US: The trouble with juries and death penalty cases

25 Jan 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

AP NewsBOSTON (AP) — One prospective juror was brutally frank when asked whether he could consider a sentence of life in prison for the man accused of bombing the Boston Marathon.BOSTON (NEWS1130) – Jury selection for the trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is moving more slowly than expected as a judge probes prospective jurors on their feelings about the death penalty. The process of finding “death qualified” jurors has slowed down jury selection in federal case against Tsarnaev, who is charged with setting off two bombs that killed three people and injured more than 260 during the 2013 marathon. They say so-called “death-qualified” juries do not represent a true cross-section of the community, adding those against execution also tend to be more willing to consider an insanity defence

The Capital Jury Project, a consortium of university researchers, interviewed about 1,200 jurors in 353 capital trials in 14 states beginning in the early 1990s. The group’s research has shown that death penalty juries are more likely to convict and that jurors often make up their minds about what punishment to hand down long before they’re supposed to, said William Bowers, director of the project. Juries are then supposed to weigh those factors when deciding whether a defendant should get life or death. “The principal finding is that half of the jurors said they knew what the punishment should be before the penalty stage of the trial and another one-quarter of them said they were pretty sure,” Bowers said. “The thing they don’t recognize or seem to have overlooked is that they are not supposed to decide what the punishment is until they hear the evidence in the second phase.” Death penalty opponents have argued that to get around this kind of pre-judgment, separate juries should be chosen to hear evidence in the guilt phase and the punishment phase.

Here you can write a commentary on the recording "US: The trouble with juries and death penalty cases".

* Required fields
All the reviews are moderated.
Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts

About this site