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Since the Magna Carta in 1215 there has been no clearer principle of criminal cases in English or American constitutional law. It is the right and duty of juries to judge the facts, understand the law, the moral intent of the accused; the justice of the law, and to hold all laws invalid, that are, in their opinion, unjust or oppressive, and all persons guiltless in violating, or resisting the execution of, such laws.
English colonists took democracy seriously. Before their arrival to America English colonists were not represented in Parliament. They referred to the New World jury as "the palladium of liberty, the palace of liberty."
An area of the brain associated with reasoning comes into play in deciding guilt or innocence, but an emotional region gets involved in sentencing.
Grisly exhibits and tormenting testimony are intended to make jurors experience the victim(s) psychological trauma. At murder trials sequestered jurors have no emotional support from family or friends. A debriefing process eases jurors back to everyday life.
Jury Instructions (Part 1) Alabama through Mississippi (Part 2) Missouri - Wyoming
When Can a Judge Throw Out a Jury's Verdict? -- Judge's may only throw out guilty verdicts. They never overrule a jury acquittal. The law varies from to state, but generally a judge usually throws out guilty verdicts for either of 2 reasons:
1) A jury returns a verdict when there was not enough evidence to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; or
2) A mistake or wrongdoing by are participant taints the trial.
Federal Grand Juries -- Grand juries differ from trial juries in several ways. Usually grand jurors are chosen from the same pool as trial jurors. A judge selects and swears in a grand and trial juries. A complete guide.
The states also use grand juries. Indeed, every state uses the grand jury for at least some purpose, with many using grand juries both to bring criminal charges and to investigate civil and/or criminal matters. The sections below explain how state grand juries compare to federal grand juries in terms of their structure and the activities they carry out.
In New York's criminal-justice system there are two types of juries named for their sizes; a petit jury, the most common, consists of one trial, open courtroom, prosecution and defense attorneys, rules of evidence, 12 jurors, unanimity, reasonable doubt, etc. New York's private grand jury consists of 23 people; a simple majority of 12 may indict. Leading questions and hearsay are allowed. Witness are never cross-examined. Reasonable doubt is not a considerationr. Over a month-long term, a grand jury may hear 150 cases without hearing from a defense attorney.
Research Civil Jury Verdicts and Settlements - The Premier Source for Researching Civil Jury Verdicts and Settlements - The National Association of State Jury Verdict Publishers -- NASJVP publisher of Jury Verdict Summaries from the United States. Detailed Civil Litigation information from attorneys who tried the cases, used by attorneys and insurers for case evaluation.
How credible are child witnesses? Child Witness Cases
Landmark Trials of Modern Ethics Series -- Today, advances in technology and changing social norms force us to confront ethical issues that rarely arose in the past. Sophisticated medical devices can keep a patient alive in ways that were once impossible. But what if a patient—or a patient’s family—doesn’t wish these mechanisms to be used? Another concern involves the end of life—who decides when it occurs? If a terminally ill person chooses to die, does that person deserve medical assistance? Or how far can a child go when he believes his parents are abusive?
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