JURY SYSTEM 101Daisy Brett-Holt
“A Jury is a group of citizens chosen randomly by their own peers, and sworn to do and decide justice for their community on a case-by-case basis. The Jury System, then, is a judicial device with the special social purpose to secure the SUPREME WILL OF THE PEOPLE to decide without arbitrariness a judicial issue of whether a person accused or indicted in court should be convicted by the people for his criminal act.
It prevents abusive, arbitrary and unbridled decisions of a solo prosecutor or judge.
The members of the jury, called Jurors, are exclusively chosen by lottery and not by appointment. When they sit as jurors, they exercise their sovereign power as Masters of Society in the rank and level of their sovereign peers, the members of the Public.
We create the Grand Jury and the Trial Jury together. We set-up these juries in each and every legislative district of the Philippines. The Grand Jury (GJ) shall act as the direct top secret sovereign investigating and accusing group of the people, chosen from members of the Public. It is composed of 23 members, all college graduates of any degree, to serve for six (6) months. Their identity is never disclosed to even among themselves, except to their Executive Judge (EJ) who swears them in court, keeps their personal records in a bank vault, and issues their instruction. Thereafter, the GJ becomes autonomous and decides independently, with chosen officers among themselves—foreman, assistant foreman and recording secretary. The GJ serves as the overseer of the people over their abusive public officials.
The GJ conducts its investigation in anonymity and secrecy, except for one (1) witness for questioning at a time. It gathers evidence from tipsters / whistle blowers responding to its ads in the newspapers. Jurors are given a security code number for their official use while on duty to hide their identity, and when they come to decide as a group, they vote by secret ballot.
One special power of the GJ involves indicting for obstruction of justice any government official or private citizen who disobeys its subpoena or any writ issued by the court. The GJ can likewise exempt or give immunity from prosecution, any private citizen/bribe-giver to a public official. The GJ also protects clients from abusive lawyers, against whom they can file complaints.
On the other hand, the Trial Jury (TJ) is a group of private citizens composed of 12 members who are at least 21 years old; can read and write and of average intelligence. They are chosen by lottery from residents of a congressional district with a population of 10, 000 or more. The TJ is presided over by a judge who enforces court orders, maintains court discipline, rules on the admissibility of evidence, and issues Jury Instruction to educate the jurors on their duties. The TJ is tasked to be present at all times to sit in court, to keep and remain silent, to refrain from talking with anyone about the case until the jury is held in reclusion with its members in their deliberation room, to watch the witness’ demeanor/eye movement/body language/facial expression, and to examine carefully any