jury duty

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Big Think wants us to stop whining about jury duty, because "Without jury duty, there is no right to a jury trial:"

And without jury trials, criminal defendants would be subject to the potentially dangerous whims of the government. To be sure, there are many reasons we should avoid hailing jury trials as ironclad venues of divine justice. Members of juries may be unprepared to weigh the complexities in cases requiring highly technical knowledge. Jurors, being human, are subject to bias, and racial bias is no small concern. Recent grand jury trials in racially charged cases cast doubt on jurors' ability to properly interpret evidence when it is presented by a prosecuting attorney with possible ulterior motives.

The piece also notes that "As long as jury trials remain a fundamental part of our system of justice, jury service is imperative. And there is no good reason to gripe about it:"

So the next time you are summoned for jury duty, look beyond the surly clerks, the long waits in uncomfortable chairs and the need to put your daily pursuits on hold for an afternoon or a few days. Your country doesn't ask for much. You can do your democracy this one favor. Even the Chief Justice of the United States, John Roberts, gamely showed up for jury duty last week. (Is your job more important than his?) And if you pay attention, and you're selected for a jury, the experience may be eye-opening in a host of ways. You'll learn something about the law and how the legal system operates, for better or for worse. You'll meet people you may not ordinarily come across in your daily life. And you'll lend your ear and reasoned judgment to a case involving the fate of a fellow citizen.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on April 17, 2015 10:31 AM.

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