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  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikamickmac View Post
    I agree re the media, but is it really necessary to subject a jury to the horror?
    Is there a functional alternative?
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  2. #32
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giggly View Post
    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.
    Every juror has the potential for bias. Weeding out relevant biases is legitimate. Dismissing someone based solely on occupation is not. It has everything to do with the (over)use of emotional arguments in trials. Many of my colleagues are disappointed that they have never served on an actual jury. They see it as an interesting learning experience, and part of their civic duty. Given how hard most people seem to work to get out of jury duty, and the broad categories of occupations summarily excluded, I doubt the jury pool is adequate. This is supported by the large numbers of people who are called and serve year after year. I have lived in several different regions of the U.S., and this has been the case in every one.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  3. #33
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post

    I don't trust juries. Most people are uninformed/uneducated/etc. That said, putting the decision in the hands of a single individual, no matter how educated or informed they might be, is also concerning. If I were on trial, I'd rather have a panel of judges make the decision, like the Supreme Court.
    I agree with this.
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  4. #34
    As Long As It Takes.... Redbone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randomnity View Post
    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.
    This. It's scary.

    I do agree with the OP about being traumatized with some of the information that can come out in a case. Radomnity's suggestion would perhaps be a step toward dealing with that issue?

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    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?
    Yeah, it's feelings like this that would make trust in a detached panel of judges outside the "average person" social strata difficult by our culture.

    And in general, there typically seems to already been animosity class-wise towards what are perceived as "elitists" and academics in our culture; people don't like it when such trained specialists make such decisions about their fate. They'd rather have the bus driver and the guy down the street and the pharmacy counter-clerk make the decision, because they seem more emotionally accessible I guess. (We're even the same way with doctors and other specialists who we expect to be trained and qualified; even while we demand competence, we also expect them to be emotionally accessible and not act as if they are above us, and if we don't like their assessment, we just go somewhere else and take matters into our own hands. A panel of judges, however, doesn't give a lot of room for appeal, realistically.)

    I guess in the end we want to feel as if our "special personal situation" was taken into account, rather than some guys making decisions about us as if we were just a generic anecdote in a textbook.
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  6. #36
    Senior Member Lateralus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Yeah, it's feelings like this that would make trust in a detached panel of judges outside the "average person" social strata difficult by our culture.

    And in general, there typically seems to already been animosity class-wise towards what are perceived as "elitists" and academics in our culture; people don't like it when such trained specialists make such decisions about their fate. They'd rather have the bus driver and the guy down the street and the pharmacy counter-clerk make the decision, because they seem more emotionally accessible I guess. (We're even the same way with doctors and other specialists who we expect to be trained and qualified; even while we demand competence, we also expect them to be emotionally accessible and not act as if they are above us, and if we don't like their assessment, we just go somewhere else and take matters into our own hands. A panel of judges, however, doesn't give a lot of room for appeal, realistically.)

    I guess in the end we want to feel as if our "special personal situation" was taken into account, rather than some guys making decisions about us as if we were just a generic anecdote in a textbook.
    My perspective is that the only time I can see myself ever going to trial is if I were (falsely) accused of something like child molestation. The public reacts hyperbolically to those types of charges and almost always "convicts" the accused before they ever see the evidence. I trust judges to be more fair than a jury in that sort of situation.

    A situation where a jury might be preferable is a case where you committed a crime, but there were extenuating circumstances that could justify the act (ie. a woman killing her abusive partner). I could see a jury being more sympathetic there.
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  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lateralus View Post
    My perspective is that the only time I can see myself ever going to trial is if I were (falsely) accused of something like child molestation. The public reacts hyperbolically to those types of charges and almost always "convicts" the accused before they ever see the evidence. I trust judges to be more fair in that sort of situation.

    A situation where a jury might be preferable is a case where you committed a crime, but there were extenuating circumstances that could justify the act (ie. a woman killing her abusive partner). I could see a jury being more sympathetic there.
    Good qualifications.

    And yes, there are some crimes where the public is biased; the type of crime is one that they want someone to pay for, because it's considered taboo/horrific.
    "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

  8. #38
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    It depends on the case. I was a juror for a month on a complex case in which one power company was suing a nuclear plant for shutting down for unscheduled diagnostics and repair. It was a horrible experience being on the jury because the deliberations were almost complete nonsense. It seemed like I was the only one to suspend judgment until all the evidence was in, and realistically we were not given enough information to make an informed decision. I finally voted against the side that had the burden of proof, but was also being coerced into it by the other jurors. It was a horrible, almost violating, experience to be forced into an important decision that I did not have the training for, and was not provided with enough evidence to make up for that lack of training. At the end the judge even said to us that he thought the case required an expert jury, but he was relieved we made some sort of decision.

    The level of deliberation was so low that I did lose a lot of faith in the justice system over that experience.
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  9. #39
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Good qualifications.

    And yes, there are some crimes where the public is biased; the type of crime is one that they want someone to pay for, because it's considered taboo/horrific.
    Agreed, which is why I think its good to have the right to a trial by jury as well as the right to choose a trial by judge instead.

  10. #40
    Member Skip Foreplay's Avatar
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    Trial by jury is terrifying, I think. I am a particularly charismatic person, and it would take more evidence to put me away than other people. I'd just studder and call the prosecutor "Sir."

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