[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Jury (was Re: Two GR concepts for dicussion)

On Fri, Jun 01, 2007 at 01:49:30AM -0700, Steve Langasek wrote:
> The role of jurors in the US legal system is not to interpret the law
> (jurors are commonly given explicit direction about the standard that must
> be met for the defendant to be guilty of a particular charge), but to decide
> whether they are convinced "beyond a reasonable doubt" that the defendant
> has committed the acts he or she is charged with.

This kind of guidance is absolutely a must for a jury-based system, as well as
detailed rules of evidence.  A jury trial *might* work if there is an
established police that investigates the event, and an adversarial proceedings
directed by a trained judge; and even then I am not convinced.  Some of the
things I learned with practice are about learning to interpret the theatrics of
the court room, and simply to get enough experience under my belt to know how
similar cases have been decided before (the legally trained judge tells us this
stuff, but it's much better to know it yourself).

Not sure how much of this is relevant for Debian any more, though.

> I did comment privately to AJ that I didn't think a jury system without an
> appointed judge would work very well.

I agree, with the proviso that I don't think it will work *at all* without one,
and I'm sceptical about it even with one.

> Jury nullification is a doctrine that juries have the right to acquit a
> defendant in the interest of mercy, in spite of actually having committed
> the acts he or she is accused of.

There is explicit license to do this in Finnish penal code, BTW :)  The
standard it sets for exercising this license is pretty hard, though.

> (And as for jury nullification, try mentioning your belief in such a doctrine
> some time while *in* a jury pool -- it's great fun to watch counsel scurry
> off to chambers so they can discuss having you excused from the jury
> *selection* process...)

Sounds like you speak from experience? :)

Antti-Juhani Kaijanaho, Jyväskylä

Reply to: