One of the rights of a person who is facing a serious criminal charge is that he or she can have a jury trial. The jury has to be comprised of the defendant’s peers, but this doesn’t mean what many people think it means. Here are some points to remember about a jury of your peers in the criminal justice system:
Saying that you need a jury of your peers is representative of people who are equal to you in every regard is a misleading thought. Instead, a jury of your peers means that the members of your jury are members of the community around you. They are representative of the area where you live. They might not be the same gender, race or religion. They may not be close to you in age.
Your defense attorney and the prosecutor can move through the jury selection process in an effort to choose a suitable jury. Each side has challenges that they can use to dismiss jurors from the pool. These can’t be based on race or gender, but there are other factors that can be cited in these cases. For example, you wouldn’t want a police officer’s spouse on a jury for a case involving violence against an officer.
The role of the jury is important. These individuals will decide whether you are guilty or not guilty based on the arguments of both sides. This is a big duty that can have a direct impact on a defendant’s future so it must be taken seriously. The jury selection process has to consider these points.
Source: FindLaw, “What Is a Jury of Peers?,” accessed Jan. 17, 2018