[huge_it_share] Essay by: Daisia Lashay Brown
Essay Subject: The right to a trial by jury is a fundamental tenet of our legal system which is enshrined in the United States Constitution. Under current law, however, only people accused of serious crimes that are punishable by more than six months prison have an absolute right to a jury trial. Do you agree with the current state of the law? Why or why not.
The Right To A Trial By Jury
Believing in something is essential to being a human being. Believing in fairness and equality is a necessity of being a good human being. The current state law that does not offer a trial by jury unless it is a “serious” crime may be legal but that does not make it right. It is our job as citizens and human beings to stand up for what we believe in and think is wrong or right.
For those who are familiar with the “African” American history, you know that blacks have been deprived of their rights to a trial by jury numerous amounts of times throughout history. It is unethical and against the law to deprive people of their natural born rights as citizens of the United States of America. For the judicial system to not allow all cases to have a trial by jury, they are endangering our futures.
What is the purpose for a judicial system if it is not protecting the rights of citizens? A good Samaritan could possibly go to jail for having a warrant out for their arrest, and receiving that warrant because they did not show up for an appearance before a judge where there was literally hundreds of other people waiting to do the same exact thing. Mind you, these appearances are not mandatory court dates, but simply appearances, not something that should change our lives forever. There have been people whose lives have been ruined because they could not pay a parking or speeding ticket. There are people who cannot buy cars or drive themselves to work because their license was suspended for not paying a ticket.
Certain people who are charged with misdemeanor crimes are not allowed a trial by jury either. For example, those who use marijuana as a treatment, whether it is recreational or medicinal, and are caught with this drug with less than a certain amount are charged with a misdemeanor without proving their innocents or reasoning’s. That misdemeanor goes on their records for life and could cost them a lifetime of opportunities; that misdemeanor could cost them their future. Not every person who uses marijuana is a bad person, nor a criminal. Some believe in the healing powers of this “drug”. Some even believe we would be better off with it in our lives.
Regardless of our different beliefs, something we should all agree upon is that the right to a trial by jury is a Constitutional right, a right we are entitled to as American citizens. We all have the right to a speedy trial and an impartial jury. So, why should we be neglected of that right at any time of our lives? Why should only the “serious” crimes be heard? Why isn’t every crime considered serious? Maybe what we really should be thinking about is why isn’t everyone being treated fairly.