Reforming the Court System

Many criminal trials are often highly emotional and marred by fierce accusations of bias, racism, and etc. Two of the more notable ones was the trial of the LA cops who beat Rodney King and OJ Simpson. And of course there are celebrity trials which are simply insane

In order to remove all possibilities of bias of any sort I propose this court system. In this court system the trial procedure will be as follows. After the defendant is made to be put on trial a trial date will be set which will remain secret to everyone except the plantiff and the defendant and their respective attorneys including in criminal trials. The jury will not meet either the defendant or the plantiff and will instead meet only their attorneys. The jury will not be told the names of either the victims or the accused nor shewn their photographs nor will they be told of their race, sex, religion, ethnicity, or sexuality. If the an attack for instance was assumed to be racially motivated than the court will just say “The defendant was attacked because of the defendant’s race”. The attorneys will present the evidence and the written testimonies of both sides which will remain anonymous as possible. The jury will then declare a guilty or an innocent verdict and than sentence the criminal if guilty. Only than will the information of what happened in the trial be released to the news media. So what do you think?

So you’re going to cure bias by institutionalizing bias?

How is that bias. It doesn’t even state what the victim’s race is! It just states the motives for the crime.

To the members of the jury: although legally it should be your province to determine whether a crime was motivated by the victim’s race, I have decided to remove that power from you, despite the constitution, and tell you that you must believe that the crime was racially motivated. You are not permitted to decide this fact for yourself. Instead, please view the defendant as a racist. But try to be fair to the racist. If you can.

How many non-celebrity trials have you actually seen?
Years ago I covered a few for a newspaper and I could certainly refer to occasional testimony as “highly emotional” but not the trials.
Seems to me eliminating all non-verbal communications clues from all juries is a grossly overreaching solution to solve a problem in two trials 15 plus years ago.

No in this example I was shewing how the prosecution would present the evidence. The defence of course will present something different.

I think it’s an awesome idea, except for the little problem that it appears to eschew evidence in favor of argument, and cedes to the judge all the fact-finding power instead of the jury. You’d have to figure out how to get past some of those pesky constitutional things about right to trial by jury and right to confront witnesses and stuff, but other than that it’s totally workable.

Additional (perhaps more practical) problem: photographs are a huge source of evidence in trials. Photographs of the victim’s injuries for example. Photographs of the suspect covered in the victim’s blood for example. How do you avoid exposing the jury to the parties’ races and still allow such evidence to be admitted?

Any issues with witnesses can be conveyed in writing or should the defendant be too unintelligent dictated to his attorney to be conveyed in writing.

Perhaps the persons’ faces and skin colour will be blackened out to be unnoticable and only the wounds for instance shewn.

Because under Curtis’s plan, we’re doing away with evidence. All that happens is the lawyers get up to argue. No photos, no documents, no witnesses. Just lawyers telling the jury – believe me, don’t believe him, and no, you don’t get to decide for yourself.

Sounds like appellate court to me… :stuck_out_tongue:

Here are my thoughts on the matter. I’m not really gonna bother organizing them.

You are removing way too much information. Determining whether a person is lying, for example, requires you to be able to read their body language. It will be difficult to completely keep out the media, while allowing it still to have its role of making sure everything is fair. As we’ve already pointed out, lots of evidence would have to be either altered or left out entirely. The right to confront your accusers has more to do with the fact that people will be less likely to lie to someone’s face.
Removing non-verbal communication sounds like you not understanding how important it is in everyday life for non-Aspies. I believe Campion is being at least somewhat sarcastic.

Analyze that stream-of-consciousness writing all you want.

The world is an imperfect place. At the beginning of our country juries had been around for over 2,000 years. They decided the law and the facts. In ancient Greece you could argue anything you wanted to the jury, even asking for the death penalty for yourself. Since then, people have continued to use juries, but have increasingly taken away power from them. The only good argument I have heard to support reducing jury power is that they sometimes let off racist murderers because they sympathize with them.

I think that the legal system would benefit if juries decided everything. Judges would only have control of the courtroom, and in fact, bailiffs could do that job. While some judges do in fact say wise and helpful things, a large enough portion of them (I estimate a third) get in the way of prompt and fair resolution of disputes.

Why not just give police wide-ranging punshment powers, letting them administer judicial beatings and, in extreme cases, summary executions, all to steamline the process?

In other words, you want to eliminate the law, and replace it with mob rule. The only crime would be unpopularity. Your idea would be an utter disaster.

Gut the Bill of Rights because of 2 trials that happened in the '90s? Thanks but I’ll go with no.

Maybe Curtis is referring to King’s legal problems in 2003 and Simpson’s 2007 robbery trial.

Something like 95% of arrests are plea bargained, and most never come to trial. Most trials themselves are only about a day long. That is what I know of them, and in those situations I doubt these issues come up very heavily. Plus a good deal of violence is within races (white on white, black on black), not interracial.

I think a bigger problem is the fact that witnesses and victims must testify publicly. This puts them at risk of shame (if sexually abused) or retaliation (if targeting an organized crime ring). I don’t know how they try to deal with these problems since you are supposed to be allowed to cross examine people.

If somebody tells the jury the crime was racially motivated then what purpose does the jury serve? It’s their job to look at the evidence and make that decison.