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LS308 Law and Society Unit 9 assignment

The third leg of the barstool is the jury which is a

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The third leg of the barstool is the jury, which is a right ensured by the Framers of the Constitution in Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution and in Amendment VI of the Bill of Rights. Whereas the role of the judge in a criminal court is to answer questions of law, the function of the jury is to work as finders of fact. The jury has been seen as essential to the legal system because it embodies the effort to bring the public into the decision making in the courtroom. Also, the rare possibility of a jury trial shapes the decision-making of prosecutors in many ways. Prosecutors fear a jury acquittal or deadlock, so they plan a precise plea bargain in order to avoid a jury trial. Lastly, the jury’s verdict often receives much attention from the news media and other interested parties (see O.J. and Casey Anthony), which in turn works as a deterrent by showing other potential wrongdoers and victims that justice can and will be served. (Barkan, 2009) The jury plays the role of the voice of the people in society. Juries are chosen from a
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LS308 Law and Society Unit 9 assignment pool of citizens that are summoned for jury duty. The jury gives an unbiased judgment based on the facts presented in a jury trial. The role in society for the jury is to ensure that individuals are given a fair trial, and to ensure that justice is served. Without even one of these three elements, the barstool that is our legal system would simply be a few pieces of wood screwed together that would roll around in circles without serving any legitimate purpose. When all the elements are working, however, the American legal system works as a barstool on which justice can find a seat, and that the individual rights and liberties of the people of the United States are protected. Without one of the elements, the criminal legal system would not function properly and would leave room for errors and innocent people being convicted, as well as guilty people being released. The elements work together as a system of checks and balances in order to ensure the security of the civil liberties and rights of the people.
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LS308 Law and Society Unit 9 assignment REFERENCES: Barkan, S. (2009) Law and Society: An Introduction. Prentice Hall. Pearson Education, Inc. Felstiner, W., Abel, R. and Sarat, A. (1980-1981) Law & Society Review Vol. 15, No. 3/4, Special Issue on Dispute Processing and Civil Litigation, pp. 631-654 Nader, L. and H. F. Todd (1978). The Disputing process : law in ten societies. New York, Columbia University Press.
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