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Old 07-09-2011, 10:23 AM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,966,925 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawkeye2009 View Post
Most educated and self employed people find ways to get out of jury duty. Thus the "jury of our peers" does not exist.
Sadly that is becoming a fact more and more.My wife and I seem to get a sommons about evry 6 motnhs in a country of 200'000. Rarely are we even picked to a jusy pool and only twice actaully served on a jury. Most are pelad. it seems there is no consideration of limitin gplea bargains to before jusrty is sommoned.I am not talkig about guilty plean changes.Also because we have to travel to county seat; because of distance when I add gasoline and lunch it gets to about 20 dollars to serve a day.The seond day I make perhaps 20 dollars now.That is rare tho.he you have others that get paid by employer the differnce and often added to it.Obvoius the sacrifice is not equal especailly those who are self employed or not piad. Most see the system fro what I have observed as rareloy emanig much and when it does actaully the juries decision is rarely followed thru.A example si life rarely means life;death arelyy means death in half a life span and sometime not at all;and years mean nothing.Then even more think that decions are commonly overturned on nothigto do witht eh jury or facts presented to them. If they get upset by such juries as this one;its really best they don;t observe the setup a retrial issue with defense lawyers and the plain old mistakes by judges.Also that more and more hgiher courts lobve to oberturn a decsion and often on personal believes. No one now is fooled that person beliefs does determine mnay supreme court cases alone but rarely notice the same ilower court.The laws can remain the same but the real decisons swing with politcs as always.Its a interstig pont hat the poor have rarely dfelt that justic eis seved.nw it seems that the middle class and above rarely think so.

Last edited by texdav; 07-09-2011 at 11:03 AM..
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Old 07-09-2011, 02:36 PM
 
19,124 posts, read 12,227,026 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggy001 View Post
Not necessarily true. Many courts rely on retired persons for jury duty

I can see that. Then, of course, it is not a jury of your peers.
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Old 07-09-2011, 02:56 PM
 
499 posts, read 350,993 times
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No way.
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Old 07-09-2011, 03:03 PM
 
Location: NC
10,005 posts, read 9,022,835 times
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No. The entire point of having a jury is to have people from the local area who are not associated with the court system be a safeguard against folks just being railroaded by the courts. If you are going to create professional juries employed by the courts you might as well just abolish juries entirely and do all bench trials.
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Old 07-09-2011, 03:10 PM
 
1,337 posts, read 1,232,626 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jojajn View Post
With the explosion of CSI forensics, science, law, understanding of psychology, and statistics of probability, is it time for jurors to be a profession of educated people in those areas?
I've also wondered the same thing myself for years, and am not averse to the idea myself. Though, I also think that a case can be made that even experts are subject to their own kinds of cognitive bias, and in aggregate, I don't know if professional juries would necessarily outperform amateur juries by any great degree in terms of rendering the verdict most likely to be the truth.

My conception of "professional juries" has always been a bit different than what you propose, though. I think they should be versed in legal principles and have critical thinking skills that comport with legal type cases which allow them to analyze evidence better, in toto. I don't think a group of specialists necessarily possesses those qualities, and likewise, I think a group of specialists might just introduce their own cognitive bias into the process and in doing so might skew their decision such that it is as bad, if not worse, than that of the layman jury member. The problem with specialists, and this tends to be a very common problem, is that every specialists has this attitude that their field is the proverbial "center of the universe" and so they might be inclined (most likely would), give additional "weight" to specific evidence that they happen to understand, and in doing so they might be inclined to weigh less heavily all the other evidence presented, and in doing so not looking at the evidence in total to gain the bigger picture and broader context. They'd be fixated on some minutiae like a piece of DNA evidence found on a piece of couch, but perhaps ignore that that DNA has every reason to be there because (for example), perhaps the person was a regular visitor on the house where the crime was committed and sat down on that couch regularly.

What is needed on a professional jury are people with good legal reasoning skills who are trained to look at the bigger picture, not get fixated on minutiae which may, or may not, deserve the weight its being given.

Professional jury members also seems a bit redundant, since that is ostensibly what expert witnesses are for. Granted, it would be nice if some of the jury members had enough specialized knowledge such that they could "smell" bull**** from the expert witnesses when they hear it, but I'm a bit flexible on this particular angle. I think it is helpful for jury members to spot expert B.S. when they hear it, but there are perhaps other ways to go about making that happen. They could, for example, allow laymen jury members unfettered access to "supplementary" material to help gauge certain subjects, or even to consult third party, independent experts, if they so desire (and I know many prosecutors and defense attorneys would absolutely loathe that idea - because their agenda is they want the jury to only have access to the information [read; potential skewed information] that is "spoon fed" to them, and they try to fancy that process up by claiming that somehow that is what "justice" is. I don't buy that premise).

Quote:
Originally Posted by jojajn View Post
Perhaps the jury could only review the court transcripts, testimony, and evidence without seeing or knowing who the defendant is.

This would eliminate any bias, prejudice, or verdicts based on emotion.
I don't think you can fully compartmentalize it like that. Maybe partly, but not fully. A civil or criminal trial isn't like random drug tests where they can just assign the sample a number, so that the lab tech won't diddle with the samples based on what name might appear on the label (e.g. Lance Armstrong, for example).

While you could perhaps have a "blind" trial in the sense that maybe you don't let the jury see the defendant to see what color, gender, age, or appearance they have (i.e. put the jury behind a curtain kind of premise), but if the idea is that you have different jury members operating in a completely compartmentalized fashion (e.g. where the DNA expert jury member ONLY looks at DNA evidence, and the such and such expert ONLY looks at the such and such), I don't think that will work. To get at the truth, you can't compartmentalize it too heavily. You have to look at facts in their totality. With a drug test, you can make it a blind sample process because there isn't much complexity to the process. But with a trial, there's just too many facts, and you need to take them all in totality, and not give too much weight to one specific piece of evidence, which is a cognitive bias which a specialized and compartmentalized jury process might lead to.

So anyway, that's why if there were to ever be professional juries, I think they should be legal type professionals. Not necessarily specialists. If they had specialist knowledge, that would be all the better, in my opinion.... but I think legal thinking skills is the overriding attribute, because the person needs the broad ability to look at all evidence, not just one piece they want to fixate on because that's their preferred field.
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Old 07-09-2011, 03:10 PM
 
Location: California
30,702 posts, read 33,490,466 times
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It would be worth exploring. I always thought I would make a good "professional jurior" and they would have a better working knowedge of procedure. Of course it may not be a permenant thing, perhaps a year long gig or something, that way you avoid some of the problems with people being too much a part of the system.
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Old 07-09-2011, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Metro-Detroit area
4,060 posts, read 3,439,269 times
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in the case of OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony, the jury did not do its due diligence by taking the time to methodically go over the evidence and testimony as a group. Impossible to do in 4 or 10 hours respectively considering the amount of testimony and evidence.

How did you come to this conclusion???...possibly because you simply did not agree with the verdicts that were handed down??

I'm always dubious of people who claim that they can do something better than another group, when they in fact have done nothing of the sort!!!
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Old 07-09-2011, 05:39 PM
 
Location: Midwest
31,375 posts, read 19,636,273 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
Not really because you're supposed to be basing it on the evidence introduced, some of the things he was pointing out were not part of the trial which brings up another very good point. How do you prevent professional jurors from presenting their own evidence in the jury room?

Let me give you another example, I personally drove through this intersection where the accident took place on a daily basis. Even if the evidence could have shown guilt the primary cause of this accident would have been the intersection itself, IMO ultimately DOT was really responsible regardless on the parties involved. This was never presented at the trial so I couldn't bring that to the jury room and to be fair like the police officer I didn't mention it until after the decision was rendered.
I believe if the jury is a professional, they would know not to interject their own set of facts into the case. In addition, the other jurors would know not to take them into consideration.
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Old 07-09-2011, 05:43 PM
 
Location: Midwest
31,375 posts, read 19,636,273 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roaddog View Post
They don't have to be drug users or such but they need to be able to relate to that. I'm not a drug user but I know some and I have taken drugs so I can relate to their circumstances. That’s what makes up a good jury.

I've served on quite a few criminal trials and have been shocked about how people who can't relate to the charges become so judgmental and will convict someone on their feelings of the crime instead of the evidence.
Another good argument why jurors should be professionals educated in matters that would help a jury make a decision based solely on the evidence.
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Old 07-09-2011, 10:26 PM
 
Location: NC
10,005 posts, read 9,022,835 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jojajn View Post
in the case of OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony, the jury did not do its due diligence by taking the time to methodically go over the evidence and testimony as a group. Impossible to do in 4 or 10 hours respectively considering the amount of testimony and evidence.
It might not have been necessary to examine all of the testimony and evidence. They might have simply found the prosecution fail to prove a required element beyond a reasonable doubt and that it was not necessary to go any further. You cannot really know.
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