homepage logo

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury

By Staff | Jul 6, 2011

Jury service is an important civic and community duty. Through service on a jury, citizens have a direct hand in the administration of justice. It is a privilege and a responsibility that should be accepted with pride.

The justice system simply cannot work fairly unless jurors perform their duties properly.

The main goal of any jury is to ascertain the guilt, or lack thereof, in a crime “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Legal dictionaries define the phrase “beyond a reasonable doubt” as “the standard that must be met by the prosecution’s evidence in a criminal prosecution: that no other logical explanation can be derived from the facts except that the defendant committed the crime, thereby overcoming the presumption that a person is innocent until proven guilty.

If the jurors or judge have no doubt as to the defendant’s guilt, or if their only doubts are unreasonable doubts, then the prosecutor has proven the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and the defendant should be pronounced guilty.

Even so, the guilt or innocence of the defendant is up to the sworn jury assembled prior to the trial – and their collective definition of “reasonable doubt” determines the verdict.

Some of us have lost our faith in the judicial system, but in reality we have lost our faith in ourselves and in the fair and just judgement of our peers.