The Old Time Radio Legal Thriller:
Mr. District Attorney was a popular radio program on NBC and ABC radio stations from 1939 to 1952. Each episode is a legal story that centers on the court trial.
Meet the Jury:
When a serious crime has been committed, such as murder, the American legal system chooses a group of citizens to judge the case. These people are just ordinary citizens, not lawyers or judges. They will sit through the trial, hear all the arguments, see all the evidence, and listen to the witnesses testify. They will discuss the case together and finally reach a decision. Their job is to decide whether the person on trial is ‘guilty’ or ‘not guilty.’ This group of people is called the jury, and their decision is called a verdict.
Jury Gone Wrong:
It is believed that a jury will discuss everything in detail, and use reasoning to persuade one another that the evidence points to a certain conclusion about what must have happened. With all this negotiation between the 12 people on the jury, the final decision should represent what most people in the country would decide if they too looked at all the facts. However, sometimes things go wrong with the jury system.
- Juries could be biased.
- Jurors might disagree with a law and not hold to the law when they make their decision.
- Jurors usually don’t want to be there.
- Jurors might not be smart enough to understand the arguments.
- Jurors’ decisions might be influenced by bribes and threats.
This radio play, called “Intimidated Jury”, is such a case.
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What do you think?
Does your country have a jury system, or does the judge decide?