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  1. #21
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    Um, what? I think they'll be okay...

    Jury systems may be flawed, but it's just a really, really bad idea to have people connected directly to state institutions deciding on a case. There's more room for direct political and economic agendas to fuck everything up.
    I don't think jury trials should be eliminated. I think we should have more options.
    "We grow up thinking that beliefs are something to be proud of, but they're really nothing but opinions one refuses to reconsider. Beliefs are easy. The stronger your beliefs are, the less open you are to growth and wisdom, because "strength of belief" is only the intensity with which you resist questioning yourself. As soon as you are proud of a belief, as soon as you think it adds something to who you are, then you've made it a part of your ego."

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I don't think jury trials should be eliminated. I think we should have more options.
    +1

  3. #23
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    Trial by jury is the just another thing in the line of ridiculous things imposed by democratic ideologues. Trial by jury, specifically, is a product of the social phobia that is rampant in the Anglosphere against authority figures/The Big Bad State, but the flaws of the layman defeat the main purpose of its creation: To let justice be done. It's an artifact from an earlier age just like imperial units, it's no wonder people hate it, and it should be replaced entirely with bench trials - or to everybody else, civil law - as soon as possible.

    Emotions and ignorance of the technicalities should not be a deciding factor in whether not justice needs to be done, nor in the measure of justice. We call it "trial by rabble" here.

    Jury systems may be flawed, but it's just a really, really bad idea to have people connected directly to state institutions deciding on a case. There's more room for direct political and economic agendas to fuck everything up.
    And a jury member does not have his own agendas?

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmileyMan View Post
    it's no wonder people hate it, and it should be replaced entirely with bench trials as soon as possible.
    I wasn't aware this is a prominent concern of Americans. It doesn't make sense it would be. Are you Australian? Are only Australians responding to this thread? I'm confused.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerd Girl View Post
    I don't understand.

    Wouldn't a bench trial put your fate in the hands of one man, the judge?
    No, the accused can appeal the decision. In some cases there will also be a "council" of judges that will vote. The personal biases of the judge have very little room to play in because the degree of interpreting is much less in civil law contra Anglo common law. In common law the judge and jury basically make up laws and the severity with which a criminal should be punished as they go, while in civil law the laws and the consequences of breaking them are clearly defined by the parliament.

    Materially, civil law proceeds from abstractions, formulates general principles, and distinguishes substantive rules from procedural rules.[4] It holds legislation as the primary source of law, and the court system is usually inquisitorial, unbound by precedent, and composed of specially trained judicial officers with a limited authority to interpret law. Juries separate from the judges are not used, although in some cases, volunteer lay judges participate along with legally trained career judges.
    My primary criticism of common law is the jury system, because I believe it is far too optimistic in its expectations of the layman.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nerd Girl View Post
    I wasn't aware this is a prominent concern of Americans. It doesn't make sense it would be. Are you Australian? Are only Australians responding to this thread? I'm confused.
    No, I'm Danish. It was mostly a rhetorical tool, but I did have the impression that jury duty is something much disliked by the common man.
    But I don't understand why this isn't a primary concern of the Americans. Why shouldn't it be? Maybe it's because they aren't aware of any alternatives to the jury system - at least not any that they can swallow without poking their phobia.

  6. #26
    Member mikamickmac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    I don't think jury trials should be eliminated. I think we should have more options.
    I agree. In the case I opened with, the job of the jury was not to determine whether the father committed the crime but to decide whether he was insane when he did it. In Australia, a jury only decides guilt and has no involvement in deciding the punishment. Is it really necessary (or even appropriate) for a jury to determine which side of the fence presents the most persuasive argument on the psychological well-being of the defendant? Maybe a judge or a panel of experts might do a better job and be more equipped to cope

  7. #27
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    And this is a very ignorant statement. "Knowing it all" is not the same thing as being able to employ objective analysis, or resist emotional arguments. Jurors of any inclination will be replaced by alternates if they do not follow the rules.

    The people I am describing are not disqualified because of the degree of emotion they display during jury selection. It is strictly on the basis of occupation or educational background. I work in a research organization where most of my colleagues are scientists and engineers. Though many have been summoned to appear for jury duty, the only one actually seated on a jury was a supervisor who gave his occupation as "manager" rather than electrical engineer, his actual field. I have heard similar reports from colleagues in other research organizations, so while anecdotal, I consider the evidence adequate to support my statement. I am told health care workers are similarly excluded, especially if the trial involves a medical issue.

    The process is flawed, though, because the correlations are not perfect. There are plenty of rational, objective people who are not in technical fields, and some in those fields are not that rational and objective. Rejecting any broad category of people is misguided and just limits the jury pool to no purpose.
    They think that they may be biased. It's as simple as that. It has nothing to do with educational level or emotions. I doubt law enforcement agents or doctors are upset that they can't serve as jurors. And the pool is big enough.

  8. #28
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    I fully doubt that any level of psychological harm could have possibly been done to the jurors of that particular case, given that most people are accostumed to hearing and knowing about such atrocities that occur in reality. That said I'm firmly against the idea of jury be random selection of commen citizens. I don't place any faith nor trust in people who may possess certain bias attitudes; emotional feelings towards the case, ignorance of determining evidence, general apathy that leads jurors to make hasty verdicts, etc. Now of course the same can be said for lawyers, judges, and other positions associated within the court room, in that they too possess a certain bias, albeit one usually based on cynicism or egoism. However, I still think that changing the structure of the jury system may help; make being juror an occupation for those who have a desire to see justice done and are willing to work on cases to make correct decisions. Unlike forced jurys which take people who may possibly by relectant to be there and whom aren't paid in compensation from their time being taken away with work, voluntary jurys would have ever reason to be careful in their desicion process while ganing experience in their job, eventually making them more reliable and competent as time goes on.

  9. #29
    Head Pigeon Mad Hatter's Avatar
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    I think trial by jury is hardly ever such a good idea. How does being an ordinary person qualify you sufficiently to decide on a case? Of course there is something like 'common sense' and some sense of morality, which every person can be expected to have, but it is far too vague and imprecise a concept to qualify somebody for a position in a jury. But in a country with a complex legal system such as the US, law isn't simply a matter of gut feelings and common sense.
    Being paid by the state does not automatically make you partial to the government, just as not being paid by it does not automatically make you a more impartial judge.
    IN SERIO FATVITAS.

    -τὸ γὰρ γράμμα ἀποκτέννει, τὸ δὲ πνεῦμα ζῳοποιεῖ-

  10. #30
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    oh, I didn't expect that angle. I think it is often a bad thing too, but not because it's unfair to the jury members (although that's an interesting point). It's not fair to the accused. The jury is basically just a tool for the lawyers to play around with. Often uneducated, emotional, unintelligent, etc. A panel of judges or other trained people would be more fair.
    I would rather have to convince 1 out of 12 biased people with diverse opinions of my innonence than 3 or so biased judges who likely went through similar socialization processes in college and in the legal field. Of course, there are occasionally complicating factors (a big corporation is probably better off convincing a judge rather than a jury that they are not liable for something)....but doesn't the accused have the right to forgo a jury trial in favor of a judge determining guilt or innocence?

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