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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 200834 Find in a Library
Title: Trial by Jury: A Western or a Peculiarly Russian Model?
Journal: International Review of Penal Law  Volume:72  Issue:1-2  Dated:2001  Pages:365-370
Author(s): Marina Nemytina
Date Published: 2001
Page Count: 6
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: France
Annotation: This article discusses the problems of trial by jury in Russia.
Abstract: Jury trial is an important tool of the democratization of criminal procedure, and signals a turn from the inquisitorial type of procedure in the Russian courts. A basis for criticism of trial by jury in the past were the verdicts of not guilty returned by jurors even in cases when the facts of the crime were proved and the defendant was guilty without doubt. In cases of political crimes the percentage of such verdicts was even higher. This made representatives of state institutions hostile to the institution because of the political situation in Russia and the rise of the revolutionary movement. Jury trial was institutionalized with difficulty under those conditions. Trial by jury was represented as a native legal tradition being revived not as something borrowed from the West in the course of democratic changes. It is questionable whether this ideology coincides with the reality of the institution. Legal provisions relating to trial by jury and judicial practice include the right to trial by jury and inadmissible evidence. The grounds on which evidence is found invalid and is excluded from the case include violation of the defendant’s right to a defense, and violation of the rules for conducting the investigation. The verdict of the jury is in the form of a list of questions relating to proof of the elements of the crime. Today this system is more complicated than before due to the more complicated types of crimes before the court. Appellate review of sentences in the form it exists in Russia contradicts the essence of jury trial procedure. Mistakes made in the course of trial and preliminary investigation may become a cause for overturning the decision made in a jury trial. Trial by jury is the privilege of a stable society. It must be stable in the economic, social, political, and legal respects. Trial by jury in Russia seems incapable of functioning reliably and harmoniously. 7 footnotes
Main Term(s): Juries; Russian Federation
Index Term(s): Foreign courts; Jury decisionmaking; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Right to trial by jury; Trial procedures; Verdicts
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