Some people on juries are total retards. Let’s face it. I think that only intelligent people should be allowed to be jurists. We don’t let morons become heart surgeons, do we? So why allow someone’s freedom to be placed in the hands of Forrest Gump?
The worst example of this is the O.J. trial. When it was over and they were on Oprah, it became apparent how stupid they were. They couldn’t even comprehend the metaphor “Playing the race card” ! And they didn’t even consider the DNA evidence in their deliberations, because they didn’t understand it! What an outrage.
I’m putting this in The Pit and not GD because I know that everyone there will shoot me down with brilliant arguments, and I just feel like ranting. It makes me so angry that we reserve PhD.s and Nobel Prizes for the smartypants of the world, and not something so important as jury duty.
I have to agree with you, Sweet Lotus. I hate stupid juries that award pointless multi-billion dollar awards that fail to even realize how ludicrous the ruling is and how severly it will be reduced in later in the legal process. I think that we should sincerely consider granting the same rights to those who wish to have a profesional jurist consider their case as those who wish to have a jury.
Being a juror should actually be a profession. Knowing the intricacies of the law, being able to recognize whether the burden of proof has been met, etc. are learned skills that take brain power. Obviously not everyone is capable of this.
Wasn’t it Dave Barry who said that the Sixth Amendment guarantees your right to a trial before a jury of people too stupid to get out of jury duty?
I got called to the grand jury once, when I was 19 (boy, if that isn’t an argument against tying jury duty to voter registration, I dunno what is). We also had to sit for jury selection for various criminal cases. As I watched the selection, I noticed that the lawyers systematically dismissed any and all potential jurors who were actually informed. Or had had any sort of experience with crime. We all agree that drunk driving is a Very Bad Thing, right? I was disqualified because I’d been hit by a drunk driver in the past. Ridiculous, ain’t it? So by this elimination – of those who’ve been on the receiving end of a crime, as well as those who actually hold a firm belief about some things – you’re left with a bunch of brain dead idiots.
While we’re at it, why don’t we just cancel that silly democracy thing? All that means is that any old shmo can be elected. We should have specifically trained philosopher-kings running our country. The people are far too stupid to be entrusted any power whatever.
Most jurors are pretty smart. Many are retired. and before you start thinking a Jury’s verdict is “stupid”, I want to hear you have read the entire fucking court transcript. If you haven’t- shut the fuck up. How can you possibly think you know that the jury is wrong, when all you have heard is a 5min soundbite on the News, and maybe read an article in the paper? It’s like coming in at the end of a 150post thread in GD, reading the last post and the thread title, and thinking you can now solve the whole problem.
How about if you went in to your company, and pitched a great idea that would revolutionize the industry, to your boss, his assistant, HIS boss, and a tech expert- for an entire week, with charts, graphs, experiments, resource material, AV aids, and the whole nine yards. They were sceptical at first, but after 40 hrs they bought in and were conviced! However, the CEO read a 2 paragraph article about it in the trade paper, and so, without hearing any of the stuff you showed your “jury”- said; “It sounds like a stupid idea, let’s drop it.”
Judges may nullify Jury verdicts, altho that happens rarely, but the Appelate court can do so also. In almost none of those “stupid multi-million $ verdicts” do THESE professional Jurors reverse the 'stupid" jury. Reduce the verdict? Sure, happens, especially in the really BIG penalties, but almost never -reverse.
I’m sorry, but the American jury system is stupid, out-of-date and inefficient. It may have been relevant 200 years ago, in small, homogenous communities, with a much simpler approach to law enforcement, but now they just don’t work.
Let the judges judge. They’re democratically appointed, they’re trained, they’re impartial. They also have a very low bullshit tolerence - something you can’t say about juries.
Oh, and enough of this “suppressing evidence” crap. If a cop screws up, punish the cop; don’t award the crook. The purpose of the court is to discovery of the truth, not fair play.
It was a civil case. In the jury pool were two superior court judges, who stated that judges and lawyers should not shirk their civic duty of jury service. Both judges seemed very wise and very fair. And both were knocked off with pre-emptory challenges.
I had a third party business relationship with one of the defendants, which I immediately made the court aware of. (They were a client of my company, and I had been loaned out to them for a 2 month period.) They let me sit on the jury. Still scrathing my head about that one.
About half of the jury were smart people, the other half were simpletons. Several wanted to award the plaintiff money even after we agreed they did not come close to proving their case. They obviously thought that having an injury in and of itself justified a monetary award.
I actually agree with your sarcastic poll. More than 1/2 the people who vote have no idea what the fuck the candidates are for. And nowadays candidates just say whatever they need to in order to get elected. Many voters in this country are like children. They’ll vote for the guy who says “I’ll lower taxes, give our free food etc.” The worse idiot is that Al stupid Gore who promises “More social security benefits”, etc., etc. when it’s going bankrupt. What he doesn’t tell people is that we’re going to pay through our noses. Basically that fucker Gore is saying that he doesn’t consider any Americans to have an ounce of intelligence.
Incidentally, that’s what the Roman Republic was like near the end, and look what happened to them.
We need tough Presidental candidates who can give us tough love, not fucking Al Gore who will run this country down to the ground if elected.
And back to the subject. In England, judges judge, like they should. Of course there are bad judges too, but it’s a lot better than the system we have where basically, you’re not getting an impartial jury of peers. You’re getting the stupidest jury that the prosecution and defense attornies can get.
What our court system means is that even if you commit a crime there’s a chance of you getting away scot free! And who doesn’t want to live in a country like this? Every one, even if they commit a crime, wants a second chance, right?
In your dreams man. So how do you explain the OJ verdict? Or maybe you think OJ was really innocent? So why didn’t Judge Ito nullify that verdict? OJ’s verdict is the best proof that GOD doesn’t exist, unless he has future plans for OJ that we don’t know about.
Yes, Spooje, another thing, it seems to me that professional jurists would be less affected by emotional evidence. It amazes me the times that jorors have later expressed how emotional testimony from the prosocution influenced a joror. Back when I used to watch that piece of drivel, Dateline, they would always try to round the jury back up for these little get togethers and I wanted to vomit every time I heard a joror describe how sad it was that, “little baby Alissa did not have a mother,” and that somehow tied a person to the crime.
IT DOES NOT FUCKING MATTER HOW FUCKING SAD IT WAS, JUST BECAUSE IT IS SAD DOES NOT MEAN THAT IT IS CRITICAL TO PUNUSH SOMEONE, ESPECIALLY IF THEY ARE THE WRONG PERSON. This evidence was not entered for sentencing mind you, this was during the main phase of the trial! God they piss me off.
Perhaps we should make professional jurys from a pool of people that have managed to pass basic law degrees, paralegals, etc. I would not mind the increase in taxes to make competitive salaries for these professional jorors, think of the money it saves compared to leaving your job.
I don’t believe a judge can nullify a verdict in a criminal court, though they can reduce the sentence. You’ll note that OJ was found liable in the wrongful death civil suit brought against him, so maybe there’s a wee bit of justice after all.