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Jury Service

 
 
Reply Sun 8 Oct, 2006 03:13 am
It is a shame that nobody here yet felt the need to declare with regard to the Philosophy of Law.

I have asked before, around here and elsewhere, if anybody has actully served on a jury, but not yet with a useful answer to be seen.

I wonder what effect it had upon the personal outlook because it had a big effect on mine, as it does for others, a best we may gather. Up until then I had thought myself to be reasonably sure of many a thing which I see now to be nothing more than a best guess, hopefully good enough to go by but a rough estimate which we nevertheless oblige ourselves to rely upon.

If Juries really did require themselves to know the whole truth and nothing but, and beyond a shadow of a doubt, would they ever convict anybody?

The practicality of the matter is also thus of interest, the extent to which a jury member is prepared to cope. Jury members are notoriously reluctant to give up their time to serve.

--- RH.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 1,612 • Replies: 13
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pilgrimshost
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Oct, 2006 09:56 am
@perplexity,
The issue is that 'everyday' people dont think of the 'fundimental' applicatons of 'truth' or the reality of morality ect. So ignorance on their part makes the descisson far simpler,and its probably true that 'everyday' people would consider philosophical conscepts to actually be not true or even relivent anyway!
perplexity
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Oct, 2006 11:35 am
@pilgrimshost,
pilgrimshost wrote:
The issue is that 'everyday' people dont think of the 'fundimental' applicatons of 'truth' or the reality of morality ect. So ignorance on their part makes the descisson far simpler,and its probably true that 'everyday' people would consider philosophical conscepts to actually be not true or even relivent anyway!


But it was not like that at all, rather the opposite.

I was astounded by the reluctance to decide, to come to the conclusion that the supect was indeed criminally involved with something nefarious. In the event I was the only one of 12 with the courage to vote to convict, and the only one willing to serve as the foreman, therefore appointed by default.

-- RH.
pilgrimshost
 
  1  
Reply Sun 8 Oct, 2006 11:44 am
@perplexity,
Interesting, so would you say it was down to the possility that they didnt have a sence of social resposabity and were not commited to the service they were responsible for, many people regard 'offical' duties as either daunting or with (i cant think of the word) something like hate or contempt because the naturally feel its 'against' them also. I hope i havent confused you.
0 Replies
 
Aristoddler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Oct, 2006 09:48 pm
@perplexity,
I fail to see where there can be philosophy, in a place where fact is the sole neccessity.
perplexity
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Oct, 2006 10:06 pm
@Aristoddler,
pilgrimshost wrote:
Interesting, so would you say it was down to the possility that they didnt have a sence of social resposabity and were not commited to the service they were responsible for,


Not that one should presume to be a mind reader, the feeling that I had of it was that the jury members were thinking about the crimes that they themsleves had committed and got away with.

Aristoddler wrote:
I fail to see where there can be philosophy, in a place where fact is the sole neccessity.


That is easy to explain. It is because of the total lack of the necessary "fact". All a jury really has to go on is an impression of personal recollections of the facts. In the event any physical evidence is remarkably unhelpful. A pistol with a label on it is passed around the jury, from hand to hand and they're thinking "so what, how does this help?" The "evidence" is worth nothing without a person to vouch for it.

It is about guilt, which is a philosophical issue, not a demonstrable fact.

-- Ron.
pilgrimshost
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Oct, 2006 10:11 pm
@perplexity,
So is your coco too hot?Very Happy Whos guilt, or do you mean every mans guilt?
perplexity
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Oct, 2006 10:21 pm
@pilgrimshost,
pilgrimshost wrote:
mean every mans guilt?


The guilt of the accused in the dock, nothing more abstruse than that, because there is nothing more abstruse than his guilt, not as if he is going to plead not guilty and then give the game away, to make it easy for the jury.

-- RH.
Isa
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Jan, 2007 03:34 pm
@perplexity,
Given so little information about the case and/or situation, it is difficult to try and explain either why the 11 didn't vote to convict, or even why you did (other than you expressed belief that the person was guilty). So it might simply be that they really didn't feel that the accused was guilty.

Another possible explanations why the 11 didn't vote to convict might be related to the severity of the crime; you mentioned that it was "nefarious", so I must imagine that it carried a rather stiff sentence if convicted. It may be that the 11 didn't feel "sure" enough about the evidence to convict and sentence someone to hard time. Or there might have been something about the person that wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt, or to give them a second chance (maybe something like the defendant being very young).

It could also be that you saw some proof in the evidence that the others didn't, and you only assumed that they did.

Again, it is difficult to try and guess.
0 Replies
 
astrotheological
 
  1  
Reply Mon 8 Sep, 2008 08:16 pm
@perplexity,
perplexity wrote:
It is a shame that nobody here yet felt the need to declare with regard to the Philosophy of Law.

I have asked before, around here and elsewhere, if anybody has actully served on a jury, but not yet with a useful answer to be seen.

I wonder what effect it had upon the personal outlook because it had a big effect on mine, as it does for others, a best we may gather. Up until then I had thought myself to be reasonably sure of many a thing which I see now to be nothing more than a best guess, hopefully good enough to go by but a rough estimate which we nevertheless oblige ourselves to rely upon.

If Juries really did require themselves to know the whole truth and nothing but, and beyond a shadow of a doubt, would they ever convict anybody?

The practicality of the matter is also thus of interest, the extent to which a jury member is prepared to cope. Jury members are notoriously reluctant to give up their time to serve.

--- RH.


The government should pay people a lot more than what they paying right now. It might actually convince people to look at the evidence more thoroughly.
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Tue 9 Sep, 2008 05:12 am
@perplexity,
perplexity wrote:
I have asked before, around here and elsewhere, if anybody has actully served on a jury, but not yet with a useful answer to be seen.


Yea, twice.

perplexity wrote:
I wonder what effect it had upon the personal outlook because it had a big effect on mine, as it does for others, a best we may gather.


Yea, to some extent. I was a bit impressed with the precision of court procedures and the process in place. Yet I was a bit miffed by the amount to which some individuals - seemingly completely absent of the facts - allow sheer emotion to govern their judgment. But this was just my perspective, it's quite likely they grasped something I didn't.

The first one was a robbery case and rather quick conviction. The second one was assault and auto theft; I was one of 5 which held out "guilty" while 5 others held fast to "not guilty" and two vacillated to the point we became deadlocked after three days.

perplexity wrote:
If Juries really did require themselves to know the whole truth and nothing but, and beyond a shadow of a doubt, would they ever convict anybody?


Probably not, which is probably why the instructions juries receive is to make their determination based on "reasonable doubt". This seems to strike some folks as murky. And no, in most cases there is always at least some (thus the "reasonable" part).

All systems which rely on humans to be objective (who are flawed, fickle and steered by emotion) will suffer this malady. I'm not sure there's a better way, all things considered.
PaulG
 
  1  
Reply Wed 29 Oct, 2008 03:44 am
@Khethil,
I've never had the opportunity to serve on a jury, but work in the criminal justice system. From what I know, if I was facing Court for and offence that was emotive, I'd elect to have it tried by a judge only. That way, only the facts are dealt with and decisions are not made on an emotional level.
0 Replies
 
Elmud
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2009 09:19 pm
@perplexity,
perplexity wrote:
It is a shame that nobody here yet felt the need to declare with regard to the Philosophy of Law.

I have asked before, around here and elsewhere, if anybody has actully served on a jury, but not yet with a useful answer to be seen.

I wonder what effect it had upon the personal outlook because it had a big effect on mine, as it does for others, a best we may gather. Up until then I had thought myself to be reasonably sure of many a thing which I see now to be nothing more than a best guess, hopefully good enough to go by but a rough estimate which we nevertheless oblige ourselves to rely upon.

If Juries really did require themselves to know the whole truth and nothing but, and beyond a shadow of a doubt, would they ever convict anybody?

The practicality of the matter is also thus of interest, the extent to which a jury member is prepared to cope. Jury members are notoriously reluctant to give up their time to serve.

--- RH.

I had to go to jury duty once. They interview you ahead of time to qualify you. They asked me if i had any prejudices in regard to the case being tried at the time which was a drug offense. I told them that drug abuse has in large part, destroyed some of my family members. They then said, you are excused sir. It was good to get to go home.
0 Replies
 
hue-man
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 May, 2009 08:53 pm
@astrotheological,
When I served on jury duty it was a civil case. The lack of evidence in the case was enough for me to say no to paying the man who claimed to have fallen. There were also suspicions that made me second guess the plaintiff's argument and motive. One of the other jurors basically said that the suspicions and gaps shouldn't matter much, and I responded by saying how can truth and honesty not matter in a legal case? People who don't think much about things like the philosophy of law and ethics don't find it hard to decide suspicious cases with a lack of evidence.
0 Replies
 
 

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