User Tag List

Results 1 to 9 of 9

  1. #1
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    MBTI
    INtp
    Enneagram
    5w6 sp/so
    Socionics
    LII Ne
    Posts
    5,091

    Default Abolish jury duty

    I think rather than randomly calling on the general public to serve on juries, who may have no interest whatsoever in serving, why not have professional jurors, that is people who serve on juries for a living? Has anyone ever thought of this idea? Do you think it could work?

    I think people worry that by doing that you wouldn't get a representative sample for your jury. Possibly, but you would get people who were truly interested in serving, listening intently to the case, not distracted by how boring it is and how its an unwanted imposition, and I think in general you'd get a better educated sample, so I think they would make more wise decisions. I think there would still be considerable diversity among people who would be willing to serve. Among the professional jurors, you could still preselect people for certain cases to make the sample more representative. Oh, and make the selection process for becoming a professional juror rigorous, so you would only have the sorts of people inclined to make decisions based on the facts and evidence rather than one's like or dislike for the person.

    If you randomly select people, you'll probably end up with some poorly educated people who aren't the brightest bulbs. Also people who really don't want to be there, and make a decision just to have it all end. Or people who only listen halfway from boredom and miss some data that could be important in the decision. The sample may be representative of the general population, but is the decision made going to a more fair one? I'm not so sure.

    By calling on the general public, you are essentially imposing on their freedom and in some cases their quality of life. I know someone who got called in to serve for a federal case and she had to drive two hours one way for two weeks. They did reimburse her for mileage but think about all the wear and tear on her car, which didn't get reimbursed and all the extra time away from her family. She also had time away from work, and although jury duty leave was in her benefits package, not everyone is so lucky. Lots of people don't get paid leave from their jobs, like myself, so having to serve on a jury could cause them financial strain. Also the companies themselves are affected. Someone is gone for awhile to serve on a jury, the company has to make do without them, work shorthanded.

    However, some people, are thrilled to be called to serve on a jury and think its an interesting experience, yet never get asked. A compromise between professional juries and randomly calling the general public might be to establish a juror pool. In the US anyone 18 or over, can fill out an application form saying that they would be interested in serving on a jury and they would be willing to be called to serve should the time come. The jurors could be selected then from this pool and for the most part you could probably find enough people from the pool to establish a representative sample that you wouldn't need to randomly call on people.
    INtp
    5w6 or 9w1 sp/so/sx, I think
    Ravenclaw/Hufflepuff
    Neutral Good
    LII-Ne




  2. #2
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    MBTI
    FREE
    Enneagram
    594 sx/sp
    Socionics
    LII Ne
    Posts
    42,333

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by paradigm-shift View Post
    Do you think it could work?
    No.

    I think there would still be considerable diversity among people who would be willing to serve.
    I doubt it. Besides, you are automatically screening for the type of people lawyers typically try to screen OUT of juries.

    you would only have the sorts of people inclined to make decisions based on the facts and evidence rather than one's like or dislike for the person.
    Professional jurors = pre-identified targets for manipulation, threats, bribes, and whatever else

    Decent workplaces currently pay employees normal wage even while they're on jury duty.

    Professional jurors = absent from work too often = will get fired from job = thus have to pull a state salary to be a juror = people fighting over the positions for the money = corruption similar to current state political positions

    If you randomly select people, you'll probably end up with some poorly educated people who aren't the brightest bulbs. Also people who really don't want to be there, and make a decision just to have it all end. Or people who only listen halfway from boredom and miss some data that could be important in the decision. The sample may be representative of the general population, but is the decision made going to a more fair one? I'm not so sure.
    Probably not, but that's life.
    You're just trading one poison for another.

    By calling on the general public, you are essentially imposing on their freedom and in some cases their quality of life. I know someone who got called in to serve for a federal case and she had to drive two hours one way for two weeks. They did reimburse her for mileage but think about all the wear and tear on her car, which didn't get reimbursed and all the extra time away from her family. She also had time away from work, and although jury duty leave was in her benefits package, not everyone is so lucky. Lots of people don't get paid leave from their jobs, like myself, so having to serve on a jury could cause them financial strain. Also the companies themselves are affected. Someone is gone for awhile to serve on a jury, the company has to make do without them, work shorthanded.
    For most jury trials, it's pretty easy to come up with an excuse to be exempt from the jury. See above on the other points.

    A compromise between professional juries and randomly calling the general public might be to establish a juror pool. In the US anyone 18 or over, can fill out an application form saying that they would be interested in serving on a jury and they would be willing to be called to serve should the time come. The jurors could be selected then from this pool and for the most part you could probably find enough people from the pool to establish a representative sample that you wouldn't need to randomly call on people.
    Again, you're self-selecting and thus getting a biased representation of citizens... which is going to be a legal issue. No easy way to quantify what is biased and what isn't, and people will constantly be arguing about which outcomes should be overturned.

    I'm not against the idea, honestly. I'm one of those people who would love to serve on jury for a real trial (the closest I came was being screened out of a local murder case)... but I don't harbor any illusions about my chances. I'm one of those people the lawyers would work out of the pool right away.

    Still, I think other jury systems are going to have just as many flaws, so it will probably never change.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  3. #3
    Oberon
    Guest

    Default

    What Jennifer said. +1.

  4. #4
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    MBTI
    ISTP
    Enneagram
    6w5 sp/sx
    Posts
    9,489

    Default

    It's an interesting idea, but I agree with Jennifer.

    I'm very curious actually, what DOES make lawyers want to exclude jurors? Obvious bigotry I understand, but what else?
    -end of thread-

  5. #5
    Reason vs Being ragashree's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    MBTI
    Mine
    Enneagram
    1w9
    Posts
    1,770

    Default

    I think a lot of people fail realise that the absolutely fundamental purpose of the jury in those areas where trial by jury is most entrenched (essentially those with an Anglo-American heritage where Saxon-devived common law is the basis of the legal system) is to prevent the oppression of the people by the state.

    Criminal trials are a bit of a red herring in this regard. We suffer from a limitation of perspective due to the fact that most trials are conducted on the basis that a clear crime has been committed, and the only question is of the guilt or innocence of the accused. In cases where the state chooses to persecute people for its own reasons, as happens to this day in many parts of the world, the issues are far less clear cut, and often the laws are twisted to the benefit of the authorities in determining a crime to have been comitted in the first place.

    A professional jury would be paid by the state, given its marching orders by the state, and ultimately be a tool of whatever happened to suit state purpose at that time. If it wasn't one initially it's difficult to see how it would not become one by degrees in time. Other legal systems do things differently; the role of the jury is far less important in civil law systems, for example, but they operate on a fundamentally different basis. Having a jury keep its current importance in determining the guilt or innocence of the accused (and the exposition of the laws before it) while making that jury a paid-up tool of the state would be the worst of both worlds as far as I can see. Wanting professional juries in the common law system is like a turkey voting for Christmas.
    Look into my avatar. Look deep into my avatar...

  6. #6
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    MBTI
    ESTJ
    Enneagram
    9 so/sx
    Posts
    21,661

    Default

    I think that apathy just killed the right to trial by a jury of your peers.

  7. #7
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    MBTI
    INTP
    Enneagram
    5w4
    Posts
    7,233

    Default

    If you could manage to keep them uncompromised, I think it's a brilliant idea. But I think that's what a judge is supposed to be, a disinterested party capable of making a fair decision.

    Problem is, these days judges, from trial courts to the supreme courts, are elected through a political processes. They campaign and appeal to their parties or are appointed by the President. They aren't selected on the basis of their wisdom, which is a major problem, especially in the Supreme Court. Moreover, judges are expected to follow precedent, even when precedent creates an unjust (or unfavorable) result. In order to avoid that, they torture cases to death, creating endlessly fine distinctions which begin to make no sense and just complicate simple rules. It's a total fucking mess, and judges can abuse it to create a result that will run against fairness and in accordance with their personal philosophies.

    (Traditionally, I believe, courts of equity (see Court of Chancery) were intended to run this way. Courts of equity were given leeway to ignore the law when the law produces an unjust result. Eventually those courts were merged with courts of law, though you still find them in shows like Judge Judy (which are pretty fair, imo).)

  8. #8
    Senior Member Chunes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    MBTI
    INFP
    Enneagram
    9w1
    Posts
    367

    Default

    Two issues that I don't believe have been brought up yet:

    Past similar trials are likely to bias the juror towards a certain conclusion.
    What happens when they become unhappy about their job? For example, what if they are not satisfied with their pay and decide to sabotage things?
    "If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. But do not care to convince him. Men will believe what they see. Let them see."
    Thoreau

  9. #9
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    MBTI
    INTP
    Enneagram
    5w4
    Posts
    7,233

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chunes View Post
    Two issues that I don't believe have been brought up yet:

    Past similar trials are likely to bias the juror towards a certain conclusion.
    What happens when they become unhappy about their job? For example, what if they are not satisfied with their pay and decide to sabotage things?
    I don't think either of those are significant. Regarding past similar trials, that's always a problem. Regarding burnout, they can quit.

    I think one problem is that jurors are asked to follow certain codes that are confusing. There are an enormous number of jury instructions that are hard to understand and form a confusing maze of rules and commentaries. These laws are not always intuitive which makes it hard for laypeople to make decisions without being paranoid that they're running afoul of some obscure law. They can't just trust their conscience and I think that's a big problem. When the law and conscience becomes estranged from one another, society begins to devolve.

    I'm wondering whether there's a solution. The system is so fucked up because lawyers are encouraged to distort truth. It's called "argument", but it's a form of dishonesty, imo, that clogs up the system and slows everything down. It makes people paranoid. You run into people like this in your daily life, even here on the boards, that are chronic distorters and manipulators, never taking responsibility for their mistakes. Here's it's not so bad, but armed with a tool like a court and a writ of execution, you can seriously fuck up someone's life. I'm afraid that people don't recognize this at all.

    So what? Go back to the ten commandments? Start over? The problem starts with selfishness and honesty, but I wonder if there are practical ways to curb these problems. It's a complex problem. Ideas?

Similar Threads

  1. Jury Duty = Slavery
    By mrcockburn in forum Politics, History, and Current Events
    Replies: 39
    Last Post: 10-09-2011, 11:46 PM
  2. Cat called for jury duty
    By JustHer in forum The Fluff Zone
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 01-12-2010, 09:04 AM
  3. Dementia and "Duty to Die"
    By heart in forum Science, Technology, and Future Tech
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 10-05-2008, 01:33 PM
  4. Hi there...INFP reporting for duty!
    By CelestialTravels in forum Welcomes and Introductions
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 09-03-2008, 10:16 AM
  5. Jury Duty
    By proteanmix in forum Politics, History, and Current Events
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 01-15-2008, 08:25 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO