Bunny justice

I, like every other Friday night, have just put on my fuzzy pink bunny costume…

I draw whiskers on with an eyebrow pencil, grab my car keys, climb behind the wheel of my steamroller and with a sinister cackle I proceed to crush to death an entire busload of nuns…

After a high speed chase down the Santa Monica freeway I am apprehended and put on trial for my crimes…

The judge informs me that I am entitled to a jury of my peers…

Does that mean I have the right to demand twelve people in bunny costumes? If convicted can I appeal on the grounds that my right to a “jury of my peers” wasn’t provided?

Seriously, has anybody sucessfully demanded a jury of their “peers” ie: all black, white, christian, scandinavian, female, etc.?

Adam “Inky” Greene


Shit I thought he said “beers”!
By peers, they mean fellow citizens,non judge types, I dont think they ever meant it to include race…maybe when they wrote it there was only the white man…


Peers means fellow citizens, not exact demographic matches. A jury of 12 bunny-suit wearing psychoes would be prejudiced in favor of the defendant; no lawywer would stand for that.

FWIW, an English lord can only be tried by the House of Lords since they are his peers. At least that’s how it was in the Dorothy Sayers novel.

“non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem”
– William of Ockham

You don’t get to choose your jury, the lawyers choose & none are gonna choose a bunch of bunnies.

You DO get to choose your jury. Actually, you tell your lawyer which three you don’t want, that’s the limit for rejecting without cause.You are stuck with the rest plus three new ones.

pluto writes:

I believe that privilege of peers was abolished in 1946 (Sayers wrote all the “Lord Peter” novels before that).

“Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away.”

The lawyers for the defense and prosecution both get a set number of jurors they can dismiss for any reason. (In this case I suppose you’d show the jury a Warner Bothers cartoon and the prosecution would dismiss whoever cheered hardest for Bugs Bunny and the defense would dismiss whoever cheered hardest for Elmer Fudd.) After that you have to convince the judge that your objections to a juror are reasonable. The specifics of this vary depending on jurisdiction.

I’m sure everybody’s thinking it, but I have to say it:

(drum roll)

Bunny justice can only be dispensed in a kangaroo court!


Actually, that isn’t true, sunbear. The number of peremptory challenges depends on the type of case being tried, the jurisdiction in which it is being tried, and the judgment of the judge as to whether any added challenges will be necessary to do justice.

And, of course, there are challenges for ‘cause’ which eliminate far more of the jury pool than the peremptory challenges do. In the hypothetical provided, the bunny-suit wearers would be challenged and dismissed (likely) for cause, having proven unlikely to give the STATE a fair shake in the deliberations.

Black’s Law Dictionary notes that ‘trial by a jury of his peers’ means trial by a jury of citizens, citizens being in this country people of equal rank and station with all other citizens.

BTW, the Sayers novel in question, Clouds of Witness, was set in 1920-21, IIRC. (You didn’t ask, but I felt like showing off.)

“I admit that a desire to have all the fun is nine-tenths of the law of chivalry.”
– Lord Peter Wimsey

While visiting Colonial Williamsburg, I noticed that the jury sat on flat benches without a back. I asked the guide how long trials lasted since that didn’t look very comfortable. Her answer was usually a day or so at most, and that deliberations didn’t take long. Food and water was withheld from the jury until they got a unanimous verdict.

Oh, DAMN! I just looked it up and all the dates in the novel are rendered as “192-”. Just goes to show one should never volunteer unnecessary information …