Week 2 – Discussion 2
Your initial discussion thread is due on Day 3 (Thursday) and you have until Day 7 (Monday) to respond to your classmates. Your grade will reflect both the quality of your initial post and the depth of your responses. Refer to the Discussion Forum Grading Rubric under the Settings icon above for guidance on how your discussion will be evaluated.
Voir Dire or Opening Statements
To complete this assignment, after you record your presentation in YouSeeU, you will want to paste the URL for this video in the discussion forum for your classmates and instructor to review and provide responses to. Please review the YouSeeU User Guide which provides step by step instructions for completing this assignment in the YouSeeU platform.
- If your last name begins with the letters A through M: Prepare a two- to three-minute video presentation with YouSeeU detailing the following information:
- Explain the legal term voir dire, its origins and its purposes.
- Detail the process of voir dire, and distinguish between preemptory and discretionary strikes of potential jury members.
- Provide an opinion of whether or not the process of voir dire serves its stated ends.
- Create improvements in the current system of voir dire to ensure fair and impartial jurors for criminal trials.
As you know from the reading and video materials for this week, the term voir dire literally means truth. Your YouSeeU presentation must show a comprehensive understanding of the process of voir dire and its significance in a criminal trial. Make sure that your video presentation explains whether or not a defendant is entitled to a “fair” or a perfect jury. You also need to distinguish between preemptory strikes of jurors vs. strikes for cause of potential jurors.
- If your last name begins with the letters N through Z: Prepare a two- to three-minute video presentation with YouSeeU detailing the following information:
- Explain the purposes of opening statements in a criminal trial.
- Detail the order in which opening statements occur to the jury, and comment on whether or not this ordering seems the most fair or not.
- Provide an opinion on the significance of opening statements; are jury trials won or lost at this stage of the proceeding and why?
- Create improvements to the current system of opening statements to insure that the truth is ascertained through the trial process.
As you know from the reading and video materials for this week, opening statements are not opening arguments. Instead, lawyers are required to state simply what the facts of the case will show and what will be proven at trial. Examine the notion of latitude given to attorneys from some judges to argue their cases in the opening statements. Should such actions be allowed: why or why not?
Please note that oral presentations will take place in the YouSeeU interface. This oral presentation will be available for both the instructor and your fellow classmates to view.
For advice and information on the Do’s and Don’ts of webcam presentations, please click here (Links to an external site.).
Guided Response: Respond in writing to at least two of your classmates’ posts. At least one of your posts must be to a student addressing the question that you did not respond to in your initial, primary response. For example, if you responded to the Voir Dire YouSeeU prompt, at least one of your two responses must be to a student who responded to the Opening Statements prompt. Your responses must be at least 100 words of content and supported by scholarly sources (i.e., classroom materials, or outside scholarly sources).