1. What is a pretrial motion? Give examples of the motions made before a trial.
2. Describe the different types of evidence admissible at a criminal trial. What is the difference between an eyewitness, character witness, and expert witness? What is “hearsay” and under what special circumstances is it permissible in court? What is the difference between the process of examination and cross-examination?
3. What is the purpose of the jury in our justice system? How has the jury acted as the “conscience of the community” in U.S. history?
4. What is the specific function of the grand jury? What is the specific function of the petit jury?
5. Describe the process of impaneling the jury. What is the voir dire? What are challenges for cause and peremptory challenges and how does each of these function in the process of jury selection?
6. What does it mean to say that the jury is a deliberative institution? Why is the process of deliberation important to the jury? What is hung jury and why does it lead to a mistrial?
7. What is the ideal of objectivity? What is the ideal of representation? What are the processes in place to create an impartial jury of peers for a defendant?
8. What are the mechanisms by which blacks and women have been excluded from the jury?
What did the Supreme Court rule in Batson v. Kentucky? Does this ruling prevent the systematic exclusion of minorities and women from the jury? Why or why not?
9. What is the power of jury nullification? What is the position of the courts on the right of a jury to effectively nullify the law by acquitting a defendant despite the facts and the law? What is the position of the Fully Informed Jury Association?
10. State the positions for and against the power of jury nullification. Why does Butler believe African Americans should use the power of jury nullification for nonviolent offenses committed by blacks? Why does Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas oppose this power?