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REVIEW units 13-15





Part 1


John Paul Ryan

At the turn of the last millennium in 1000 A.D., when the secular and religious realms of Western society were not clearly separated, the seed of our jury system had not yet been planted. Most accusations of criminal wrongdoing in England, where juries would first surface in the 13th century, led to trial by ordeal with the outcome believed to represent divine intervention. Civil disputes–  for example, about property–  were resolved by battle or, on occasion, by the statements of friends and relatives.1

As the year 2000 approaches, jury trials are available in the United States to all criminal defendants facing the possibility of incarceration, and to litigants in most civil cases except family disputes. Ironically, the jury has «withered» in England, where Parliament has abolished juries in most types of civil cases and restricted their availability in lesser criminal offenses.2

Americans today value the many positive virtues of our jury system. The jury helps to sustain democratic values. The jury is a key part of the due process protections guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. The jury is the guardian of the public trust and the voice of the community’s values inside a legal system dominated by lawyers and judges.

Yet we also hear many criticisms about juries in practice. Juries are biased. Juries disregard the judge’s instructions or the law itself when reaching a verdict. Juries know too much about a case from media publicity to be able to render a fair judgment, or juries know too little and are unable to comprehend the issues in complex cases. Finally, too many Americans shrink from their civic duty by seeking to avoid jury service.

This article looks at some of the issues and controversies involving our jury system as it presently operates. It attempts to measure progress in the jury as a democratic institution against critiques as to ways in which the system falls short and could be improved.

In the 20th century, the jury pool from which actual jurors are recruited and selected has become increasingly more representative of the racial, ethnic, and gender diversity of America. This has not happened easily, however. It has been the result of three constitutional amendments (the 19th, women’s suffrage; the 24th, abolition of the poll tax; and the 26th, the 18-year-old vote); the Voting Rights Act of 1964 (eliminating the literacy test for voting), and subsequent lawsuits challenging various practices of jury selection. It has resulted also from the elimination of certain statutory exemptions for service and the use of driver’s license, welfare, and other databanks to supplement voter registration lists. Accordingly, juries today more closely resemble the many faces of America. Whereas women rarely served on juries in the early part of the century, now women often outnumber men on juries. More slowly, African Americans and other people of color have gained entry to the jury pool and the jury box in the courtroom.

Nevertheless, controversies abound. High-profile criminal trials have created the impression that jury selection is unduly long and manipulated by attorneys seeking to pick «friendly» jurors. In ordinary cases, prosecutors are sometimes accused of using peremptory challenges to exclude African Americans from juries, a practice that the U.S. Supreme Court found unconstitutional in Batson v. Kentucky in 1986 (see «Key Jury Decisions of the U. S. Supreme Court»,  p. 463).

Unlike in the Middle Ages (see «The Citizen’s Jury»,  pp. 462-63), we now seek jurors who know nothing about the particular case or the parties involved. Today, we believe that only jurors who know nothing (or very little) about a case will be able to render a fair verdict. Finding such jurors is easy to accomplish in most routine cases; for example, the voir dire process helps to identify and exclude prospective jurors who know, or are related to, the parties, or who know about the facts of the case.

Yet in high-profile cases, where there has been extensive media coverage nationally or in a particular community, finding «disinterested» jurors may be quite difficult. If the media coverage is mostly local or regional, a change of venue (moving the trial from one county to another) may remedy the problem. If the case is nationally prominent, however, as in a mass or serial murder case, a very lengthy voir dire may indeed be required to find 12 jurors who say they have not yet formed an opinion as to the defendant’s guilt.

Concern for the prejudicial effects of pretrial news coverage has surfaced periodically throughout the 20th century. The early days of television produced some examples of particularly outlandish coverage. «The virulent and incriminating publicity … made the case notorious, and the news media frequently aired charges and countercharges …»,  wrote Justice Tom Clark in 1966 in Sheppard v. Maxwell, a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that set a new standard for determining the prejudicial effects of media coverage both before and during a trial (see «Key Jury Decisions»).



1. Sum up the main ides of the text and retell it in Russian.


2. Fill in the missing words from the box into the text below.

expected become judge evidence studies formally remind case convicted targeted juries charged scholars suggest empirical disagreed valid incorporating


Traditionally, juries have been 1)_________ to listen to the arguments and evidence presented during the course of a trial. As witness testimony, attorney arguments, and trials have 2)_________ longer and more complex, however, a variety of measures designed to enhance the performance of juries have been debated and often enacted.

Currently, all states permit jurors to take notes during trials. In a growing number of states, jurors may submit to the 3)_________ questions for witnesses, which the judge may ask at her or his discretion. In many states, jurors are provided notebooks of trial exhibits and/or written copies of the judge’s instructions. In Arizona and local jurisdictions in a few other states, jurors in civil cases are permitted to discuss the 4)_________ as the case progresses, prior to deliberations.3 Most of these measures require jurors to be more active and engaged «listeners» during the trial. Preliminary 5)_________ of the impact of these reforms indicate improved jury decision making. Yet practices vary considerably among the states, and there is no universal consensus about how «active» juries should be.

In reaching verdicts, juries are required to determine the facts and «follow the law»,  as trial judges 6)_________ instruct them to do. Yet today, as in the past, juries are sometimes accused of following their own wills rather than applying the law to the facts of the 7)_________ in question –  a practice referred to as «jury nullification». Jury nullification is not new, as Hans and Vidmar 8)_________ us: juries nullified England’s 18th and 19th century «Bloody Code»,  which allowed commoners to be put to death for stealing bread; America’s Fugitive Slave Laws of 1850, under which abolitionists were 9)_________ for aiding slaves to escape; and the prohibition laws of the 1920s.4

More recently, juries have 10)_________ the behaviors of police and other criminal justice system actors. For example, observers have noted that in the murder trial of O. J. Simpson and the drug trial of Washington, D.C., Mayor Marion Barry, 11)_________ may have used their power of the verdict to send a message to the police rather than to punish the accused.

Race-based jury nullification is particularly controversial. Should African American jurors vote to acquit defendants 12)_________, say, in drug cases if they believe that enforcement and prosecution of drug possession laws might be much more severe for blacks than whites? Most legal 13)_________ say no, yet some African American legal scholars, such as Paul Butler of George Washington University,14 )_________ that jurors should not support unjust laws today, just as they sometimes refused to do in times past.

In a landmark 15)_________ study in 1966, Kalven and Zeisel found that judges and juries in criminal cases usually agreed on what the verdict should be.5 Yet in the 20 percent or so of cases where they 16)_________, juries were much more likely to acquit than the judge would have been. Whether this finding would still be 17)_________ today, given the higher violent crime rate and the propensity of more serious cases to go to trial, we do not know. Juries are expected to follow the law, yet also to do justice by 18)_________ the values of the community and their own personal experience.


3. Read the following article and make a rendering of it in English.



Некоторые суды проходят с присяжными заседателями. Кто эти люди, каждый из них, какое отношение они имеют к конкретному делу и что мы о них знаем? На самом деле, присяжный заседатель это человек, участвующий в реальном судебном процессе в качестве непрофессионального судьи. Каждый обвиняемый в преступлении может требовать проведения суда при участии судьи, присяжных заседателей или и тех и других. Мало того, сами граждане нашей страны должны понимать, что участие в системе суда в качестве присяжных – обязательно для каждого, это обязанность, прописанная законодательством страны.

Решения, выносимые присяжными заседателями, оцениваются, как более честные и неподкупные по большей части, нежели возможные решения судей. Так, каждый присяжный заседатель в зависимости от своего мнения, выносит решение виновен осуждаемый или нет по конкретному делу. В некоторых случаях проводятся рассмотрения уголовных дел судом совместно с присяжными. В таком случае роль судейства разделяется таким образом: виновен человек или нет –  выносят присяжные, а наказание или его отсутствие за нарушение закона –  судья. Судья должен принять решения присяжных заседателей, чье общее решение получается из голосов каждого присяжного заседателя.


Part 2



Because of the contemporary media spotlight on high-profile trials, there is a heightened anxiety among some jurors about their lives after the trial, including fears of disruption and threats to their safety and well-being. There is also increasing concern that jurors will speak to the press not only after, but even during, a trial. In response, some judges have promised and granted anonymity to prospective jurors. For example, the identity of jurors was shielded in the trials of Theodore Kaczynski (the «Unabomber»), Timothy McVeigh (the Oklahoma City federal courthouse bombing), followers of Waco cult leader David Koresh, and the Los Angeles police officers accused of beating Rodney King.

Yet free-speech advocates, including media organizations, argue that such practices undermine the well-established Sixth Amendment principle that trials should be public. They worry that juries that decide their fellow citizens’ fates while cloaked in privacy (secrecy) will not be accountable for their verdicts or will render verdicts differently. Criminal defense attorneys, for example, have charged that anonymous juries are more likely to convict defendants, a charge supported by the findings of jury simulation research.6

Furthermore, some critics see juror anonymity as the first step toward a closed courtroom. Will the identity of witnesses be routinely shielded, as they already are in trials involving organized crime? In the future, will judges seeking to maintain order, recruit jurors, and finish trials close courtrooms more often? These difficult issues about the operation of the legal system are not easily resolved, nor are they entirely new. For example, the news media publicized the names and telephone numbers of the jurors in the Sam Sheppard murder case in the 1950s while also encouraging local citizens to call the jurors to voice their opinions during a trial in which the jury was not sequestered.

Jury service is one of the elements of civic participation about which Americans have shown ambivalence. The slow yet cumulatively successful inclusion of women and people of color on juries tells only one story about the jury in 20th century America.

A different, and contrary, story is the unwillingness of many to serve on juries. Recent studies have found that in urban jurisdictions, 20 percent or more of the citizenry who receive jury summons fail to report to the courthouse for potential service. There may be a variety of personal and occupation-related reasons for this. Jurors are typically paid a small amount by the courts, may serve on lengthy trials lasting weeks or even months, and on rare occasions may be sequestered, that is, removed to a hotel away from their families and community during the trial and deliberations.

Many occupations, including professionals and small business owners, are often granted automatic exemptions from service, either by state statute or in practice. Many businesses discourage their employees from serving on juries. A recent study found that more than 50 percent of employees earning under $40,000 annually would not be paid their wages during jury service.7 Where this happens, the result may be a disproportionate number of retired people, young people, and the unemployed serving on juries. A further wrinkle on civic participation is that some people fail to register to vote solely in order to avoid jury service; however, this is less likely to be successful given the expanded source lists used to develop jury pools.

Reforms have sought to address these and other problems so as to promote a more positive image of jury service and encourage more widespread participation. Many jurisdictions have adopted a «one day/one tria#148; system for jury service, in which jurors who are not selected for a trial on the first day of their appearance at the courthouse are dismissed. Some states, including New York in 1995, have adopted legislation that increases juror compensation and reduces the likelihood of jury sequestration. New York also eliminated many automatic exemptions, thereby seeking to reduce the burdens and increase the experience of service among a much wider number and range of people (New York City Mayor Rudolph Guliani recently served as foreperson of a jury in a civil case).

Recent surveys of Americans’ perceptions of the legal system indicate continuing support for, and confidence in, the jury system.8 Nevertheless, as we enter a new century filled with cultural and technological changes, we are bound to encounter a variety of unanticipated obstacles to the success of the American jury. We will need to be both vigilant and inventive in resolving these issues so as to ensure the continued viability of «the citizen’s jury».



1. Sum up the main ides of the text and retell it in Russian.


2. Fill in the missing words from the box into the text below.

juror secrecy instances overcome antithetical said deliberations closer comments providing court violates ensure


Accusations that a 1)_________ made racially biased statements about a defendant may require judges to break through the usual 2)_________ that surrounds jury deliberations, the Supreme Court ruled Monday.

«A constitutional rule that racial bias in the justice system must be addressed –   including, in some 3)_________, after the verdict has been entered –   is necessary to prevent a systemic loss of confidence in jury verdicts»,  Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote in a 5-to-3 decision.

«The Nation must continue to make strides to 4)_________ race-based discrimination»,  wrote Kennedy, who sided with the court’s four liberal members. «The progress that has already been made underlies the Court’s insistence that blatant racial prejudice is 5)_________ to the functioning of the jury system».

The court’s decision came in the case of Coloradan Miguel Angel Peña Rodriguez, who found out after his 2007 conviction that a juror 6)_________ he thought that Peña Rodriguez was guilty of sexual assault because he was Mexican and that «Mexican men take whatever they want».

The premise that jury 7)_________ should be confidential is older than the Constitution, and Kennedy noted that in other cases, the court has declined to probe behind the jury room door.

But charges of racial and ethnic animus provide a limited exception to the rule, he wrote, necessary «to 8)_________ that our legal system remains capable of coming ever 9)_________ to the promise of equal treatment under the law that is so central to a functioning democracy».

Kennedy was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. dissented. They said even 10)_________ as objectionable as those in the Peña Rodriguez case did not justify such a change.

Alito wrote that «with the admirable intention of  11)_________ justice for one criminal defendant»,  the  12)_________ «rules that respecting the privacy of the jury room, as our legal system has done for centuries, 13)_________ the Constitution».


3. Read the following article and make a rendering of it in English.

Кто-то очень хочет попасть в число присяжных заседателей, кто-то этого побаивается или явно боится, а кто-то откровенно избегает. Если вы из тех, кого интересует, как стать присяжным заседателем, знайте: самому предварительно для этого делать ничего не нужно, да и не позволено. Дело в том, что каждого присяжного заседателя выбирают автоматически, т.е. случайно. Попасть в качестве присяжного заседателя можно только на уголовное дело, видимо потому многие и боятся стать присяжными заседателями.

Как стать присяжным заседателем. Происходит все таким образом:

1. Обвиняемый по тяжкому или особо тяжкому преступления обращается с ходатайством о том, чтобы его дело рассматривал не простой суд, а суд присяжных;

2. Создается список, единожды на 4 года вперед, возможных кандидатов на роль присяжных заседателей;

3. Так как отказать обвиняемому в суде присяжных, то включается специальная компьютерная программа где отбираются люди случайным образом по списку;

4. Они то и становятся будущими присяжными заседателями;

5. Далее вам необходимо подтвердить свою готовность стать присяжным заседателем, либо отказаться от этой роли. Но помните, что отказ должен быть обоснован и соответствовать разрешенным требования к отказу.

Кто подходит на роль присяжного заседателя, а кто –  нет.

Стоит отметить и то, кто может стать присяжным заседателем. Сюда относятся такие кандидаты:

1. Гражданин РФ,

2. Возраст от 25 лет до 65 лет,

3. Дееспособный гражданин,

4. Не имеющий непогашенную судимость человек,

5. Не имеющий неснятую судимость человек,

6. Гражданин, не состоящий на учете в психоневрологическом диспансере,

7. Гражданин, не состоящий на учете в наркологическом диспансере,

8. Не являющийся подозреваемым в преступлении,

9. Знание языка, на котором ведется судебный процесс,

10. Физически и психически здоров, без изъянов, которые мешают участвовать в судебном процессе.



Part 3


Hannah Leiterman


The jury of one’s peers is a cornerstone of the principle of democratic representation set out in the U.S. Constitution. It offers U.S. citizens both a vehicle to shape our government as jurors and protection to us as the accused. In Duncan v. Louisiana, the 1968 landmark U.S. Supreme Court case extending the right to trial by jury from the federal Bill of Rights to the states, Justice Byron White wrote that «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 and against the compliant, biased, or eccentric judge».

Over time, the Supreme Court has helped to ensure that the jury is both fair and representative by outlawing the practice of excluding nonwhites and women from jury service, limiting the powers of lawyers to exclude individuals from juries during the process of voir dire, and expanding the safeguards against outside influences on the jury. By looking at the administration of justice before the advent ot the jury system, the early history of juries, and the evolution of the modern jury in the United States, one sees the key role of the jury in ensuring fairness and public confidence in the justice system.

The earliest forms of the jury system in England scarcely resemble the modern jury of one’s peers. In the 12th and 13th centuries, civil and criminal disputes were commonly settled by battles or ordeals (for example, requiring the accused to dip his hand in boiling water to see if it became infected) under the assumption that God would intervene on behalf of the right or innocent party. By the time Pope Innocent III forbade priestly involvement in ordeals– thus taking away their holy sanction– in 1215, a jury system was loosely in place in Norman England. In this system, the king’s court chose twelve persons to testify as to what they knew about the facts of a case or the character of the parties involved.

Over the following centuries, the role of the jury shifted, as jurors gradually took on the role of witnesses in a «presenting» jury and then offered a final verdict of guilty or not guilty. The inherent conflict in these two roles encouraged the English Parliament in 1352 to pass a statute allowing jurors ruling on guilt versus innocence to be excluded if they had presented evidence. Eventually, as witnesses were brought in to testify, jurors were not expected to know the facts of the case, but rather, to determine them.

In colonial America, the jury became a vehicle for the colonists to assert new ideas and principles, particularly in cases of conflict with the Crown.1 The 1732 trial of John Zenger, a newspaper printer accused of publishing articles critical of the king, provided an early forum to debate the proper role of the jury. In that case, the jury was asked only to determine whether Zenger had in fact printed the newspaper in question; a judge sympathetic to the king would then decide whether he was guilty of sedition. Acting on Zenger’s behalf, Andrew Hamilton argued that the issues in the case involved an «intertwining of law and fact», and argued more generally for an expanded role of the jury: «Jurymen are to see with their own eyes, to hear with their own ears, and to make use of their own consciences and understandings, in judging the lives, liberties, or estates of their fellow subjects».2

In the following decades, the role of the jury and the jury selection process came to the forefront of public discussion, and several states passed legislation dealing with jury selection in order to thwart British attempts to stack juries with loyalists. After the American Revolution, juries were seen as having even greater importance. Thomas Jefferson wrote: «were I called upon to decide, whether the people had best be omitted in the legislative or judiciary department, I would say it is better to leave them out of the legislative. The execution of the laws is more important than the making of them».



1. Sum up the main ides of the text and retell it in Russian.


2. Fill in the missing words from the box into the text below.

much sought prosecution indictments composed potentially number large noncitizens jeopardy venire jurors gender cause question reason


Today’s jury system is very 1)_________ the product of the social change that has followed the writing of the Constitution, the development of state and local laws, and Supreme Court decisions that 2)_________ to provide the Bill of Rights protections to everyone (see «Key Jury Decisions of the U. S. Supreme Court «). There are two forms of the modern jury, each with a distinct purpose. The grand jury assesses evidence in criminal cases and issues a decision as to whether the 3)_________ may indict an individual, while the petit (trial) jury decides guilt in criminal cases or liability and monetary damages in civil cases.

The grand jury does not exist in every state; in fact, only 14 states require grand juries to issue 4)_________ for all criminal prosecutions. Grand juries listen to evidence for criminal cases only. They are 5)_________ of between 6 and 23 jurors, hence the name grand from the French, and serve for a period of time (often several months), 6)_________ hearing many cases. The jurors don’t have to agree unanimously for the prosecutor to issue an indictment. In many states a two-thirds or three-fourths majority is required, while in some states as few as 12 of 23 jurors may prosecute.

Trial, or petit, juries (also from the French) are smaller usually 12 people based on the English model, though the 7)_________ of jurors varies by state. In criminal cases, they must reach guilty verdicts unanimously, yet in more than a third of the states, only a  8)_________ majority (typically 2/3 or 3/4) is needed to render a verdict in civil and minor criminal cases (for exceptions, see «Key Jury Decisions»). If the jurors cannot agree on a verdict, a hung jury occurs and a new trial may be held or the case dismissed.

The 9)_________, or list of potential jurors in a community, is generally taken from driver’s license and/or voter registration lists. The only people ineligible to serve on juries are the mentally ill and 10)_________. In many states, however, individuals with jobs deemed important to society (teachers or doctors, for example), those whose jobs would be put in 11)_________ by a long absence (small business owners, for example), and non-English speakers are excused from jury service, either by statute or practice.

In the U.S. jury system, 12)_________ undergo a pre-selection voir dire (meaning «to speak the truth») process in which the lawyers for both sides and/or the judge 13)_________ potential jurors to determine whether they might be biased. Both defense and prosecution can dismiss jurors for 14)_________ by establishing some  15)_________ why the juror might be prejudiced. Both sides also have a fixed number (set by statute) of peremptory challenges, or dismissals the lawyer can make without providing a reason, though peremptory challenges cannot be used to exclude jurors because of their race or 16)_________.


3. Read the following article and make a rendering of it in English.


Одна из проблем российских судов – это трудности с привлечением граждан в присяжные заседатели. Темп жизни и большая рабочая нагрузка делают участие в судебном процессе неподъемной задачей для многих, и они просто не приходят в суд для набора в коллегию присяжных.

Но с какими именно сложностями сталкиваются люди, получившие повестку с предложением стать присяжным заседателем? Во-первых, как показал проведенный «Клубом присяжных» опрос более 100 граждан, бывших присяжных из 20 российских регионов, намерение исполнить свой гражданский долг и придти в суд по повестке зачастую влечет проблемы на работе.

Наши работодатели очень неохотно отпускают сотрудников для участия в судебных заседаниях, хотя по закону присяжный освобождается от выполнения трудовых обязанностей вплоть до вынесения вердикта. В результате, чтобы стать присяжным, приходится жертвовать отпуском, либо вступать в какие-то неформальные договоренности с руководством.

Это удивительно, потому что российский бизнес как никто другой нуждается в справедливом и беспристрастном правосудии. Руководители компаний, не отпуская сотрудника в коллегию присяжных, не осознают, что завтра жюри присяжных может понадобиться им самим, чтобы защитить свой бизнес, особенно в схватке с рейдерами, либо в защите от необоснованных претензий со стороны государственных органов.

В результате, вместо того, чтобы добиваться распространения суда присяжных на экономические споры, –  такой механизм успешно работает в цивилизованных странах, – российские бизнесмены препятствуют участию в суде присяжных именно представителей «среднего класса»: граждан с активной жизненной позицией, которые в залах судов особенно нужны.

Во-вторых, граждан отпугивает неизвестность и неопределенность того, что с ними будет происходить в судебном процессе. Просто судебная система недостаточно занимается их просвещением. Когда в марте прошлого года мы открыли «Горячую линию» «Клуба присяжных», многие вопросы были связаны с «бытовыми» проблемами: будут ли в суде перерывы на обед, как долго будет длиться судебный процесс, можно ли рассказывать о суде знакомым и не привлекут ли за это к ответственности.

Но уверяю, что бояться идти в суд присяжных не стоит. Судьи, рассматривающие дела с присяжными, стараются организовать процесс таким образом, чтобы гражданам было комфортно в нем участвовать.

Также хочу отметить, что к нам поступило много обращений от людей, которые хотели бы стать присяжными, но не попали в выборку и не получали повестку. Их волнует вопрос: можно ли стать присяжным по своей инициативе, и куда обращаться? Вынуждена разочаровать: стать присяжным можно лишь на основе случайной выборки. Это обеспечивает незаинтересованность присяжных в конкретном деле и их беспристрастность. Но даже если вас не выбрали в этот раз, вы можете прийти на судебное заседание и увидеть, как в реальности работает суд присяжных.