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  • Judicial system changes?

    Had a discussion on politics among other things with my aunt who is also a LEO with alot more experience than me and very different political views. We were arguing the pros and cons of the current jury system. My opinion of it was that its no longer viable as a system due to the changes in society compared to when our country was founded.

    the system I would be in favor of would be a panel of three judges to hear and try the cases. Prosecutor and defense attorney would remain but the jury would be eliminated. A fourth judge would be assigned to review each case and overturn or uphold the triumverates ruling. She said that I am a "Hamiltonian." At a guess, I'd say this particular method was once used in our court system from her reference? anyone know off hand if it was? What were the pros and cons of that court system if so?
    Liberalism is a mental disorder
    -Resistance implies Guilt-

  • #2
    Originally posted by Mraughh
    Had a discussion on politics among other things with my aunt who is also a LEO with alot more experience than me and very different political views. We were arguing the pros and cons of the current jury system. My opinion of it was that its no longer viable as a system due to the changes in society compared to when our country was founded.

    the system I would be in favor of would be a panel of three judges to hear and try the cases. Prosecutor and defense attorney would remain but the jury would be eliminated. A fourth judge would be assigned to review each case and overturn or uphold the triumverates ruling. She said that I am a "Hamiltonian." At a guess, I'd say this particular method was once used in our court system from her reference? anyone know off hand if it was? What were the pros and cons of that court system if so?

    The USC requires an impartial jury. I agree that the current system is FUBAR, but I would rather see career jurors. They would be educated in criminal/civil law, and be experts in reasonable doubt. Paid a salary by the jurisdictions.
    "Speed is fine, but accuracy is final"--Bill Jordan

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    • #3
      Not a bad idea either Tx, although I dont like having the unaminous vote to convict, would you keep it as is or change the rules for the jury if they were career jurors?
      Liberalism is a mental disorder
      -Resistance implies Guilt-

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Mraughh
        Not a bad idea either Tx, although I dont like having the unaminous vote to convict, would you keep it as is or change the rules for the jury if they were career jurors?
        I would keep it unanimous. After all, our system was founded on the belief that it is better for 10 guilty men to go free than for 1 innocent man to be imprisoned.......
        "Speed is fine, but accuracy is final"--Bill Jordan

        Comment


        • #5
          Yep, that was a big part of the basis for my arguement with my aunt. At the time our judicial system was established, communites were alot closer knit that they are now, so the jury system worked well. Social events were linked to churches, towns were very small and everyone knew each other, what kind of people they were and whatnot. Social interactions (with some mail, although it wasnt very feasible considering transportation was by horse or ship) were all face-to-face, unlike today where we have email and telephones, etc. I just think we need an overhaul of the system to reflect how society is today.
          Liberalism is a mental disorder
          -Resistance implies Guilt-

          Comment


          • #6
            Sounds good, tx. "A jury of your peers" sounds great in theory, but realistically, how often does it truly happen. Having "professional jurists" would save a lot of time, probably money, and probably mistrials/wrongful convictions/acquitals. All that being said, it'll never happen.
            Made ya look!!!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Mraughh
              At the time our judicial system was established, communites were alot closer knit that they are now...
              That's a good point. We do enjoy a lot more anonymity than in yesteryear. Though I'm not ready to abandon the system we have, I'll have to think on this one a while.

              Having a panel of judges, though, I wouldn't be comfortable with. I know some great judges. On the other hand, I read some horrifying stories about rulings from judges on the far left politically. Judges are very powerful and difficult to control once they're seated. What system of checks and balances would you suggest?
              Last edited by P_B_J; 02-23-2005, 09:50 AM.
              Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Matt. 5:9

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              • #8
                Another Problem with The Jury System in Modern Times

                JURY CONSULTANTS: IN VEGAS IT'S CALLED CARD COUNTING

                Nowadays, virtually all major law firms routinely employ independent experts whose sole responsibility is to undermine one of the most important ideas specifically in the minds of the Framers of the Constitution when they envisioned the foundation of our legal system.

                The whole idea behind selecting juries from a random cross-sectional pool of citizens in the first place is precisely to minimize any possibility that jury verdicts will be influenced by jurors' collective personal alliegences and prejudices rather than purely on the weight of the evidence adduced at trial. The architecture of American jurisprudence is intended to ensure that the ultimate outcome of adversarial legal proceedings be determined by unbiased jurors of statistically random sentiment; in order to make doubly sure that decisions not be tainted by personal bias, the rules specifically allow for removal of a statutory number of potential jurors wherever factors exist suggesting pre-existing bias, in addition to a number of automatic challenges without any articulation of cause at all--in effect, "wild cards" for constitutional fairness and objectivity, if you like.

                In the last thirty years several sub-industries have grown out of the legal profession, Jury Consulting being one of the biggest. Essentially, firms providing this service make extensive use of polls, questionnaires and surveys, employing sophisticated methods of statistical analysis and demographics specifically designed to identify jurors more likely to reach verdicts in their clients' favor regardless of any evidence contrary to that verdict. Just as in the cases where trivial technical Search & Seizure violations are sometimes exploited in ways never contemplated by the Framers of the Constitution, this legal provision originally designed to foster juror objectivity has been corrupted toward ends absolutely antithetical to the very concepts underlying our constitutional system of trial
                by jury.

                To highlight this absurdity, consider that the rules governing Las Vegas card games are designed to maintain certain odds of drawing any particular card from a deck of fifty-two. In fact, many of the games use multiple decks, precisely because the odds against the house increase unfairly as the dealers' deck becomes depleted over the course of a round of play. Gamblers have attempted to develop methods of capitalizing in this regard by "card counting", in essence,. keeping a mental record of exactly which cards have already been played, the purpose of which is to give them a very decided advantage against the house the longer a game lasts.

                Like the legal profession, the gaming industry has also sprouted its own dependant sub-industries, catching cheaters and identifying professional "counters" being one of the biggest. The idea, quite simply, is to prevent undermining the randomness of dealt cards upon which the odds and mechanics of fair gaming rely. Given the relative importance of maintaining constitutional principles in juror objectivity as compared with ensuring profitability for the gaming industry, it is indefensible that current legislation allows the deliberate and calculated removal of potential jurors for the purpose of engineering a jury whose members are statistically predisposed to rendering a favorable verdict before the introduction of a shred of relevant evidence or the testimony of a single witness. Furthermore, unlike games of chance, where odds sought to be maintained are intended to favor the house, the sole aim of this particular feature of American jurisprudence is to guarantee that legal proceedings remain free of any influence that slants the odds either way. Peremtory challenges were designed to guard against biased juries, not to guarantee bias for parties whose financial resources allow them to hire experts in identifying personal psychological predispositions in judgement and behavior.

                Attorneys particularly skilled themselves in gauging issues of personal psychology should, of course be free to employ their people reading skills during the voir dire stage of juror selection. Peremtory challenges allowed by statute should, as always, still be exempt from any specific need to justify their invocation, but in a profession governed (in countless other specific instances) by codes of conduct based on "good faith", there is nothing outlandish about prohibitting the outright use of independant experts in statistical analyses and human psychology to undermine the very concept designed to ensure the objectivity of juries.

                By contrast, what defies the imagination is that such outright, systematic, institutional corruption of as fundamentally sound a principle as juror objectivity and fairness at trial would ever have been sanctioned under a legal system that takes such trouble to adhere to other (sometimes genuinely antiquaited and profoundly obsolete) legal concepts merely because they originated in the minds of the Framers of the Constitution.
                No longer ignoring anybody here, since that psycho known as "Josey Wales" finally got the boot after being outed as a LE imposter by B&G978. Nice job.

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                • #9
                  I would be hesistent with professional jurors. I wonder who would appoint them, or how would they get their appointments? Would they be a part of the government? Too many risks for me.

                  I like this excerpt about the jury system.

                  ''The guarantees of jury trial in the Federal and State Constitutions reflect a profound judgment about the way in which law should be enforced and justice administered. A right to jury trial is granted to criminal defendants in order to prevent oppression by the Government. Those who wrote our constitutions knew from history and experience that it was necessary to protect against unfounded criminal charges brought to eliminate enemies and against judges too responsive to the voice of higher authority. The framers of the constitutions strove to create an independent judiciary but insisted upon further protection against arbitrary action. Providing an accused with the right to be tried by a jury of his peers gave him an inestimable safeguard against the corrupt overzealous prosecutor and against the compliant, biased, or eccentric judge. . . . [T]he jury trial provisions . . . reflect a fundamental decision about the exercise of official power--a reluctance to entrust plenary powers over the life and liberty of the citizen to one judge or to a group of judges. Fear of unchecked power . . . found expression in the criminal law in this insistence upon community participation in the determination of guilt or innocence.''
                  Retired

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by retired
                    I like this excerpt about the jury system.
                    I like it, too. It's very accurate and eloquent.
                    Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Matt. 5:9

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by P_B_J
                      That's a good point. We do enjoy a lot more anonymity than in yesteryear. Though I'm not ready to abandon the system we have, I'll have to think on this one a while.

                      Having a panel of judges, though, I wouldn't be comfortable with. I know some great judges. On the other hand, I read some horrifying stories about rulings from judges on the far left politically. Judges are very powerful and difficult to control once they're seated. What system of checks and balances would you suggest?
                      You key wording for my system would be "politically" The politics of electing judges, would have to be eliminated completely, to get as close as possible true impartiality. The judges would be appointed by the state supreme courts and serve for 10 years at a stretch. To obtain a guilty verdict would have to be a unaminous vote. To police (no pun intended) the judges, They would have no lee way in sentancing at all on capital crimes, and very little on everything else. If a judge were to get out of hand like some are today, then they would be removed from office. I would also establish that they cannot serve consecutive terms as a judge in the same court system. (IE city or county)
                      Liberalism is a mental disorder
                      -Resistance implies Guilt-

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by retired
                        I would be hesistent with professional jurors. I wonder who would appoint them, or how would they get their appointments? Would they be a part of the government? Too many risks for me.

                        I like this excerpt about the jury system.

                        ''The guarantees of jury trial in the Federal and State Constitutions reflect a profound judgment about the way in which law should be enforced and justice administered. A right to jury trial is granted to criminal defendants in order to prevent oppression by the Government. Those who wrote our constitutions knew from history and experience that it was necessary to protect against unfounded criminal charges brought to eliminate enemies and against judges too responsive to the voice of higher authority. The framers of the constitutions strove to create an independent judiciary but insisted upon further protection against arbitrary action. Providing an accused with the right to be tried by a jury of his peers gave him an inestimable safeguard against the corrupt overzealous prosecutor and against the compliant, biased, or eccentric judge. . . . [T]he jury trial provisions . . . reflect a fundamental decision about the exercise of official power--a reluctance to entrust plenary powers over the life and liberty of the citizen to one judge or to a group of judges. Fear of unchecked power . . . found expression in the criminal law in this insistence upon community participation in the determination of guilt or innocence.''
                        very eloquent, but they are not independant anymore. Too much political wrangling infects the sytem.
                        Liberalism is a mental disorder
                        -Resistance implies Guilt-

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Mraughh
                          very eloquent, but they are not independant anymore. Too much political wrangling infects the sytem.
                          So if they were appointed or selected like a GJ, do you think they would be more independent? GJ serve at the pleasure of the DA, and basically render decisions based on what the DA wants, not for the benefit of the justice system. No, I disagree with you, and say that juries are still independent of all other facets of the judicial system, at least from what I have experienced in my years in LE.

                          I do agree that the selection process has been somewhat perverted over the last few years, but the intent of the jury system is still in place.
                          Retired

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by retired
                            So if they were appointed or selected like a GJ, do you think they would be more independent? GJ serve at the pleasure of the DA, and basically render decisions based on what the DA wants, not for the benefit of the justice system. No, I disagree with you, and say that juries are still independent of all other facets of the judicial system, at least from what I have experienced in my years in LE.

                            I do agree that the selection process has been somewhat perverted over the last few years, but the intent of the jury system is still in place.
                            Sorry for the delayed response.

                            If they were professional jurors, which would be like an everyday job, the DA should have no say over their appointment. Jurors would be assigned to a particular court and remain there. Same 12 folks each day.

                            Definititly an enlightening discussion for me
                            Liberalism is a mental disorder
                            -Resistance implies Guilt-

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mraughh
                              Sorry for the delayed response.

                              If they were professional jurors, which would be like an everyday job, the DA should have no say over their appointment. Jurors would be assigned to a particular court and remain there. Same 12 folks each day.

                              Definititly an enlightening discussion for me
                              So how do they get appointed?
                              Retired

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