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2100 word response 1 reference/intext citation Due 2/3/2024 Cottle Jury reform is a significant concern in modern criminal justice, as the effectiveness of

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100 word response 1 reference/intext citation Due 2/3/2024

Cottle

Jury reform is a significant concern in modern criminal justice, as the effectiveness of juries in serving their intended purpose is often questioned (Baldwin, 2019). To improve the jury system, several measures can be considered.

Firstly, the selection of jurors should be more inclusive and representative. Research suggests that a diverse jury pool can enhance the fairness and legitimacy of the system (Hans & Vidmar, 2012). Expanding the pool of potential jurors to ensure a broader cross-section of society would help mitigate biases and increase public trust.

Secondly, judges’ instructions to jurors need to be clearer and more comprehensive. Studies have shown that jurors often struggle to understand complex legal instructions (Diamond & Rose, 2005). Providing simplified and easily understandable explanations of the law and the jurors’ role in applying it would enable them to make more informed decisions based on evidence rather than personal biases or misunderstandings.

The voir dire process, where potential jurors are questioned to assess their suitability, should be more rigorous. Research indicates that current voir dire practices often fail to identify biases effectively (Hans & Vidmar, 2012). Allowing more meaningful questioning by attorneys and providing jurors with a safe space to express potential biases would help ensure a fair and impartial jury.

Sequestration, or isolating jurors from external influences during a trial, should be considered in high-profile or sensitive cases. This measure has been shown to reduce the potential for external biases and maintain the integrity of the process (Hans & Vidmar, 2012).

The requirement for unanimous verdicts could be reevaluated. Some argue that allowing for majority verdicts, such as a 10-2 or 11-1 decision, could help prevent hung juries and reduce the burden on the justice system (Baldwin, 2019).

Resolving hung juries, where jurors cannot reach a unanimous decision, is another area for improvement. Alternative methods like allowing for a supermajority decision or mandatory mediation could be explored to avoid costly and time-consuming retrials (Baldwin, 2019).

In conclusion, jury reform is crucial to ensure a fair and effective criminal justice system. By addressing issues related to juror selection, judges’ instructions, the voir dire process, sequestration, unanimous verdicts, and resolving hung juries, we can enhance the jury system’s ability to uphold justice and maintain public trust.

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