Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Jury duty

For the first time ever I've been selected for jury duty. This is just fair warning that if you have a jury trial coming up in the next two weeks you'll have the Bellinghammer swimming around in the jury pool. So far I've made it to the voir dire phase of a criminal trial but was not chosen to sit on the jury.

In the juror training video as well as statements made by the judges and lawyers they want jurors to feel like jury duty is your way of being part of the government. I disagree. I see the jury as representing "the People" not the government. The whole jury system was created and designed to ensure that the government does not overstep boundaries and unfairly or indiscriminately strip individuals of their life, liberty, or property.

In fact it's awesome to me how difficult the founding fathers intentionally made it for people to be stripped of their liberty and freedoms.
For example, the accused:

  • are innocent until proven guilty.
  • must be proven guilty "beyond all reasonable doubt".
  • has the right for a trial by a jury of their peers.

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