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Old 3rd June 2020, 12:00 PM   #121
theprestige
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Originally Posted by Suddenly View Post
The biggest problem with determining juror accuracy, especially in a criminal context, is varying burdens of proof. Beyond a reasonable doubt is always going to be subjective, and sometimes a jury might think someone is guilty but still have some nagging doubts.
Exactly.

So what's the "right" verdict in that case? Guilty, because you believe that's what's best supported by the facts? Or Not Guilty, because you don't believe the facts support guilt beyond reasonable doubt?

I would guess that a judge's idea of reasonable doubt is going to be different from a panel of jurors.

And I would say that in a representative democratic system, it is the jury's idea of reasonable doubt that best represents their community. So in that sense, I'd say that the jury system is the best and fairest system for reaching a verdict.
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Old 3rd June 2020, 02:55 PM   #122
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@ theprestige,

Many thanks for the apology which is accepted and your detailed and thoughtful post ^.

The measuring of the best system is worth the effort and perhaps a detailed look at results in different countries with different systems is the best way to tackle it.

Unlike you I tend to think the jury system is not the best for various reasons:

1. As pointed out by others, the quality of jurors is suspect, because some of the best candidates get exemptions from service.

2. Some of the evidence may be difficult for lay people to access even if relatively intelligent.

3. As verdicts handed down by jurors can be overturned on appeal by judges when some technical anomaly is evident it would be better if that anomaly was identified during the trial.

With regards to item 3 I can hear others objecting that a judge is present anyway and should identify and act on anything untoward anyway. On the other hand we have many instances where this hasn't happened. One such case was when Cardinal Pell was convicted in Australia recently.

I think it a big ask to expect just one judge to preside in some complex cases and perhaps a panel of 3 or so would be more appropriate. Some specialised training might be a good idea also.
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Old 3rd June 2020, 03:09 PM   #123
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Naive.


Yes, any benefit of the doubt must go to the accused and that includes giving them the option that most likely gives them that benefit.

Naive????

Then you follow this absurd accusation with you own illustration of fuzzy thinking.
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Old 3rd June 2020, 06:09 PM   #124
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The Jury system is the worst system for deciding legal verdicts...except for all the others.
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Old 3rd June 2020, 11:27 PM   #125
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
The Jury system is the worst system for deciding legal verdicts...except for all the others.

Yes well that is most informative, thanks heaps.
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Old 4th June 2020, 06:53 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
So what do others here think about trial by jury as being the best and fairest way to reach a verdict? From my youth I always thought it the obvious best, but with the passing of years and knowledge gained, I'm not so sure any more.

I think the guy in the street may not be the best judge in assessing evidence. Perhaps someone who has more expertise and less vulnerability, to the persuasive skills of talented lawyers, is better suited to the task. It is the knowledge of those innocents having been convicted and later released, that I read about, as well as personal experience in the witness box, leading me to this opinion.

Some years ago I was witness to a stabbing where the victim almost died. My recollection of the detail of the assault itself and the identity of the assailant was clear. The assailant was apprehended by the police and brought back to the scene of the crime where we, the witnesses, were.

After the assault the police (just one guy) was on the scene in minutes, told all present to say where we were, and set off in pursuit of the assailant. We, the witnesses, talked.

For some reason someone mentioned he thought the assailant wore glasses, and although I had no recollection of this, my mind put glasses on his head. They were there when I eventually made my statement to the police.

Some time later, giving evidence at the trial, the defence lawyer made a strong point about my making this observation (as it happened the guy was not wearing glasses), and cast doubt on the veracity of my evidence.
So, returning to your original post, you question the appropriateness of trial by jury because you feel that the defence lawyer cast doubt on your evidence because of the mistake about the glasses. So, do you have any evidence that the jury was actually swayed by the defence lawyer's concentration on the glasses question?

(yes I have read the whole thread, so if you have answered this then I apologise for missing it)
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Old 4th June 2020, 07:11 AM   #127
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
The measuring of the best system is worth the effort and perhaps a detailed look at results in different countries with different systems is the best way to tackle it.
Can you walk us through how this would work?

For example, what data point(s) would we compare?

For example, in the US the appeals system doesn't examine the question of jury correctness, only of process correctness. So looking at the rate of convictions overturned in the US won't tell us how well the US jury system works.

If a different country has a different appeals system that does examine the question of jury correctness, comparing it to the US system would be a serious mistake of reasoning.

I would definitely like to know more details about what metric you are thinking of comparing.

Quote:
Unlike you I tend to think the jury system is not the best for various reasons:

<snip>

3. As verdicts handed down by jurors can be overturned on appeal by judges when some technical anomaly is evident it would be better if that anomaly was identified during the trial.

With regards to item 3 I can hear others objecting that a judge is present anyway and should identify and act on anything untoward anyway. On the other hand we have many instances where this hasn't happened. One such case was when Cardinal Pell was convicted in Australia recently.
I'm sure we'll come back to your other two reasons for not liking jury systems. At the moment I want to focus on this one.

Process errors don't tell us about the accuracy of a jury versus a judge, as finders of fact. A flawed process will interfere with a judge's ability to find fact, same as a jury's. And as you point out, judges aren't always effective at finding process errors in the trials they preside over.

But more importantly, I think it is a serious mistake to conflate process errors with errors of fact-finding by the decider (whether judge or jury).

The question I'm looking at - what I understand to be the question you're asking - is, "what system is better for finding facts in a criminal trial, jury or judge (or other)?"

If the jury finds the right facts, but their decision is overturned because due process was not followed, this is not a failure of jury accuracy. A judge as fact-finder could reach the same correct decision, and still have their decision overturned because of the same process failure.

I would very much like to stay focused strictly on the question of whether a judge or a jury is a better system for deciding the truth, given the same (or a similar process in both scenarios.

Can you give some more detail about how you think we could measure this specific thing? What metric should we look at?
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Old 4th June 2020, 11:56 AM   #128
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Yes well that is most informative, thanks heaps.
It is, really.

A juror system has the main advantage that it is a bunch of people from the community without ties to the state. That is by far the most important thing.

There are a ton of reforms that could help juries perform better. Right now the way trials work is based on old and discredited notions of science and human behavior. That is where any issues with accuracy lie.


The whole system could be radically changed without removing the jury at the center of it.
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Old 4th June 2020, 12:03 PM   #129
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Can you walk us through how this would work?

For example, what data point(s) would we compare?

For example, in the US the appeals system doesn't examine the question of jury correctness, only of process correctness. So looking at the rate of convictions overturned in the US won't tell us how well the US jury system works.

If a different country has a different appeals system that does examine the question of jury correctness, comparing it to the US system would be a serious mistake of reasoning.

I would definitely like to know more details about what metric you are thinking of comparing.


I'm sure we'll come back to your other two reasons for not liking jury systems. At the moment I want to focus on this one.

Process errors don't tell us about the accuracy of a jury versus a judge, as finders of fact. A flawed process will interfere with a judge's ability to find fact, same as a jury's. And as you point out, judges aren't always effective at finding process errors in the trials they preside over.

But more importantly, I think it is a serious mistake to conflate process errors with errors of fact-finding by the decider (whether judge or jury).

The question I'm looking at - what I understand to be the question you're asking - is, "what system is better for finding facts in a criminal trial, jury or judge (or other)?"

If the jury finds the right facts, but their decision is overturned because due process was not followed, this is not a failure of jury accuracy. A judge as fact-finder could reach the same correct decision, and still have their decision overturned because of the same process failure.

I would very much like to stay focused strictly on the question of whether a judge or a jury is a better system for deciding the truth, given the same (or a similar process in both scenarios.

Can you give some more detail about how you think we could measure this specific thing? What metric should we look at?
Just chiming in to confirm that using appeals as a barometer of accuracy of a jury verdict is totally useless beyond the telling of it.

Appeals usually end up being about jury instructions and whether evidence was properly shown or not shown to the jury. They are overturned because the jury was likely misled.
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Old 4th June 2020, 12:12 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
The consideration of the probability of nullification strengthens the case against jury verdicts. I am sure you will find many examples of guilty white folk going free in the Deep South of the USA, after horrendous crimes against negroes. That is when the jury was white.
I see that as a problem with people, and not with the jury system or the principle of jury nullification.

I actually see nullification as part of a fair system. I think it's an important pressure release valve for a community. Obviously a community of douchebags will use it to release more douchebaggery in their community. But hey - it's their community. The point of democracy isn't to ensure good outcomes from the government. It's to give the governed some say in the outcomes they get from their government. If the governed say they want crappy outcomes, and democracy gives them the outcomes they want, then democracy is doing its job.

Also: The racist bigotry against white Americans is noted.
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Old 4th June 2020, 12:27 PM   #131
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post

Also: The racist bigotry against white Americans is noted.
(lip fart noises)

It is a fair criticism of the jury system that in many places people in power would rig it to the disadvantage of minorities through various means. And yes, in the US these are white people doing this.

Still happening to some degree. Batson is becoming more and more a dead letter unless the prosecutor who wants to make decisions based on race gives themselves away.

However, that has little to do with the nature of the jury in and of itself except to present a way in which the system surrounding it could be reformed.
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Old 4th June 2020, 02:47 PM   #132
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
So, returning to your original post, you question the appropriateness of trial by jury because you feel that the defence lawyer cast doubt on your evidence because of the mistake about the glasses. So, do you have any evidence that the jury was actually swayed by the defence lawyer's concentration on the glasses question?

(yes I have read the whole thread, so if you have answered this then I apologise for missing it)

No I don't apart from the obvious fact that the defence lawyer thought it would and therefore concentrated on the subject. You might also have noticed that some on this thread, have indicated my recollection of the pertinent parts may have been suspect, because of this vagueness.
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Old 4th June 2020, 03:06 PM   #133
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
No I don't apart from the obvious fact that the defence lawyer thought it would and therefore concentrated on the subject. You might also have noticed that some on this thread, have indicated my recollection of the pertinent parts may have been suspect, because of this vagueness.
We do know that human memory is not as reliable as it seems. So it's probably best to avoid appeals to memory if possible.

For example, we could skip that bit entirely, and focus on the question of how we'd go about measuring jury accuracy.
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Old 4th June 2020, 03:07 PM   #134
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Can you walk us through how this would work?

For example, what data point(s) would we compare?

For example, in the US the appeals system doesn't examine the question of jury correctness, only of process correctness. So looking at the rate of convictions overturned in the US won't tell us how well the US jury system works.

If a different country has a different appeals system that does examine the question of jury correctness, comparing it to the US system would be a serious mistake of reasoning.

I would definitely like to know more details about what metric you are thinking of comparing.
I would be conducting surveys in different countries to see how many faulty verdicts had been handed down after further evidence (like DNA) had been found. There have been a number of these in the USA over the years, where some dudes have been released after some time in jail. Bit tough on those who were executed.


Quote:
I'm sure we'll come back to your other two reasons for not liking jury systems. At the moment I want to focus on this one.

Process errors don't tell us about the accuracy of a jury versus a judge, as finders of fact. A flawed process will interfere with a judge's ability to find fact, same as a jury's. And as you point out, judges aren't always effective at finding process errors in the trials they preside over.

But more importantly, I think it is a serious mistake to conflate process errors with errors of fact-finding by the decider (whether judge or jury).
The question I'm looking at - what I understand to be the question you're asking - is, "what system is better for finding facts in a criminal trial, jury or judge (or other)?"

If the jury finds the right facts, but their decision is overturned because due process was not followed, this is not a failure of jury accuracy. A judge as fact-finder could reach the same correct decision, and still have their decision overturned because of the same process failure.

I would very much like to stay focused strictly on the question of whether a judge or a jury is a better system for deciding the truth, given the same (or a similar process in both scenarios.

Can you give some more detail about how you think we could measure this specific thing? What metric should we look at?
I am not conflating anything. This is a separate issue addressing the general question about what are the advantages and disadvantages of different systems.
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Old 4th June 2020, 03:10 PM   #135
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Originally Posted by Suddenly View Post
It is, really.

A juror system has the main advantage that it is a bunch of people from the community without ties to the state. That is by far the most important thing.

There are a ton of reforms that could help juries perform better. Right now the way trials work is based on old and discredited notions of science and human behavior. That is where any issues with accuracy lie.


The whole system could be radically changed without removing the jury at the center of it.
Well at least you have fleshed out an argument rather than made an authoritative statement like dudalb.
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Old 4th June 2020, 03:14 PM   #136
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I see that as a problem with people, and not with the jury system or the principle of jury nullification.

I actually see nullification as part of a fair system. I think it's an important pressure release valve for a community. Obviously a community of douchebags will use it to release more douchebaggery in their community. But hey - it's their community. The point of democracy isn't to ensure good outcomes from the government. It's to give the governed some say in the outcomes they get from their government. If the governed say they want crappy outcomes, and democracy gives them the outcomes they want, then democracy is doing its job.

Also: The racist bigotry against white Americans is noted.
Nullification part of a fair system?

Oh we have our share of racists in Australia too. Is it bigoted to recognise that racism exists?
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Old 4th June 2020, 03:19 PM   #137
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
We do know that human memory is not as reliable as it seems. So it's probably best to avoid appeals to memory if possible.

For example, we could skip that bit entirely, and focus on the question of how we'd go about measuring jury accuracy.
In some cases memory is all there is as evidence, so you can't just dismiss it out of hand. The person weighing the memory evidence must be astute enough to assess what is reliable and what is not.
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Old 4th June 2020, 03:20 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by Suddenly View Post
(lip fart noises)

It is a fair criticism of the jury system that in many places people in power would rig it to the disadvantage of minorities through various means. And yes, in the US these are white people doing this.

Still happening to some degree. Batson is becoming more and more a dead letter unless the prosecutor who wants to make decisions based on race gives themselves away.

However, that has little to do with the nature of the jury in and of itself except to present a way in which the system surrounding it could be reformed.
You're absolutely right. I was out of line. I'm sorry.
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Old 4th June 2020, 03:23 PM   #139
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I would be conducting surveys in different countries to see how many faulty verdicts had been handed down after further evidence (like DNA) had been found.
How would that measure jury accuracy?

The jury can't be wrong about evidence they weren't told during the trial.

A judge who doesn't have all the evidence is also at risk of delivering a verdict that's correct from the evidence he has, but incorrect about what actually happened.

I thought your question was about whether juries are accurate with the evidence they are given.

Not giving all the evidence to the decider is a problem with the evidence process, not with the decider.

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Old 4th June 2020, 03:24 PM   #140
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Nullification part of a fair system?

Oh we have our share of racists in Australia too. Is it bigoted to recognise that racism exists?
My apologies. I shouldn't have fixed on it.
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Old 4th June 2020, 03:45 PM   #141
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I would be conducting surveys in different countries to see how many faulty verdicts had been handed down after further evidence (like DNA) had been found. There have been a number of these in the USA over the years, where some dudes have been released after some time in jail. Bit tough on those who were executed.

Would this reliably show how accurate jury verdicts are? The numbers would also be affected by how good the appeal process is, and how active groups like The Innocence Project are.
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Old 4th June 2020, 03:45 PM   #142
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
How would that measure jury accuracy?

The jury can't be wrong about evidence they weren't told during the trial.

A judge who doesn't have all the evidence is also at risk of delivering a verdict that's correct from the evidence he has, but incorrect about what actually happened.

I thought your question was about whether juries are accurate with the evidence they are given.

Not giving all the evidence to the decider is a problem with the evidence process, not with the decider.
They can be right or wrong in assessing the evidence they were given. I am suggesting a jury may convict or release on flimsy grounds.

If you find a lesser number of wrong verdicts are arrived at in one country than another, after further evidence has been unearthed, that would indicate something wouldn't it?
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Old 4th June 2020, 03:51 PM   #143
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Originally Posted by Pope130 View Post
Would this reliably show how accurate jury verdicts are? The numbers would also be affected by how good the appeal process is, and how active groups like The Innocence Project are.

It should give us some idea.

How often appeal process overturns a verdict would be another indicator of how good the original verdict was I should think.
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Old 4th June 2020, 03:53 PM   #144
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Originally Posted by Pope130 View Post
Would this reliably show how accurate jury verdicts are? The numbers would also be affected by how good the appeal process is, and how active groups like The Innocence Project are.
It also measures jury accuracy based on information they didn't have, which doesn't make sense.

A judge with incomplete information would have the same problem.
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Old 4th June 2020, 03:59 PM   #145
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
They can be right or wrong in assessing the evidence they were given. I am suggesting a jury may convict or release on flimsy grounds.

If you find a lesser number of wrong verdicts are arrived at in one country than another, after further evidence has been unearthed, that would indicate something wouldn't it?
It would indicate something.

It wouldn't indicate that juries are inaccurate. It might indicate that there's a problem with the part of the system that gets evidence into the courtroom for juries to consider.

I'm not really interested in the question of whether juries reach the right conclusion when they don't have all the facts.

I am interested in the question of whether juries reach the right conclusion from the facts they are actually given during the trial.

Thor2, which of these two questions are you asking?
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Old 4th June 2020, 04:01 PM   #146
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
It should give us some idea.
How?

In the US, appeals courts don't even examine the question of whether the jury made the right decision based on the evidence they were given.

I don't see how appeals court outcomes could possibly give us any idea of jury accuracy.
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Old 4th June 2020, 10:52 PM   #147
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
It makes sense as a rule of thumb. However, I'd want to discuss with my lawyer the risk of the judge fixing on a legal technicality that a jury might overlook or not care about.
A judge can throw out a case on a legal technicality with or without a jury, so if I was guilty a jury trial gives me two chances to get off. If the judge wants to convict me on a 'legal technicality' then it means I am guilty, so I would still choose trial by jury.
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Old 4th June 2020, 11:06 PM   #148
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Same sort of crap once again!

You guys aren't talking about what is the best system for reaching a correct verdict, you are both talking about working the system to your own advantage. And oh, theprestige, a judge is there as well as the jury and should pick up on some legal technicality anyway.
Can you blame us? For me the correct verdict is the one that is best for me, not society as a whole.

If we want to talk about truly best (for everyone) verdicts, nobody should be given one if it means making them into more of a criminal than they already are. That means the vast majority of verdicts are not best. Trials in general are a huge waste of time and money. A better system would get people to admit their crimes and volunteer for rehabilitation - in programs that are effective. But we concentrate on retribution instead, which is destructive and perpetuates criminal activity.
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Old 4th June 2020, 11:47 PM   #149
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Originally Posted by Suddenly View Post
The biggest problem with determining juror accuracy, especially in a criminal context, is varying burdens of proof. Beyond a reasonable doubt is always going to be subjective, and sometimes a jury might think someone is guilty but still have some nagging doubts.
That's right. I had nagging doubts about the case I mentioned, but I know that they were based on emotions not fact. Having to disregard that other juror's evidence made it harder, but an unbiased examination of the trial evidence still pointed strongly to guilt, which overrode my feelings of sympathy towards the defendant.

In my experience many jurors are guided more by emotion than logic, both on and off a jury. This means they often make wrong calls. Unfortunately many people think they can tell when someone is lying or whether they are good or bad just by looking at them. A bad criminal can look very respectable in court when well dressed and groomed, or a good person may 'look' guilty due to features they have little control over. I ignore that and just focus on the evidence.

I don't know what happened to that guy. As a repeat offender I expect he got a prison sentence, which probably just made him more of criminal. That is a shame, but not a reason for jury nullification.
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Old 4th June 2020, 11:59 PM   #150
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I am interested in the question of whether juries reach the right conclusion from the facts they are actually given during the trial.
It's tricky. Just reaching the right conclusion doesn't mean they got it properly. How many people are able put aside their emotions and accurately weigh up evidence to come to a conclusion that is both logical and reasonable? I would say not many.
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Old 5th June 2020, 01:41 AM   #151
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Nullification part of a fair system?
Of course it is. A jury is what stops trials being in the interests of the legal system rather than the interests of the accused.

It the jury just did the bidding of the Judge every time then it would be redundant.
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Old 5th June 2020, 01:45 AM   #152
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I am interested in the question of whether juries reach the right conclusion from the facts they are actually given during the trial.
The problem is that we don't know what the "right" conclusion is.

Beyond reasonable doubt is a little difficult to pin down * but it doesn't mean beyond a shadow of a doubt.

* I have heard unofficial suggestions that it could mean that the probability of guilt is greater than 90%.
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Old 5th June 2020, 02:32 AM   #153
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
No I don't apart from the obvious fact that the defence lawyer thought it would and therefore concentrated on the subject. You might also have noticed that some on this thread, have indicated my recollection of the pertinent parts may have been suspect, because of this vagueness.
Isn't it the responsibility of the prosecution to point out if the defence pawyer is belabouring an irrelevant detail? And likewise the defence lawyer should be on guard against the prosecution lawyer doing the same thing?

Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
Can you blame us? For me the correct verdict is the one that is best for me, not society as a whole.

If we want to talk about truly best (for everyone) verdicts, nobody should be given one if it means making them into more of a criminal than they already are. That means the vast majority of verdicts are not best. Trials in general are a huge waste of time and money. A better system would get people to admit their crimes and volunteer for rehabilitation - in programs that are effective. But we concentrate on retribution instead, which is destructive and perpetuates criminal activity.
Riiiggght

Sodium pentothal perhaps?
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Old 5th June 2020, 03:46 AM   #154
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Originally Posted by Lplus View Post
Riiiggght

Sodium pentothal perhaps?
Anybody who has played GTA5 knows that there are better ways to get people to "volunteer".
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Old 5th June 2020, 11:15 AM   #155
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post

How often appeal process overturns a verdict would be another indicator of how good the original verdict was I should think.
It is impossible to overstate how wrong this is.

In some cases, a verdict gets overturned because the jury had information that made the verdict more accurate. Like if there is an illegal search that provides conclusive evidence of guilt.

If the trial court lets that evidence in the verdict would be much more accurate. The verdict would be overturned because the search was illegal, and if the state tries to retry the defendant the jury will have less evidence to go on.
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Old 5th June 2020, 11:44 AM   #156
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
Of course it is. A jury is what stops trials being in the interests of the legal system rather than the interests of the accused.

It the jury just did the bidding of the Judge every time then it would be redundant.
Not quite redundant. When they are told they have to follow the law they do make their own judgments as to weighing the evidence against the applicable burden.

However, instructing the jury specifically against nullification is a straight lie and IMO not best practice. In a system that does not allow double jeopardy and where a jury acquittal can not be reviewed, the ability of a jury to nullify exists. It is just a fact of reality. Telling them otherwise isn't all that honest.

In practice I'd keep it limited. Tell the juries possible penalties and that they don't have to convict if they don't want to. I wouldn't want them to be told they get to decide what the law should be. That could go to some weird places.
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Old 5th June 2020, 12:09 PM   #157
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Originally Posted by psionl0 View Post
The problem is that we don't know what the "right" conclusion is.

Beyond reasonable doubt is a little difficult to pin down * but it doesn't mean beyond a shadow of a doubt.

* I have heard unofficial suggestions that it could mean that the probability of guilt is greater than 90%.
Many trees have died in the attempt figure out how to properly instruct a jury and what lawyers are allowed to say. Quantifying it with a number is out of bounds though.

Evidence that would cause a reasonable person to not hesitate to find guilt is a pretty popular instruction.
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Old 5th June 2020, 12:10 PM   #158
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Originally Posted by Suddenly View Post
Not quite redundant. When they are told they have to follow the law they do make their own judgments as to weighing the evidence against the applicable burden.

However, instructing the jury specifically against nullification is a straight lie and IMO not best practice. In a system that does not allow double jeopardy and where a jury acquittal can not be reviewed, the ability of a jury to nullify exists. It is just a fact of reality. Telling them otherwise isn't all that honest.

In practice I'd keep it limited. Tell the juries possible penalties and that they don't have to convict if they don't want to. I wouldn't want them to be told they get to decide what the law should be. That could go to some weird places.

The last time I looked into the practice of nullification in the US, it seemed like most jurisdictions allowed it, but pretty much no jurisdiction allowed discussion of it in court or by officers of the court. So if the jury figures it out and does it on their own, that's okay. But telling them it's allowed is out of line.
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Old 5th June 2020, 12:50 PM   #159
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The last time I looked into the practice of nullification in the US, it seemed like most jurisdictions allowed it, but pretty much no jurisdiction allowed discussion of it in court or by officers of the court. So if the jury figures it out and does it on their own, that's okay. But telling them it's allowed is out of line.
Right, except there is no way to not allow it. Every member of a jury could before leaving court swear an oath that they acquitted the defendant because drug laws are stupid even though they knew he was guilty and there is not a thing that could be done about it no matter how they were instructed that they must follow the law.

The debate for some reason is about whether it is allowed, which IMO is a manipulative way to frame it by those who don't like the idea. Saying that "juries should be misled about their powers" is more accurate but sounds much worse than "jury nullification shouldn't be permitted."
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Old 5th June 2020, 01:54 PM   #160
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Originally Posted by Suddenly View Post
Right, except there is no way to not allow it. Every member of a jury could before leaving court swear an oath that they acquitted the defendant because drug laws are stupid even though they knew he was guilty and there is not a thing that could be done about it no matter how they were instructed that they must follow the law.

The debate for some reason is about whether it is allowed, which IMO is a manipulative way to frame it by those who don't like the idea. Saying that "juries should be misled about their powers" is more accurate but sounds much worse than "jury nullification shouldn't be permitted."
Good point. I guess "allowed" isn't really a good way to frame it.

I also guess that trial by judge would be a little different. You could conceivably disbar a judge for issuing a verdict that contradicted the plain meaning of the law. Thus disallowing nullification under that system.

You could also explicitly allow it, under that system, by having a rule that says judges are allowed to vote their conscience, regardless of the letter or spirit of the law. But that seems perverse somehow.
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