Is it possible to get a truly fair and impartial trial in the United States? Identify and explain three procedural safeguards that are in place to make sure that the process is fair.
REPLY TO MY CLASSMATE’S RESPONSE TO THE ABOVE QUESTIONS AND EXPLAIN WHY YOU AGREE? (A MINIMUM OF 150 WORDS)
I do not believe that there is a trial that 100% impartial. Whether that is the jury or another aspect of the court. In the jury, there is always some biased in everyone. The way you were brought up and see the world is a big factor.
However, there are safeguards to ensure a “fairer” or “more impartial” trial.
The first is a speedy trial. This is fair because everyone is innocent until proven guilty, however if an innocent man/woman gets charged with murder and held in jail without bail, just to be found innocent…. that is unfair, cruel, wrong, etc. Speedy trial makes things fair. Speedy trial will help with eyewitness accounts and evidence that would otherwise be forgotten or erased over time.
The second safeguard is an impartial jury. However, I do not believe that a jury is 100% impartial, there are ways to make it as fair as possible. One way is questioning the possible jurors to strike biased. If a guy was on trial for a DUI manslaughter and a possible juror’s daughter was killed by a drunk driver, than she may have some biased and cannot make a fair decision based solely upon the facts presented in the trial. Also, if it is a high-profile case in that area, and cannot jurors that are fit, then a change of venue can be ordered.
And a third safeguard is unbiased judge, which I think is not obtainable unless that judge has no opinions on anything. Judges are appointed and some judges’ views are conservative, and some are liberal, not that they are trying to be “biased”, but their beliefs hinder a fair trial. Judges need to have discipline to hear the facts to a case, not hear say, or have their feelings involved.
The largest threat to a fair trial is the judge. They have the power to sustain comments that can make or break a case. The have the power to deny evidence. The hold a lot of power. Imagine the defense lawyer saying something that is out of left field with no evidence and not the jury cannot “unhear” it no matter if the judge says to disregard that statement. And what if he does not tell the jury to forget that statement? Does that mean he/she agrees?