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CANADIAN TRIAL JUDGES' VIEW OF THE CRIMINAL JURY TRIAL A REPORT TO THE LAW REFORM COMMISSION OF CANADA (FROM STUDIES ON THE JURY - CANADA, 1979 - SEE NCJ-62650)

NCJ Number
62653
Author(s)
A DOOB
Date Published
1979
Annotation
RESULTS ARE PRESENTED OF A SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE SENT TO 530 JUDGES HAVING JURISDICTION TO HEAR CRIMINAL JURY TRIALS IN CANADA; JUDGES' REACTIONS TO ISSUES REGARDING THE JURY SYSTEM ARE ADDRESSED.
Abstract
A TOTAL OF 179 JUDGES RETURNED QUESTIONNAIRES THAT WERE FILLED OUT WITH VARYING DEGREES OF COMPLETENESS. QUESTIONS RELATED TO SUCH TOPICS AS OVERALL EVALUATION OF THE JURY; JURY FUNCTION; JURY SERVICE, ORIENTATION, SELECTION, SIZE, AND PARTICIPATION; MAJORITY VERDICTS; CHARGE TO THE JURY; AND PATTERN JURY INSTRUCTIONS. RESPONSES INDICATED OVERALL APPROVAL OF THE JURY SYSTEM AND CONFIDENCE IN JURORS' VERDICT-FINDING ABILITY. MOST JUDGES BELIEVE THERE IS A NEED FOR STREAMLINING JURY SERVICE. MOST ARE CONTENT WITH SELECTION PROCEDURES EXCEPT FOR 'STAND ASIDE'. MANY FEEL THAT THE NEED FOR JURY TRIALS SHOULD CONTINUE TO BE CORRELATED WITH THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE OFFENSE. OVER HALF OF THE RESPONDENTS ALLOW JURORS TO ASK QUESTIONS AND OVER ONE-THIRD ALLOW NOTE TAKING. IN ADDITION, MOST BELIEVE THE PRESENT SIZE OF THE JURY SHOULD BE MAINTAINED AND THAT IMPROVEMENTS COULD BE MADE IN JURY INSTRUCTIONS THROUGH STANDARDIZATION. FOOTNOTES, STATISTICAL TABULAR DATA, AND AN APPENDIX ARE PROVIDED IN THE STUDY. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED--LWM)