Youth Forward Scholarship 2019 – What steps can be taken to reduce the number of deaths related to driving?

Name: Phat Tran
From: Houston, Texas
Grade: 12
School: Hasting
Votes: 0

Name:
Phat Tran

School:
Hasting High School

Essay

The
7th Amendment under the Bill of Rights in the United States
Constitution gives an individual the right to a jury trial. The 7th
Amendment is quite similar to the provisions held in the 6th
Amendment regarding jury trials. However, the 7th Amendment
deals with jury trials for common law suits. The Seventh Amendment
states, “In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy
shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be
preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise
re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the
rules of common law.” 

The
text itself reflects much of the times in which it was drafted, for
it can be considered that no individual will bring to suit any
situation regarding a dispute over twenty dollars. Surely, that
amount was more valuable than it is today, and any situation
involving at least twenty dollars warranted the right to a jury
trial.

The
7th Amendment ensures that citizens have to right to have a
court–whether a common law or civil law court–hear their case on
the Federal level by a jury consisting of their peers. 

The
7th Amendment was included in the Constitution in order for all court
disputes to render decisions by a jury, without having a judge’s bias
sway their decision or influence the jury trial in anyway. The
provision creates for a distinction between the responsibilities of a
judge and those of the jury in a Federal civil court. Judges hold
their positions simply to evaluate evidence in terms of its legal
consideration in the jury trial, provide for guidance and instruction
to the jury, and provide for advice on the actual law. A jury is
responsible for evaluating evidence in terms of how it affects a
verdict, and determine which side, the plaintiff or the defendant,
has proven without a reasonable doubt the facts of their case. 
In certain cases, a jury may also have the power to decide the
amounts to be awarded to the victor in a jury trial.

Though
judges do have a role in the actual outcome of jury trial, they are
restricted in their participation. They have the authority to
instruct the jury to mind a particular aspect of evidence presented
or require that certain questions be answered before rendering a
verdict. Because the judge has the responsibility of determining
whether or not evidence is valid for consideration under law, and if
a plaintiff’s evidence is invalid or insufficient, the judge may
instruct the jury to render a verdict to the defendant, as is allowed
by law. 

The
7th Amendment also exists as a check against judges from overstepping
their boundaries because of their positions of power. The judge does
not have the authority to tell the jury how to rule or render a
verdict in any case. Furthermore, the judge cannot persuade the jury
to reach a certain decision.

Though
a judge and a jury will work together in a jury trial case, their
responsibilities are separate from each other. The 7th Amendment was
included by using as a precursor English civil and common law and the
documented history of corruption displayed in prior times. It was not
uncommon that judges would often render a decision that would most
benefit the King or their own will. The right to a jury trial and the
distinction of the roles of a judge and jury outlined the inherent
responsibilities of those positions and any kind of action biased in
nature by either of those in such roles would be unconstitutional. 


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