The Right To A Free Trial
total power is too strong, and could be used to aid some people while harming
a jury system, but no such thing has occurred. It has produced a feeling of
was Wisconsin v. Leroy Reed, a criminal trial for the possession of a firearm by
an ex-convict. The simulated jury concerned an ex-military man who shot two
police officers, killing one and seriously injuring another. The police had
The man shot the officers because he thought they were robbing his house. The
Hollywood version, titled 12 Angry Men, revolved around a teenage boy who was
significance, and the deliberation and verdict will be examined for the three
The actual jury itself, has much bearing on how a verdict will result.
fifteenth amendment was passed, and the Grandfather Clause, White Primaries, and
although the population’s majority, were the last to be given suffrage rights.
The men in the movie seemed affluent and business-like. Some of the men came
from meager backgrounds, yet they all act as if they were solvent. Also, the men
were adorned with professional attire. In contrast, Inside the Jury Room chose
with many different life experiences. Also, the dress was not at all formal.
The differences among the jurors contributed greatly to the insight and opinions
on the man’s condition, mental retardation, while others could be more
objective. A well-rounded jury can, in my opinion, produce a more educated and
thought-out verdict. In the simulated jury, the jurors were selected randomly
decision tremendously. The majority of Maymester students are reverse-transfer
students and tend to be, statistically, more conservative and tough than normal
community college students. Ergo, the verdict was not fairly considered from a
wide array of viewpoints. To the lawyer and the defendant, jury selection is
probably the most important vehicle for attaining a verdict that is favorable to
One major problem in having average citizens making such important, even
life threatening decisions, is that often jurors do not understand how
significant of a role they are playing in the process. During Inside the Jury
Room, due to Leroy’s retardation, the jury felt that the case never should have
come to trial. He did not understand what he was doing wrong and he was of no
danger to society. One juror called it a waste of time and a ?Mickey Mouse?
case. Another juror would not even formulate an opinion for the group. Rather,
he said he did not care, but would go along with the majority. Being a juror
is an important role, and nonchalance can cost an innocent man his freedom, or
their power, and decided they had a purpose beyond the basic criteria and laws.
12 Angry Men, as well, displays a jury who originally did not comprehend their
Baseball tickets and the overwhelming heat concerned the jurors more than the
actual case. Some members played games and told business stories rather than
pay attention. It was not until key points expressing doubt in the boy’s guilt
appeared that everyone realized their significance. Life experiences and
stubbornness still prevented many of the jurors from understanding the concept
of ?reasonable doubt.? In the jury simulation, the jurors did not understand
Hopefully, a verdict would be discussed and deliberated more thoroughly in a
realistic situation. Only one juror splintered from the majority to promote a
members seemed more focused on concluding the class session, than on producing
justice. Hence, until pointed out, juries seldom realize their significance in
the judicial system.
Throughout time, deliberations have stayed predominantly similar.
During Inside the Jury Room, the judges told them to consider the questions: Did
could not own a handgun? If these were all true, then Leroy Reed should be
found guilty. The judge did not tell them that they still had the power to
produce a not guilty verdict. The members started by choosing a foreman and
continued by discussing each individual’s opinions and views on the case.
anonymity. They then followed a continuous pattern of discussing their
differences and taking votes until a unanimous verdict was reached. They
concluded that the man did not have the ability to understand the law nor what
crime he committed, and thus, nullified the law for Leroy Reed. 12 Angry Men,
predominantly in lieu of paper ballot votes. One major problem among this jury
was the concept that he was guilty until proven innocent rather than the reverse.
They looked at the guilty evidence as proof, and reasonable doubt was dismissed.
realistically, no jury would have discovered points such as the glasses and the
stab wound. Another negative aspect of the case is that members tried to
pressure others, until a common verdict was met. In a positive light, when the
last ?guilty? man decided to acquiesce his verdict, the other jurors wanted him
to believe in his decision and not just go along with the majority. A ?not
guilty? verdict was eventually reached due to doubt, not necessarily innocence.
In the jury simulation, the jurors took an initial vote for first and second
degree murder. Then they produced a vote for voluntary manslaughter. Next a
discussion to overcome the obstacles occurred until a unanimous verdict was
reached. Our jury decided that the man was guilty of voluntary manslaughter.
Due to a split initially between voluntary manslaughter and self-defense, a
punishment of five years, a minimum for the crime committed, was issued to the
authority and power to uphold what is right, just, or lawful.?(1, 993) Justice
was served in all three cases because they were thoroughly deliberated and
considered. When sufficient doubt was present, a ?not guilty? verdict was
passed. Cases were re-created bringing all point-of-views to light. The in-
class simulation was more similar to that of Inside the Jury Room due to the
appearance, and unbiased opinions of the members. The judicial system, is the
only part of government with little corruption; due strongly to the jury
procedure. Through the years, specifics have changed in our juries, but the
same basic concepts and procedures still exist today. The right to a jury, is
one of America’s greatest rights and will hopefully remain that way for years to