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There are now 14 comments... what are your thoughts?
  1. Jeremy says

    THANK YOU for this note on the jury system it made me happy

  2. Steve says

    I’m not sure someone could design a worse system if they were trying to. And people think this abomination you’ve described is a good thing?

  3. Fred says

    Amazing – who knew that we are all in the hands of such a Rube Goldbergian contraption as this jury “system” you have described.

    And this is what we refer to as “Justice?”

    Why not just consult an oracle, or draw lots or throw darts blindfolded ?

    Now I see why the rich get off and the poor get screwed. If you can afford a good lawyer, who knows how to manipulate all the elements, you go free; if you can only afford a bad lawyer, the prosecutor will nail you, with the elements.

  4. JW says

    The worst part is they EXPECT you to have short attention spans, apparently, so they can easily manipulate you.

    I’ve been told (by a lawyer) if you bring a book while waiting to see if you get called/start getting interviewed for jury duty, either side would strike you out as an option because clearly, you’re a thinker and too hard to manipulate. >.> They’d rather have dumb, shallow people they know how to manipulate, apparently.

    Makes one wonder if that stretches to comic books. At least I know how to get out of jury duty now… as well as why BOTH times I’ve been called, I didn’t even get to the interviewing stage. I brought a book both times because I didn’t want to be bored!

  5. Andy says

    When you put it that way, of course it sounds bad.

    I had doubts myself. But after serving on a jury, three separate times, I feel a lot better. Every time the jury was responsible and wanted to do it right. Quite a mix of people with different backgrounds. All acted responsibly. All tried to get it right. And I think we did.

    OK, in one case a person who probably did it ended up not guilty. But that was more of a case of sloppy police work than the jury. The prosecutor had to make due with the evidence that was collected.

    One person is easily fooled or manipulated. Two or three will tend to follow one of them. When you have twelve, they fill in their own gaps and even out the mistakes.

    Yes, there are problems. But the jurors themselves can take care of them. The only danger is if otherwise smart people are so stupid that they try to get out of it.

    The alternative is to allow them to punish whoever they think should be punished. Trust them, they are always right. Decided by people who’s job performance is judged by punishing someone every time.

    Perfect, no. Some tweaking might help. But not as bad as all of you seem to think.

    • A judges job performance is NOT related to the amounts of guilty verdicts he distributes. If at all, it is decided on the amounts his verdict was overturned in appeal. But mostly it is just how good he is in intra-department politics.

    • “One person is easily fooled or manipulated. Two or three will tend to follow one of them. When you have twelve, they fill in their own gaps and even out the mistakes.” I think that you have it backwards. Two or three people will discuss the matter as equals. But once you get to 12, one person will tend to dominate the discussion. More people means less time for everyone to talk, which makes it easier for whoever has the best grasp of the group dynamic to manipulate the proceedings.

  6. Chip says

    Are you going to discuss the concept of jury nullification later on?

  7. Legion says

    So we _can’t_ bring back trial by combat..?
    No?

    • It would have to be more random than that, what if the defendent is a huge burly logger or something. I vote for trial by “Russian Roulette”, much more fair all around!

  8. kaymish says

    hymm your American jury’s seem to be far less trusted than the jury’s here in New Zealand
    we were all encouraged to take notes discuss the testimony (during the frequent breaks) and ask questions of procedure and the law of the judge (but not of testimony from the lawyers or the witnesses) as the trial progressed and we were promised a copy of the transcript and access to any video or photos that were exhibited as evidence at the end
    though that trial was restarted with a different jury because of a delay in getting some of the testimony together and the judge didn’t want us hanging around for a month to sort it but stuff happens

  9. Tesla727 says

    Oh, and at best you’ll be paid a few dollars a day for your time, and no of course your employer isn’t required to make up the extra! Good luck paying your bills on the shortened paycheck!

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