Thursday, July 18, 2013

Life on an American 'jury.'

In America, if a person is arrested (taken by the police) and if the person has to go to trial (the process, in a courtroom, where the person is determined to be guilty or innocent) the person who was arrested can choose either a judge or a jury.

This is a judge:


This is a jury:


Basically a jury is usually made up of 12 people, chosen randomly (chosen by chance), who decide whether a person is guilty or innocent.  In Florida, sometimes there are just 6 jurors.  Yes, a person on a jury is a juror.

In the recent Zimmerman case, the jury was 'sequestered.' That means that the jury was not allowed to know what was happening in the world during the course/process of the trial.  They were kept in hotel rooms for 22 days.  The reason this is done is to make sure that they are not influenced by newspapers or TV stations or the internet during the trial.

But, this is America, where everyone likes to enjoy himself and have fun, so the court system spent a huge amount of money to entertain the jurors!  Here's kind of a funny article about how the Florida court system tried to keep the jury happy and in touch with their families during the Zimmerman trial.  (You can read about the Zimmerman trial elsewhere on this blog.)

The article:

http://start.toshiba.com/news/read/category/Top%20News/article/ap-other_jurors_distance_themselves_from_ju-ap-2

Vocabulary:

to acquit - to find 'not guilty.'  to convict - to find 'guilty'.

fatally shooting - shooting someone to death.

an excursion - a trip.

bowling -



screened - officials read the messages (so the jurors were not able to send or receive private messages.

logged - the date and time the messages were sent or received was listed.

distance themselves - one juror went on a TV show and made various statements. The other jurors wrote that they did not necessarily agree with these statements.

a sheriff - a type of police officer

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