The Jury: Composition and Selection
Trial by jury, born in ancient Greece and reborn a thousand years later among the Germanic tribes, eventually grew strong roots in the British Isles.1 The American jury began its life as England’s jury at common law in the American colonies. After the American emancipation, the Fourth and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution became the legal anchors for the civil and the criminal jury. Through the centuries that have since elapsed, trial by jury has remained one of the hardiest institutions of our judicial system.2 This development is the more remarkable because the jury in the rest of the world either never existed, or has been sharply reduced. In the aftermath of the French Revolution, the English criminal jury moved to the European continent, first to France, and from there in steps almost over the whole of Europe, eventually even into the Russian Empire.3 Dimitry Karamasov, we may recall, was tried and convicted by a jury. Today the criminal jury, as a separate body of lay judges, survives on the European continent only in Belgium and Austria.
KeywordsPrima Facie Case Grand Jury Jury Selection Prospective Juror Federal District Court
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