Since Tildes participants generally come from nations with legal systems based on English common law or otherwise requiring jury trial for criminal cases, I'm curious what, if any, experience...
Since Tildes participants generally come from nations with legal systems based on English common law or otherwise requiring jury trial for criminal cases, I'm curious what, if any, experience others have had of serving on juries, trying cases before a jury, or facing a jury as a defendant.
I was unable to participate as fully in this discussion as I would have liked, as I was called to jury service on a child molestation case this week. I'm deeply saddened to say that it was the second time I've served as a juror for judgment on an accused child sex abuser.
That case is now concluded, we returned a guilty verdict today, and I'm at liberty to discuss it if questions arise.
One of the startling things about this case was the huge jury pool called - sixty people, of whom only 8 were seated (6 jurors and two alternates, and we weren't informed as to who the alternates were). The dismaying detail was that of those sixty people, representing a very diverse county, the selected jury pool consisted of 7 white, middle-aged, college-educated, relatively affluent women, and one older white man.
In the U.S., the right to a trial by jury is foundational - it's specified in the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as follows:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
Though it's not commonly considered as such, the U.S. civic duty to provide service as a juror is on par with military service, as illustrated here: https://www.hqmc.marines.mil/News/News-Article-Display/Article/551818/jury-duty-is-civil-duty/