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roundsquare's avatar

What do you think of juries?

Asked by roundsquare (5522points) April 25th, 2012

Not every country uses juries. Some countries use mixed jury-judge systems (with the juries getting votes and along with judges or with the juries just “advising” the judges).

What do you think is the best? Why?

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11 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

They are mobs that are easily swayed by fallacious appeals to emotion and general manipulation by lawyers. Lawyers dismiss jurors based on how likely they are to support his position, e.g. the right kind of prejudice.
There was an anecdote from Neil Degrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, when he was called up for jury duty. He was asked what his job was, and he told the judge that he taught at university about how to evaluate evidence and the relative unreliability of eyewitness testimony.
He was dismissed from jury duty immediately.
This tells you what kind of people they want in a jury.

In Germany, there are no juries, Judges are specially trained professionals, and lay judges are used only in rare cases.
I would give my life into the hands of the judge over a jury any day of the week.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

I don’t hold a favorable view of juries as well. In the O.J. case, it was obvious that O.J. did commit the murder, but the jury didn’t understand the concept of DNA and they sympathized with O.J. because they thought it was more of a race issue (i.e. O.J. was prosecuted because he’s black). As elitist as this sounds, I don’t want anyone who is uneducated and emotional deciding my fate for me. Granted that DNA evidence was a fairly new concept at the time, but still…

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

I love the American jury system, I am not sure about other countries.

It is the fourth part of the check and balance system. You cannot enforce an unjust law if juries return innocent verdicts.

I know today, lawyers and legal experts and judges tell people jury nullification is evil, and they work to prevent it. Of course legal experts resent it. You get on a jury, you think weed should be legal, you vote innocent when the guy is clearly guilty. Eventually cops stop arresting guys as it is a waste of time.

Simplest thing in the world.

woodcutter's avatar

I really like jury duty. It’s a great excuse to not feel guilty of not working. I find the process fascinating, depending on the case.

jerv's avatar

Almost pointless since the judge is not always bound by their verdict.

Personally, I favor the sort of legal system that the fictitious nation of Tir Tairngire has in Shadowrun. There are still two sides, but they do not directly oppose each other as they do in our US legal system. Instead, they both seek the actual facts of the matter first, and then try to establish the defendant’s relationship to what happened instead of one side trying to frame the defendant while the other seeks to exonerate them.

ucme's avatar

I shall withdraw & deliberate this further… favour, 12 minds are generally better than one old fart’s.

elbanditoroso's avatar

A good jury is made of thinking people who understand an analyze things.

A bad jury is one that follows the noisiest member blindly.

Until you are on a jury, you don’t know which will be your fate.

tedd's avatar

My biggest qualm, being an aspiring forensic scientist, is finding out how many juries disbelieve perfectly legitimate forensic evidence…. purely because they haven’t seen it on CSI yet. That lady in Florida who killed her daughter, I saw the forensics (the smell stuff) they had, she definitely killed her daughter. The prosecutor brought in one of the best Forensic Scientists in the world to testify to that effect with that evidence. And the defense attorney basically convinced the jury the guy was a wacko, because they’d never heard of his new fangled “science” on TV yet.

Basically, there’s an issue with a jury of our peers being asked to understand something they clearly have no level of understanding in. Could I ask a jury of my peers to understand astrophysics? Does their failure to understand make the astrophysics false?

PhiNotPi's avatar

@tedd There’s actually a name for that, it’s called the CSI effect. And I strongly dislike it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Imadethisupwithnoforethought They aren’t going to hold a jury trial over simple marijuana possession. I wish they would though, ‘cause I like the way you think!

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