Criminal Procedure – Special Procedure of the Jury Court.

The Jury court is provided for in the Federal Constitution, as collective individual rights and guarantees (art. 5 XXXVII), which does not exclude its legal nature as a special body of the common Justice.

The Jury Court is a special body of the first instance Judiciary Power, belonging to the Common State or Federal Justice, collegiate and heterogeneous, formed by a togo judge, who is its president, and by 25 (twenty-five) jurors, 7 ( seven) of which make up the Sentencing Council, which has minimal competence for the prosecution and judgment of intentional crimes against life, temporary, since it is constituted for periodic sessions, being then dissolved, with sovereignty over decisions, taken in a confidential and based on the system of intimate conviction, without foundation, of its lay members.

According to art. 5, item XXXVIII, of the Federal Constitution, the institution of the jury is recognized, with the organization that gives it the law, ensured: a) the full defense ; b) the secrecy of voting ; c) the sovereignty of verdicts ; d) the competence to judge intentional crimes against life. [1]

  • Full defense.

Unlike the principle of broad defense, the fullness of defense implies the exercise of defense to an even greater degree than broad defense, comprising two distinct aspects:

  1. Full technical defense:made by a professional, lawyer or public defender.
  2. Full self-defense:done by the accused himself, through his interrogation.
  • Secrecy of voting.

It is a guarantee to juries of freedom of conscience in their trials.

Voting is the means by which jurors express their verdict and this is the confidential act.

  • Special room

Within the scope of the Jury Tribunal, voting takes place in a special room (art. 485, caput). In the absence of a special room, the presiding judge shall order the public to leave, leaving only the persons mentioned above.

During the vote, only the judge, the Public Prosecutor and the defense remain in the room, under penalty of absolute nullity. The so-called “restricted advertising” occurs here There is no secret judgment, advertising is restricted to parties. [1]

  • Incommunicability of the judges.

It means that the juror will not be able to express his opinion openly. It is forbidden for jurors to talk about the case between themselves and with people outside the trial.

The beginning of the incommunicability occurs with the drawing of jurors, extending until the effective closing of the voting.

  • Unanimous voting

It is forbidden to determine the unanimous vote. The idea that exists behind this principle is the fact that the judgment is made by the majority, thus, it is unnecessary to determine the unanimity, being enough to obtain four votes in a certain sense, for the others to be discarded.

  • Sovereignty of verdicts

It is the impossibility for the judges to replace the jurors in the decision of the case. If the Court disagrees with the Jury’s decision, it cannot change the outcome of the judgment.

Due to the sovereignty of the verdicts, the decisions of the Jury Tribunal cannot be changed, as to the merits, by the judgment ad Quem, this does not mean to say that its decisions are irrevocable and definitive.

In view of the sovereignty of the verdicts, it is not deferred to the judgment of the judge who has the possibility of entering into the analysis of the merits of the jury’s decision for the purpose of acquitting or condemning the accused during the judgment of an appeal filed against decisions of the Jury Court. However, it is entirely possible for the Court to uphold the appeal to subject the accused to retrial. However, this rule is not absolute.

 

 

Leave a Comment