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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Another Problem With Juries

Trial by jury, as currently implemented, provides almost no protection against abuse by the State. I realized another huge defect in trial by jury that hasn't been mentioned here before.

Suppose there's a controversial trial that will take 1-3 months. If you work at a for-profit corporation, your employer won't like it if you miss work for awhile. You'll miss out on opportunities for promotion, if you miss a huge chunk of work. You'll feel guilty that you're creating extra work for your coworkers, who are now shorthanded. The incentive is for the employee to find a reason to dodge jury duty.

Suppose you work directly for the State. If you serve on a jury, you receive your full normal pay and benefits. Your employer specifically *WON'T* discriminate against you, if you miss a lot of work due to a prolonged trial.

This means that a jury will be PRIMARILY composed of people who work for the State! If you work directly for the State, you don't lose job status while serving on jury duty. If you work for a corporate employer, you can't afford an extended absence.

For "victimless" crimes, the State isn't just both judge and prosecutor. The State is *ALSO* the jury! A State employee will be *VERY* reluctant to rule against the State when the primary issue is taxation. The State employee is dependent on taxes/theft to pay his own salary! The IRS prosecutors tell juries "The tax evader is stealing from you!" If the jury member works for the State, it's very easy for them to believe that taxes are their personal property!

1 comment:

katsucurrys14 said...

the root of the problem here is the loss of that personal civic responsibility. employers and employees alike view jury service as something to be avoided, even though it is far and above the most intimate involvement a citizen can have with american government - direct participation. reforming the system would only be addressing an effect. to address the cause would be to reform the american attitude towards civic service, individual responsibility and participation with and (therefore) limitation of government.

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