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In America, you have a right to be judged for your crimes by a jury of your peer…

Posted by on May 7, 2014
In America, you have a right to be judged for your crimes by a jury of your peers.

It occurs to me that this is exactly what you get here.

People too stupid to not get caught¹ are then judged by a panel of peers who are too stupid to get out of Jury Duty.

¹ …alternately, are too stupid to not follow the implicit social contract and be a generally law abiding person in the first place…

7 Responses to In America, you have a right to be judged for your crimes by a jury of your peer…

  1. Tony Miller

    Judged by peers is a dream. When was the last time you saw a gang banger in court with 12 gang bangers deciding if he was guilty or not?

  2. Jonathon Barton

    As a lawyer would say, "Your definition of 'peer' is overly narrow."

    The last time I sat Jury Duty, I was, in fact, the only white-collar worker. The next closest to white collar was a CNA in her early 20's. Everyone else was solidly blue collar, former blue collar, or had blue collar aspirations.

    A gangbanger could have been any one of them's son, grandson, nephew, niece, or neighbor.

    Also, the vast majority of defendants aren't as stereotyped as a 'gangbanger' – from what I gathered from what the Attorneys and Judge let slip from their (quite specific) questions, the defendant in the case I was sitting was a late-teen or early 20-something dude who got into an altercation with his girl while they were driving around and hit her (Assault with a Deadly Weapon), wouldn't let her out of the car while they were driving (Abducting/Kidnapping), and when he finally kicked her out, he kept her cellphone (or she left it in the car, it wasn't clear) for a final count of Grand Theft. 
    He wasn't a gangbanger.

    And the time before that, the jury was for a woman in her mid-40's who apparently had some trouble with her car insurance and an accident she got into. Also not a gangbanger.

  3. Tony Miller

    I used gangbanger as an example that anybody reading could quickly pick up on. Can you imagine if an embezzling stock broker was literally "tried by his peers" ?

  4. Diva Eytcheson

    My jury experience included several steps of what I called "The Stupid Test." The entire process was made to weed out incompetence from the beginning. That doesn't always mean you end up with a jury of literal peers, but at least the system attempts to ensure there aren't any real idiots up there.

    I wrote about it (after the trial, of course).
    Part 1: http://www.divatology.com/deeper/?p=5663
    Part 2: http://www.divatology.com/deeper/?p=5718

  5. Jonathon Barton

    +Diva Eytcheson You're a fantastic writer, and have yet to finish that story.

  6. Diva Eytcheson

    Thanks, +Jonathon Barton – it's been hard to finish. Next post is about 1/2 way there and I've got a long flight next week, so maybe….

  7. Reanna Madrid

    Don't take to me so stop