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Mtn Dog
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PostTue Jan 09, 2007 7:47 am 
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Solo Steve wrote:
Those other 5% are there for a reason! At the end of the day, someone is gonna give up some money or some personal freedom. How could a "professional juror" remain impartial? IMO, you can't tie someone's freedom to someone else's paycheck without calling into question the impartiality of the juror. If More Cowbell gets picked for a jury and hears it through to a verdict, she and 11 others will have made their decisions based on how well each side presents their case -- period -- not based on the expectation of clocking out at the end of the day and coming back to do it all over the next.

All jurors remain impartial by having no stake in the outcome of each trial.  The whole point is that professional jurors could be trained to remain impartial; in fact it would be a prerequisite.  And they would get paid the same regardless of how many trials they sat on, how long each one took, and what the final ruling was.  A person's freedom would never depend on someone elses paycheck.  They're not paid per conviction, they would be paid to listen to evidence and testimony for as long as it takes.  If anything the current situation exacerbates the problem you describe - jurors who know very little about the legal system, who have no desire to be there, and aren't getting compensated adequately for their time.  They are the ones who would be anxious to sacrifice justice for a prompt end to a boring trial.  If you are there for 40 hours and are paid for 40 hours your job would be to focus on the case rather than work on getting out of serving.

Besides Steve; the judge is a paid employee of the court.  Are you questioning the judge's impartiality simply because they receive a paycheck?

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Footprints on the sands of time will never be made sitting down.
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kleet
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meat tornado
PostTue Jan 09, 2007 7:58 am 
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wazzup.gif  lol.gif  rotf.gif  ykm.gif  hihi.gif

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Solo Steve
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PostTue Jan 09, 2007 12:50 pm 
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Mtn Dog wrote:
... Besides Steve; the judge is a paid employee of the court.  Are you questioning the judge's impartiality simply because they receive a paycheck?

Well, you're kinda confusing the roles here. The judge (in a jury trial) isn't there to decide matters of fact -- he or she is there to ensure that the law and trial procedures are administered correctly, that the case is sufficiently presented to the jury so they can decide those matters of fact. Doesn't really matter, though -- I'm sure the bailiff, court clerk and court reporter and every other court employee want to have the trial over and done with and leave early on a Friday afternoon, and would rush justice along if they could. And when they serve on a jury, I guess they'll get their chance.

If you look at the level of professionalism, ethicism and training you propose, we already have them -- they're called lawyers. IMO you can't possibly come up with a fair cross section of the population out of a group of lawyers. And if I was a defendant, I wouldn't want my fate decided by a group of lawyers, paid or otherwise. You have to have the soccer mom, the unemployed plumber, the college student, the 60-year-old face-lifted divorcee, the doctor, etc., of all ages, colors, creeds and religions to make the system work.
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GlacierGlider
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PostTue Jan 09, 2007 12:56 pm 
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I once had jury duty and I tried to get out out of it by answering questions the way I thought I would get booted, all the time telling the truth, but they liked my answers of course...then when in deliberation I felt the guy was innocent and no one else did...lets just say I was persuaded to change my vote...people wanted to go home and I had already made deliberations take 4 hours over a traffic ticket...

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"Those who go up the mountain must come down....except me"  AKA spylunker...."See you at the top"
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Justan
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PostTue Jan 09, 2007 12:57 pm 
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Great comment Solo Steve. The key problem is that folks who have a responsible job are most likely able to get out of jury duty because of that. So what you get are largely not so much randomly selected as selection based mostly on an inability to be excused from the task, as well as those who can get excused but go any way as they see jury duty as an opportunity for a change of pace. While the system does tend to produce uniform results, it makes for not quite a jury or one’s peers. But it is a good system anyway. Also if a judge sees the jury’s decision as being out of the park, there is always the directed verdict avenue.

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whistlingmarmot
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PostTue Jan 09, 2007 1:03 pm 
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I have a responsible job and it was nearly impossible for me, or any others on duty while I was on, to get out.  They had jobs too.  My experience has been that it was extremely difficult to get out of service.  One might be able to put it off, but one's time will come.

If your employer won't pay for duty, or you're self employed, then it might be easier to duck out, but again, they seem not to care.   More pay would be good IMO.
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Toonces
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unleashed
PostTue Jan 09, 2007 1:16 pm 
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The notion of higher pay for jurors amuses me, since the funds would come from higher taxes, paid by the jurors themselves.   hmmm.gif

Serving on a jury is a civic duty (some might say privilege), and people shouldnt expect compensation any more than they should expect to be paid to vote.
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Meander
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J Prettymountain
PostTue Jan 09, 2007 1:25 pm 
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This thread reminds me of the movie I saw last Friday night:

12 Angry Men

The ENTIRE movie except about 3 minutes, is filmed in a jury trial deliberation room.

Henry Fonda is the only member that thinks the defendant is not guilty at the beginning, in a case that seems open and shut (there was a witness, the defendant had the murder weapon on him etc…).  Throughout the movie, he works at convincing the rest of the jury, which seems impossible, one by one by one…..  You’ll see if he does.
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Prince of Happiness
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Joined: 28 Dec 2006
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Fly in the ointment
PostTue Jan 09, 2007 1:27 pm 
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Even for a bunch of punkass kids in high school, when we read it in English class, it sunk through that this was one hell of a smokin' story. I'll have to get around to watching the movie again. It's been a while!

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The Prince of Happiness
"A man who does not care about the beer he drinks , may as well not care about the bread he eats." - M. Jackson, Beerhunter as seen by my friend Anita on a sign in Helsinki
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whistlingmarmot
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PostTue Jan 09, 2007 1:31 pm 
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Sure, to pay jurors could require a tax increase (for everyone, not just the jurors) in the case of criminal cases.  For civil cases all the court costs could be paid by the users of the system.    Not sure what's wrong with taxes supporting the legal system, which is a legitimate government service.

You can't go to jail for not voting.  Hardly a fair comparison.
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Toonces
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unleashed
PostTue Jan 09, 2007 1:40 pm 
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whistlingmarmot wrote:
You can't go to jail for not voting.  Hardly a fair comparison.

It is absolutely a fair comparison - file under "civic duty" and leave the philosophical window-dressing at the door.
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whistlingmarmot
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PostTue Jan 09, 2007 1:44 pm 
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I'll bring what I like to the discussion, especially if it's relevant.  Voting might be called a civic duty, but that doesn't make it the same as serving on a jury.  Voting can be dismissed from ones life without consequence, while ignoring jury duty is a crime.  Your comparison is invalid and makes no sense.
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Toonces
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unleashed
PostTue Jan 09, 2007 1:57 pm 
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I'll simply say that one's inability to see the forest for the trees doesn't mean another opinion "is invalid and makes no sense," and leave it at that.   angel.gif
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gyngve
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PostTue Jan 09, 2007 1:57 pm 
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GlacierGlider wrote:
I once had jury duty and I tried to get out out of it by answering questions the way I thought I would get booted

You just confessed to a crime.
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Mount Logan
Canada's Highest



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Canada's Highest
PostTue Jan 09, 2007 2:02 pm 
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gyngve, maybe you'll be on the jury when this crime goes to trial... oh, wait--you'd probably be an ineligible juror since you were a witness.   clown.gif
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