Who needs real juries? That is the question posed by Fox’s new series You the Jury — which is giving the American public the chance to hand down the verdict on controversial civil court cases.
Each episode will see viewers decide the outcome of cases in real time after seeing prosecution and defense lawyers battle it out at a hearing.
The show is something of a cross between American Idol and The People’s Court, and features well-known attorneys Jose Baez, who defended Casey Anthony; Benjamin Crump, who has represented Trayvon Martin’s family; and Joseph Tacopina, who defended former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik.
Those lawyers (along with Areva Martin, Mike Cavalluzzi and Charla Aldous) will question and cross-examine the litigants and expert witnesses in front of ex-judge of the Superior Court of California LaDoris Cordell — and the American public.
After the lawyers present the cases, viewers will get five minutes to vote on the decision through texting and a Fox app. At the end of the East/Central time zone broadcast of the show, the people’s verdict will be revealed.
But if, when the West Coast votes, the total number of votes in all time zones results in a different verdict, the original verdict will be overturned.
You the Jury is sure to raise ethical questions about whether individuals who were not in the courtroom during the proceedings of a case, and only witnessed an hour’s worth of testimony and arguments about it at most, are qualified to decide its outcome.
All the cases are real, and the litigants have all signed papers saying that they agree to be bound by the verdict.
You the Jury airs Fridays at 9/8c on Fox.