In the United States, when a trial takes place, it begins with the jury selection, which is the process whereby, according to law and precedent, members of a particular trial jury are chosen. The right to have a jury dates from the Magna Carta and it is incorporated in the Sixth Amendment of the Bill of Rights, the 17th Sept. 1787, which theoretically guarantees the right to an impartial jury: "in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury". Indeed, the Federal jury selection and service act in 1968 recognized the right of defendants to a Grand jury and to a petty jury selected randomly from a representative cross-section of the population where the judicature sit. At federal level, the law organizes the recruitment of juries in two steps: - constitution of a general list - selection of jurors within the list, who will sit in the determined case.
[...] His attorney wrote appeal to the Supreme Court and made the claim that: exclusion of members of black race in the jury when a black accused is being tried is done in order that the accused will receive excessive punishment if found guilty, or to inject racial prejudice into the fact finding process of the jury” - Powers v. Ohio in 1991 - Edmonson v. Leesville Concrete Co., Inc. in 1991 - Georgia v. McCollum in 1992: where the Court barred defense attorneys from using peremptory challenges to exclude prospective jurors on the basis of race. All these cases show that the problem of racial selection is unfortunately still relevant today. [...]
[...] Then the judge explains the conditions, the functions and the exemption causes; at the end the petty Jury is chosen randomly. Voir Dire The last step consists of a personal examination of potential jurors. This questioning is made by the judge when the trial takes place in a federal court. In most of the courts of the States, this is done by the defense and prosecution attorneys and lasts longer (sometimes several weeks). This extra time is justified by the frequency of appeals (cf. infra). [...]
[...] Incompatibilities There are no legal incompatibilities but the federal law provides some exceptions without consultation: - servicemen - policemen, fire service - civil servants of government or districts Only in one case in Portland in Oregon (Juror 27) was the chief of Police a juror.* Designation of jury Venireman list or venire First, a list of people corresponding to required conditions (previously listed: U.S. citizenship, age, place of residence . ) is drawn up. This list should reflect a representative cross selection of the Community. [...]
[...] Since the trial of Larry Davis, where there was a jury composed of ten blacks and two Hispanics, the process of scientific jury selection is questionable and the racial strife in U.S. reappears. On several occasions, the local prosecutor has used his peremptory challenges to remove all blacks from the jury. Some famous trials which illustrate this intentional racially selection: - William Kennedy Smith Case, in 1965, where this back man was convicted of rape by an all-white jury. - Baston v. Kentucky Case, in 1986, where Baston, a black man, was convicted of second-degree burglary and other offenses by an all-white jury. - Ford v. [...]
[...] Bibliography - *Criminal Courts : Structure, Process, and Issues, Rabe, Champion - English Law and Terminology. A guide for Practioners and Students, V. Sims, Lingua Juris - Criminal Justice Today, 5th edition, F. Schmalleger - Criminal Justice, Jay S. [...]
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