In this lesson, students will role play real lawyers as they carry out a voir dire simulation for jury selection. They will draft lists of favorable characteristics of jurors beforehand to aid in their questioning. Then, students will be presented with a list of thirty potential jurors and will impanel either a six-person or a twelve-person jury based on the size of the class. By reflecting on the impaneled jury towards the end of the session, students will think critically.
Jury service is a way for U.S. citizens to participate in the judicial process. This resource provides information about juror selections, types of trials heard by jurors, and how judges and juries work together.
Jury service is an example of hands-on participation in democracy. In a five-minute video, 11 federal judges talk about jury service as an opportunity for citizens to be part of the judicial process that has an impact on daily life. The video, which deals with Constitutional principles and the practicalities of jury service, is part of the Court Shorts video series that includes installments on the rule of law and separation of powers.
Why is jury service important? What is the role of the jury? Jury service is the most direct way of participating in our democracy. In this video, students question federal judges from across the country on the basics of jury service.
Citizens, who had served on juries, were asked how they would describe the experience from a personal point of view. Read their impressions and insights.
Read the following descriptions in this quiz and decide who should be able to serve on a jury and explain why. After you have recorded your initial impressions, review them with another student. Working together, the class will draft a list of characteristics that they think would qualify someone to serve, then compare them to the actual qualifications.
If the constitutional guarantee of a fair trial is to be realized, the process used for selecting jurors must also be fair. Before Edmonson v. Leesville Concrete Co., the constitutional principle of equal protection under the law had been applied to federal jury selection practices in criminal trials but not in civil trials. In this lesson, students learn about jury selection and how the role and responsibilities of government in civil and criminal jury trials are viewed by the Supreme Court.
What does the Sixth Amendment mean in the lives of teens? Landmark Supreme Court decisions have made the Sixth Amendment relevant to high school students, whether they become future jurors or defendants. These activities, which engage all learning styles, apply Supreme Court precedents to relatable, teen scenarios. The resources, which have been well tested in federal courtrooms across the country, are ready for immediate use in courtrooms and classrooms with no additional preparation.
In this lesson, students are asked to select from a list of potential jurors those most likely to be fair and impartial in a trial of Goldilocks v. The Three Bears. Students are prompted to justify why each juror they chose would be impartial, and so gain an understanding of the challenges associated with selecting an impartial jury.