Студопедия — Words of Wisdom About Jury Service
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Words of Wisdom About Jury Service

The jury, passing on the prisoner's life, May have in the sworn twelve a thief or two Guiltier than him they try.

William Shakespeare

Our civilization has decided... that determining the guilt or innocence of men is a thing too important to be trusted to trained men... When it wants a library catalogued, or the solar system discovered, or any trifle of that kind, it uses up its specialists. But when it wishes anything done which is really serious, it collects twelve of the ordinary men standing round The same thing was done, if I remember right, by the Founder of Christianity.

G. K, Chesterton

" Write that down, " the King said to the jury, and the jury eagerly wrote down all three dates on their slates, and then added them up, and reduced the answer to shillings and pence.

Lewis Carroll

I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.

Thomas Jefferson

It's not only the juror's right, but his duty to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgement, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court

John Adams

Chapter IV- Fair T rial: the Ju ry 145

Providing an accused with the right to be tried by a jury of his peers gave him an inestimable safeguard against the corrupt or overzealous prosecutor.

Justice Byron White

TASK 3, Read the article describing the current debate on jury system in the UK:

Jury System Reform Defeated in Parliament

In 1999 the UK Home Secretary Jack Straw unveiled plans to limit the right to trial by jury. In the UK defendants in certain cases can choose whether they want a trial by magistrates or by judge and jury. The Home Secretary said, " England and Wales has the only jurisdiction system where defendants have the right to choose their court. In addition, trial by jury is a more expensive process than a hearing by magistrates." Defending the proposed legislation, Mr, Straw said that it would streamline the criminal justice system, save 123 million pounds a year and prevent some defendants from " working the system" *

The jury trial in its modern form stems back to 1355H Serious crimes are automatically heard by a jury as well as a wide range of middle-ranking offences such as theit and handling stolen goods, There were plans to abolish jury trials for complex fraud cases. The Home Office pointed out the huge cost of such cases to the taxpayers and the strain on judges, juries and defendants. The government argued that some defendants abuse the current system

MAGISTRATES (Justices of
the Peace or JPs) are judicial
officers who judge cases in *
lower courts. They are usually
unpaid and have no formal
legal qualifications, but they
are respectable people who
are given some training,
V___________________________________ J

delaying their trial by pleading not guilty in order to get a trial by jury, then changing their plea at the last moment in order to get a more lenient sentence.

In both chambers of Parliament, however, the legislation was condemned as unjust, and the bill described as " one of the worst pieces of legislation to come for many years". The majority of the MPs in the House of Commons voted against the proposals to allow magistrates to decide whether defendants accused of lesser offences should be entitled to jury trial. The Lords also condemned the bill as bringing in a twoi-tier system in which the rich would be able to defend their reputation but the poor would not.

Opponents of the bill believe it would have restricted a

146 Just English- Английский для юристов

fundamental right to jury trial by profession, civil liberties groups,

one's peers and would erode opposition parties and the Lords

public confidence in the criminal rejected Jack Straw's policy.
justice system. The legal

TASK 4. Answer the following questions:

L What was the subject matter of the bill proposed by the UK Home Secretary?

2. What were the reasons for introducing this bill?

3. What crimes do juries in England and Wales deal with?

4 In your opinion, why were there plans to abolish jury trials for complex cases?

5. Why was the legislation rejected by both Houses of Parliament? Explain the position of the Commons and the Lords.

6. Why would the poor suffer from this kind of legislation?

TASK 5. Study the opinion poll on the UK government initiative to limit the right to trial by jury. Which of these opinions are for / against the jury system?

The new bill is considered to be the beginning of the end for Britain's ancient jury system. The members of the public were asked a question " Do you believe it, is the fairest system available or is it old-fashioned and in need of reform? "

It's clear that the system is far from ideal. Juries of ordinary people are by their very nature more influenced by emotion than facts because they aren't trained to deal with these. That being said, magistrates are probably not that much better placed to do so.

John Cahillt UK

The right for a suspect to have a jury has been welded into English law for hundreds of years. What right has Straw to deny people this basic right?

Nick, England

Flawed as the jury system is, the right to be judged by one's peers is not something that should be tossed aside lightly, and certainly not on the grounds of expense.

Kit, UK

Chapter IV, Fair Trial: the Jury

As a retired Cop I can tell you that the rule is this: if you are guilty get a good lawyer and a jury. If you are innocent you would have a better chance with a judge only.

Ту Northcutt, USA

In real life it doesn't make much difference whether you opt for trial by jury or trial by magistrates- In the Netherlands there is no trial by jury whatsoever, stilL I cannot see any signs of a despotic police state looming above the horizon, democracy going to pot, or personal freedom going down the drain,

Frank Drop, The Netherlands

If a defendant is tried by a true 'jury of his peers', then a jury trial would perhaps result in justice. If, as is currently true in the United States, and possibly also in the UK, a jury is selected from people who are not peers of the defendant, who know nothing of the case, and have nothing better to do with their time then a jury trial becomes a two-ring circus- The ring which produces the best performance wins. Justice is incidental. It becomes all about winning.

Jim, USA

The idea of 12 good men/women is flawed. The jury system is a lottery and you have no guarantee that the people have an adequate grasp of the concepts involved The courtroom is a forum for a display of semantics by lawyers and too many people are misled by it

Lucas, UK

Trial by jury is part of what the English-speaking nations of the world understand by democracy. The ordinary people don't only decide who shall write the laws, by electing the MPs, they also decide, by serving on juries, against whom those laws shall be applied. If you argue that they are incompetent to do the latter, then by the same token you are in fact arguing that they are incompetent to do the former.

T. D. Erikson, UK

Just English. Английский для юристов

Although a jury by one's peers may have its flaws, I can think of no better or less flawed system available. Sure, it may be expensive, but since when has there been a price tag on justice? If somebody can come up with a better non-biased judicial system then please feel free. But until then, I see no better alternative.

Frederick Seal, USA

There seems to be a continual erosion of our judicial system. It's another step towards justice by decree. Magistrates are essentiaily illegitimate: they are not elected, nor randomly chosen; they are appointees of the State. Their use should be restricted to very minor cases. The right to be judged by one's peers is ancient and fundamental Justice dispensed by 'experts' or officials is abhorrent

Mark Parker, UK

The people need to be involved in the justice system. No juries» only appointed judges? I don't think so.

Joyce Cross, USA

Having worked as a Barrister's Clerk for some time I have come to the conclusion that jury trials do not always result in justice. Most criminals are accomplished liars, resulting in many juries being lead astray from the truth. As a result justice is not reached

Hannah Bell, England

Ask many innocent victims of this flawed system The law is a complex business and best left to those who have devoted their lives to studying it, Replace juries drawn from ordinary people with teams of professional jurors trained and qualified to perform the function.

John, England

Chapter IV. Fair Trial: the Jury



Do Juries Deliver Justice?

Express your opinion on the question aboue.

Prepare your arguments for or against Divide into two groups — pro and con, and conduct a debate.

Appoint the 'Chair' of the debate who will give the floor to the speakers of both teams.

Use the active vocabulary from the Unit.

It's Interesting to Know

Cyber Justice

An artificial-intelligence program called the Electronic Judge is dispensing justice on the streets of Brazilian cities. The program is installed on a laptop carried by a human judge and helps to assess swiftly and methodically witness reports and forensic evidence at the scene of an incident. It then issues on-the-spot fines and can even recommend jail sentences, ft is part of a scheme called lJustice-on-Wheels, J which is designed to speed up Brazil's overloaded legal system by dealing immediately with straightforward cases-Most people are happy to have the matters sorted out on the spot, says the program's creator, who sits in the state's Supreme Court of Appeals. He adds that the idea is not to replace judges but to make them more efficient

After police alert the rapid justice team to minor accidents, they can be on the scene within 10 minutes. Most cases require only simple questions and no interpretation of the law — the decision-making process is purely logical The program presents the judge with multiple choice questions, such as " Did the driver stop at the red light? " or " Had the driver been drinking alcohol above the acceptable limit of the law? " These sorts of questions

Just English, Английский для юристов

need only yes or no answers. The program gives more than a simple judgement: it also prints out its reasoning- If the human judge disagrees with the decision it can simply be overruled. Some people who have been judged by the program do not realise that they have been tried by software.

It could be some time before a similar system takes the place of an English court. " It would have to satisfy the authorities that it was absolutely foolproof first, " says a spokesman for the Lord Chancellor's office, which oversees courts in England and Wales. But it could be put to use in the U.S,, where the discussion is under way to set up a mobile system to resolve disputes over traffic accidents.



Chapter V


Just English. Английский для юристов



/■ * \
1. What role do correctional institutions play in the modern
2. Which of the following words refer to:
a) goals of punishment
b) correctional institutions:
- Cell m Penitence
* Custody • Penology
» Deterrent • Prison
• Imprisonment • Reformation
• Incarceration • Reformatory
• Isolation • Rehabilitation
• Jail/Gaol * Retribution
• Penitentiary • Solitary confinement
v ____...... я  

TASK 1. Read the following text and write douyn Russian equivalents for the words and expressions given in bold type;

Development of the Prison System

A prison is an institution for the confinement of persons convicted of major crimes or felonies. In the 19lh and the 20" 1 centuries, imprisonment replaced corporal punishment, execution, and banishment as the chief means of punishing serious offenders-

Historically exile, execution, and various forms of corporal punishment were the most common penalties for criminal acts.

In the 12th century England jails were widely used as places for the confinement of accused persons until their cases could be tried by the king's court. Imprisonment gradually came to be accepted not only as a device for holding persons awaiting trial but also as a means of punishing convicted criminals.

During the 16th century a number of houses of correction were established in England and on the continent for the reform of minor offenders, In these institutions there was little segregation by age, sex, or other condition- The main emphasis was on strict discipline and hard labour.

Chapter V, Imprisonment: Retribution or Rehabilitation? 153

Although reformation of offenders was intended in the houses of correction, the unsanitary conditions and lack of provisions for the welfare of the inmates soon produced widespread agitation for further changes in methods of handling criminals. Solitary confinement of criminals became an ideal among the rationalist reformers of the 13lh century, who believed that solitude would help the offender to become penitent and that penitence would result in reformation-

Meanwhile, strenuous opposition to the prolonged isolation of prisoners developed very early, especially in the United States. A competing philosophy of prison management, known as the 'silent system1 was developed The main distinguishing feature of the silent system was that prisoners were allowed to work together in the daytime. Silence was strictly enforced at all times, however, and at night the prisoners were confined in individual cells.

Further refinements were developed in Irish prisons in the mid-1800s. Irish inmates progressed through three stages of confinement before they were returned to civilian life. The first portion of the sentence was served in isolation. Then the prisoners were allowed to associate with other inmates in various kinds of work projects. Finally, for six months or more before release, the prisoners were transferred to 'intermediate prisons1, where inmates were supervised by unarmed guards and given sufficient freedom and responsibility to permit them to demonstrate their fitness for release. Release was also conditional upon the continued good conduct of the offender, who could be returned to prison if necessary.

These were the steps made to fit the severity of the punishment to the severity of the crime, in the belief that the existence of clearly articulated and just penalties would act as a deterrent to crime. Since then, deterrence, rather than retribution, has become a leading principle of European penology.

TASK 2. Answer the following questions:

1- What is a prison?

2. What were the means of punishing offenders before the 19th century?

3. What was the purpose of jails in the 12lh century England?

4. What were the main features of houses of correction in the 16th century?

5. Why did the rationalist reformers of the 18lh century seek to establish solitary confinement of criminals?

6. What is the 'silent system'?

7. What were Irish prisons like in the mid-1800s?

154 Just English. Английский для юристов

TASK 3- Read the text below and answer the following questions:

1. What arc the purposes of incarceration?

2. How are these purposes obtained?

3. What three categories of prisons are described in the text?

4. What is the general principle of confining offenders into different kinds of prisons?

Present-day Penal Institutions

Modern prisons are quite diverse, but it is possible to make some generalisations about them. In all but minimum-security prisons, the task of maintaining physical custody of the prisoners is usually given the highest priority and is likely to dominate all other concerns. Barred cells and locked doors, periodic checking of cells, searches for contraband, and detailed regulation of inmates' movements about the piison are all undertaken to prevent escapes. In order; o forestall thievery, drug and alcohol use, violent assaults, rapes, and other types of prison crime, the inmates are subjected to rules governing every aspect of life; these do much to give the social structure of the prison its authoritarian character,

The need to maintain security within prisons has prompted many countries to separate their penal institutions into categories of maximum, medium, and minimum security. Convicted offenders are assigned to a particular category on the basis of the seriousness or violent nature of their offence, the length of their sentence, their proneness to escape, and other considerations. Within a prison, the inmates are often classified into several categories and housed in corresponding cellblocks according to the security risk posed by each individual. Younger offenders are usualiy held in separate penal institutions that provide a stronger emphasis on treatment and correction

Prisons generally succeed in the twin purposes of isolating the criminal from society and punishing him for his crime, but the higher goal of rehabilitation is not as easily attained. An offender's time in prison is usually reduced as a reward for good behaviour and conscientious performance at work. The privilege of receiving visits from family members and friends from the outside world exists in almost all penal systems.

Chapter V. Imprisonment: Retribution or Rehabilitation'* 155

TASK 4. Find in the text above the English equivalents for the following words and expressions:

1. заключённый

2. нападение с применением насилия

3. некарательное воздействие и исправление

4. осуждённый

5. реабилитация личности преступника

6. тюрьма с максимальной изоляцией заключённых

7. тюрьма с минимальной изоляцией заключённых

8. тюрьма со средней степенью изоляции заключённых

TASK 5. Explain the meaning of the follouring words and expressions. Make up sentences of your own:

» conscientious performance at work

• proneness to escape

• security risk

• to forestall thievery

• to give smth. the highest priority

• to maintain security within prisons

TASK 6. Match the following English expressions with their Russian equivalents:


1) breach of prison а) 'промышленная тюрьма1
2) closed prison (тюрьма, где заключённые
3) industrial prison работают в цехах, мастерских)
4) open prison Ь) бежавший из тюрьмы
5} prison bar с) бежать /совершить побег/
6) prison breaker из тюрьмы
7) prison education d) быть приговорённым
8) prison lawyer к тюремному заключению
9) prison terra е) отбывать срок в тюрьме
10) prison ward f] перевоспитание или обучение
11) to be sent to prison заключённых (профессии) в тюрьме
12) to do one's time (in g) побег из тюрьмы; побег
prison) из-под стражи
13) to escape from h) тюремная камера
prison i) тюремная решётка
  j} тюремное заключение,
  тюремный срок
  к) тюремный юрист
  1) тюрьма закрытого типа
  т) тюрьма открытого типа

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