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To Kill A Mockingbird and Twelve Angry Men
Does race matter? http://www.nytimes.com/1995/01/14/us/issue-of-racism-erupts-in-simpson-
TOPIC 1: JURY SELECTION
-Who makes up the jury pool?
-What is "voir dire"?
-How are potential jurors screened or examined?
-How are jurors selected?
-What does it mean to have a jury of one's peers?
TOPIC 2: JURY RESPONSIBILITY/PROTECTION
-What are the responsibilities of a juror?
-What can and can't a juror do while listening to a trial?
-What is "sequestering"?
-What is a "gag order"?
-What guidelines are juries given to decide a case?
-What factors may make it difficult for a juror to be unbiased?
TOPIC 3: TRIAL PROCEDURES
-What is an "opening statement"?
-What is a "closing argument"?
-What is "cross-examination"?
-What is a "verdict"?
-What is "burden of proof"?
TOPIC 4: ROLE OF THE JUDGE
-What role does a judge play in a criminal trial?
-What is the judge's responsibility to the lawyers?
-What is the judge's responsibility to the jury?
TOPIC 5: ROLE OF LEGAL COUNSEL
-What are the responsibilities of the lawyers for both sides in a criminal trial?
-What is a prosecutor?
-What is a defense lawyer?
-What does "beyond reasonable doubt" mean to a prosecutor?
Further Questions for Discussion:
-Is it possible for a celebrity to be judged by a jury of his or her peers? Why or why not?
-How does the American judicial system attempt to safeguard against wrongful punishment?
1. Research a famous criminal case, such as Miranda v. Arizona or Gideon v. Wainwright.
Prepare a report outlining the major issues of the case, and explaining how the case's outcome
has helped to make the criminal justice system more fair.
2. Prepare a report outlining the jury system in your state. Does your state have grand juries in all
criminal cases? How many people must agree to issue an indictment? Must all the people on a
jury agree for a verdict to be reached?
3. Look up information about jury duty where you live and interview a parent or adult about their
jury duty experiences. What were the procedure and experience like? Did he or she feel like he
or she performed an important civic duty? Why or why not? Write an article for your school's
Read the play "12 Angry Men" by Reginald Rose and create a chart tracking the changing opinions of
each member of the jury. Write a brief essay examining how the burden of proof affected the final
decision of the jury in this particular case.
What is meant by the term "paparazzi"? Why do they exist? What famous criminal cases have involved
celebrities and the paparazzi, and what were the outcomes? Write a series of short articles about some
different cases, and "publish" a tabloid-like paper that casts a critical eye at the paparazzi.
Should athletes and entertainers be looked upon as role models? In what ways do they set trends and
influence pop culture? In what ways do they impact greater society?
12 Angry Men- themes/writing