Unanimous verdict vs majority rules verdicts essay

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Unanimous verdict vs majority rules verdicts essay

Background[ edit ] A 19th-century jury Jury nullification is the source of much debate. Some maintain that it is an important safeguard of last resort against wrongful imprisonment and government tyranny.

GreenF. Jury nullification may also occur in civil suits, in which the verdict is generally a finding of liability or lack of liability rather than a finding of guilty or not guilty. For this reason, prosecutorial nullification is typically defined as declination to prosecute.

Today, there are several issues raised by jury nullification, such as: In some cases in the United States, a stealth juror will attempt to get on a jury in order to nullify the law.

Unanimous verdict vs majority rules verdicts essay

The early history of juries supports the recognition of the de facto power of nullification. By the 12th century, common law courts in England began using juries for more than administrative duties.

Juries were composed primarily of "laymen" from the local community.


They provided a somewhat efficient means of dispute resolution with the benefit of supplying legitimacy. The general power of juries to decide on verdicts was recognised in the English Magna Carta [18] ofwhich put into words existing practices: No free man shall be captured, and or imprisoned, or disseised of his freehold, and or of his liberties, or of his free customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or in any way destroyed, nor will we proceed against him by force or proceed against him by arms, but by the lawful judgment of his peers, or by the law of the land.


For a trivial offence, a free man shall be fined only in proportion to the degree of his offence, and for a serious offence correspondingly, but not so heavily as to deprive him of his livelihood. In the same way, a merchant shall be spared his merchandise, and a husbandman the implements of his husbandry, if they fall upon the mercy of a royal court.

None of these fines shall be imposed except by the assessment on oath of reputable men of the neighbourhood. Largely, the earliest juries returned verdicts in accordance with the judge or the Crown.

This was achieved either by "packing the jury" or by " writ of attaint ". Juries were packed by hand-selecting or by bribing the jury so as to return the desired verdict. This was a common tactic in cases involving treason or sedition.

In addition, the writ of attaint allowed a judge to retry the case in front of a second jury when the judge believed the first jury returned a "false verdict".

If the second jury returned a different verdict, that verdict was imposed and the first jury was imprisoned or fined. This history, however, is marked by a number of notable exceptions.

Ina jury acquitted Sir Nicholas Throckmortonbut was severely punished by the court. Almost a century later inin the first known attempt to argue for jury nullification, a jury likewise acquitted John Lilburne for his part in inciting a rebellion against the Cromwell regime.

The Judges were so astonished at the verdict of the jury that they had to repeat their question before they would believe their ears, but the public which crowded the judgment hall, on the announcement of the verdict, broke out into cheers so loud and long as, according to the unanimous testimony of contemporary reporters, had never before been heard in the Guildhall.

The cheering and waving of caps continued for over half an hour, while the Judges sat, turning white and red in turns, and spread thence to the masses in London and the suburbs. At night bonfires were lighted, and even during the following days the event was the occasion of joyful demonstrations.

The jury found Lilburne "Not guilty of any crime worthy of death". The judge attempted to find the jury in contempt of court; this was ruled inappropriate by the Court of Common Pleas. Ina grand jury refused to indict the Earl of Shaftesbury. Then ina jury acquitted the Seven Bishops of the Church of England of seditious libel.

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Juries continued, even in non-criminal cases, to act in defiance of the Crown. In both cases, messengers were sent by Lord Halifax to seize allegedly libelous papers.

As the defendant had undoubtedly killed the Earl, the law as it stood required the jury merely to look at the facts and pass a verdict of "proven" or "not proven" depending on whether they believed the facts proved the defendant had killed the Earl.

To avert this injustice, the jury decided to assert what it believed to be their "ancient right" to judge the whole case and not just the facts, rendering the verdict of "not guilty", which remains in Scotland to this day.

Over time, however, juries have tended to favour the "not guilty" verdict over "not proven" and with this the interpretation has changed. Now the "not guilty" verdict has become the normal verdict when a jury is convinced of innocence and the "not proven" verdict is only used when the jury is not certain of innocence or guilt.

This is evidenced by such decisions as the case Stettinius v.Download-Theses Mercredi 10 juin Download-Theses Mercredi 10 juin The jury must consist of at least 11 persons for a majority verdict in criminal proceedings.

A unanimous verdict (verdict agreed to by all members of the jury) cannot be reached after a reasonable time (at least 8 hours) after the jurors have gone to the jury room to consider their verdict.

[Ca Civ Pro ยง ] A general verdict is the most common type of jury verdict. The jury simply renders a decision in favor of one party or the other on all issues submitted to them.

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A general verdict is the most common type of jury verdict. I. Medieval Icelandic crime victims would sell the right to pursue a perpetrator to the highest bidder.

18th century English justice replaced fines with criminals bribing prosecutors to drop cases. In this paper, we compare the performance, in the laboratory, of two of the most widely used unanimous rules: unanimity rule and majority rule with veto power (henceforth Unanimity and Veto).

3 Under Unanimity, agents must consent or dissent. The reform is then adopted if and only if no one dissents.

Unanimous Verdict vs. Majority Rules Verdicts Essay Sample - Oak Lawn