances, more out of emotional sympathy than legal compliance with their duty as citizens or respect for medical facts and data. (Grenier, 1994)
Even supporters of the jury system question the ability of juries to nullify laws they find unfair. While Robert Anton Wilson believes that ?Jury Nullification: Freedom's Last Chance,? to have the common man or woman contest bad laws in the justice system, Mark S. Pulliam counters in ?Jury Nullification Should Not Be Allowed? that this gives too much power to individuals without a legal background who may be swayed by emotion rather than legal logic. Thus, even within the jury system, a balance must be struck between democracy and legal formalities. With that in mind, many areas of the law already do not include trial
by jury as an absolute right for defendants. For example, ?in landlord tenant litigation, trial
by jury is a rarity. Most leases contain a standard waiver of right to trial
by jury, so cases are normally heard in special courts set up for landlords and tenants, with judges appointed from the ranks of legal aid lawyers.? (Potch & Doyle,1995)
This reality acknowledges within the legal system today that not all cases are appropriate for jury trials
, given the complexity of the law at stake and the potential for bias against certain groups in the majority of the population, such as landlords. There could be special courts for medical malpractice and complex fraud cases, for example, heard by judges, so that inexperienced juries would not have to give up years of their life to hear about cases difficult for indivdiuals unfamilar with medical minutiae, or technical jargon in the case of some patent law, to understand the details about particular drug trials
lawyers love drug
companies: With deep pockets, poor reputations, and a customer base composed largely of people who are already sick and dying, they make the perfect targets for big-money lawsuits,? wrote The National Review in an editorial about the recent conflicting verdicts received by the medical company Merck, about its painkiller Vioxx. (The National Review, 2005)
However, to do away with all juries suggests that the American system of justice does not trust the common decenct and morality of the common individual. Barbara Gunnell offers an alternative, interesting perspective about the jury system from the point of view, not of an attorney or client, but a juror. ?Being on a jury is many people's only experience of active citizenship, and of having a genuinely important role to play in society. Increasingly accustomed to being dispensable at work and exercising no power at all as voters, few of us have much experience outside family life of being asked our views on matters of importance.? (Gunnell, 2000)
The jury system thus has a larger role in encouraging an active and engaged form of citizenship that is the glue that keeps America together. True, France, Germany and many other democratic European countries have an entirely different legal system that only occasionally uses juries. (Grenier, 1994) But America has always had an especially inclusive tradition of democratic opinion. Moreover, so-calledoccasional use is not no use at all. In cases where some emotion should come into play, such as matters of life and death when allocating the death penalty, including the voices of one?s peers in the debate seems appropriate, to add an additional and more expansive note of emotional understanding to the legal procedings. Likewise, in a rape case, several opinions rather than a single judge?s opinion might be a better way of determining a victim?s credbility on the stand. However, in other cases, where the facts must hold sway yet the defendants are unsympathetic?look to a judge.
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