The Deaf Juror Essay

3311 words - 14 pages

TITLE: The Deaf Juror

By: Shaquilla Daniel

Name of subject: Cape Law /Unit 1

Date:03/02/11

QUESTION: How does the disqualification of deaf citizens from the jury duty alter the role of

the jury?

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Aims and objectives ,Methodology ………………………………………….pg .3

Introduction…………………………………………………………………...pg.4

Functions of the Jury………………………………………………………….pg.5

Discussion of Findings……………………………………………………….pg.8

Recommendations…………………………………………………………….pg.14

Conclusion……………………………………………………………………pg.15

...view middle of the document...

.unsound of mind, or imbecile or deaf,

or blind or afflicted of any permanent infirmity of body and mind…”.Can this statement be

viewed as prejudiced? The legal system in Trinidad and Tobago needs to put measures into place

to make it possible for deaf and hearing impaired individuals to serve as jurors to ensure that

such persons Constitutional rights are not violated by the judicial system.

This Act does not uphold the advantages the Jury system is suppose to provide. According to Antoine[1] “a jury consists of ordinary citizens who are able to apply their common sense to the matter ... . = Purpose of jury Sole judge of fact rather than law (Antoine) So according to Antoine, a juror is expected to (1) provide the accused with a trial by his peers who understands his society and (2) provide democracy, the opportunity for the public to participate in the judicial system. Does excluding the deaf effectively allow for these functions to exist? Is a deaf accused tried by his “peers”, if he is tried by a hearing twelve member jury? These issues will be discussed in this research paper as well as reasons and ways to address these issues legally.

FUNCTION OF THE JURY

The jury system of the Commonwealth Caribbean territories, like that of England whence it was

received, is founded on the old belief that a man must be tried by his peers consisting of twelve

reasonable men who are called juror . the purpose of jury- Sole judge of fact rather than law (Antoine[2])

Judging from the structure and general reason for a jury, democracy, protection and a fresh prospective seem to be the idealisms upon which the introduction of the jury stand. The function of the jury is suppose to safeguard democracy by means of trial by peers. Fairness and equality echoes loudly through this function. Yet the Jury Act of Trinidad And Tobago chap 6:53 section 5 automatically disqualifies some fellow citizens from being part of this judicial system, particularly fellow deaf citizens. Citizens who uses another language to communicate but shares a common birthplace, society and government of Trinidad and Tobago.

It is not democratic to disqualify one sector of society from performing the civic duty of jury duty.The Jury Act was created to ensure order within the jury arrangement and to ensure that that those qualified for the task would adequately fulfill the original purpose of this judicial system. However Sec 5 of the Act, does raise concern for discrimination. Disqualifying an individual with a sensory disability, who is qualified in every other way by means of Sec 4 of the said Act, hinders of the foundational purpose for the institution of the jury. Since the jury’s existence is based upon democracy, allowing every citizen an opportunity to get involved in the execution of justice. A person with a sensory disability is robbed of this...

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