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New Vocabulary: Jury Service and Trial

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Khalila Baker

on 19 February 2013

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Transcript of New Vocabulary: Jury Service and Trial

New Vocabulary:
Jury Service and Trial Language Arts
Q3W5 Wednesday Do you like crime shows, police dramas, or courtroom reality shows? Today we will use our context clues
skills to find the meanings of 10 new
vocabulary words. Do you remember
these types of context clues? This week’s new vocabulary words: You will get this chart for notes during class to help you write down the definitions for our 10 words. Do you know? What is a jury and
what does it do? Today’s
passage: One of the most important protections included in the U.S. Constitution is the right to a trial by jury.  This provision ensures that U.S. citizens who have been accused of crimes have the ability to defend themselves in front of a jury of their peers.
   
(1) In the early Middle Ages in England, three ways were used to convict or acquit an accused person: One was compurgation, in which the accused swore an oath of innocence and got others to say that he had good character.  If the person had enough believable witnesses, he was acquitted.  In trial by battle, people fought, or chose others to fight for them.  If the accused's side won, the person was considered innocent.  Finally, there was trial by ordeal.  For example, the accused might have had to take a stone out of a pot of boiling water.  If the wounds healed within three days, the person was acquitted.  (2) Unhealed wounds would incriminate a person.  As you can see, justice has come a long way. Jury- Service and Trial William the Conqueror created the first juries in England, around 1085.  These juries did not preside over criminal cases, but rather determined what land and property belonged to whom.  William's grandson, King Henry II, created the first criminal jury trials in England, in the mid-1100's.  (3) Although not perfect, this system stopped the worst forms of corruption. (4) Before it was in place, people could bribe officials to incarcerate unfortunate victims who had no chance to defend themselves.  (5) By creating a jury system, England's kings helped to establish the crown's jurisdiction over the courts.
   
(6) By the end of the 1200's, juries had assumed their modern role of determining whether an accused person was the culprit of a crime.  Every person had a right to a jury of social equals.  In 1302, an accused knight objected to a jury member because the juror was not a knight. 
   
The concept of a person's right to a trial by jury was brought to America by the early English settlers.  However, the British kings did not always honor that right with their colonists.  In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson accused the king of "depriving us in many cases of the benefit of the trial by jury." p. 2 It is not surprising, then, that the Founding Fathers wanted to assure the right of a jury trial to all U.S. citizens.  Ten amendments, called the Bill of Rights, were added to the original Constitution to guarantee certain basic rights to all citizens.  The Sixth and Seventh Amendments establish "the right to a trial by jury."  (7) These amendments ensure that people accused of  felonies can come before "a jury of their peers" or fellow citizens.  Almost all adult citizens are, at one time or another, called to serve on a jury.
   
In the United States, a person may be on either a federal or a state jury.  (8) Because the U.S. government prints our money, counterfeiting is a federal crime, tried before a federal jury.  (9) In contrast, most cases of arson are tried in state courts.  However, when a federal building is set on fire, the trial is held in a federal court.  (10) Like arson, cases of swindling are usually tried in state courts. 
   
Citizens' right to a jury trial and their willingness to serve on a jury are important safeguards of freedom and justice in the United States.  When you read about or watch trials in the future, think back to the days of "trial by hot water."  Then, you will appreciate today's justice system. p. 3 To do a successful job on the quiz, you will need to do several steps:
1. Look back at the sentence in the text that is the same number as the quiz question and read it again.
2. Make note of the new vocabulary word in the sentence.
3. Use the context clues to decide which answer choice means the same as (synonym for) the vocabulary word. When it's quiz time: Watch the following
video to see
what I mean... If you have time before class, check out the practice activities on today's lesson page and start getting some of
the definitions! See if this helps you
complete your quiz
questions!
Full transcript