Re: LAW: Problems with Juries [was: A modest proposal]

From: S.J. Van Sickle (
Date: Sun Feb 06 2000 - 10:42:14 MST

On Sat, 5 Feb 2000, Robert J. Bradbury wrote:

> Well, in "current" reality it seems difficult, but in future reality
> an "eJury" would do the trick. Just copy "uploaded" minds selected
> for Jury duty. Have the trial. When situations arise where things
> need to be "ignored", you just do a "rollback" (database terminology) to
> the time prior to the occurence of those things that need to be ignored.
> As was observed by Baily in "After Thought" the problem is that
> normal humans don't have a delete key. We can fix that.

It is not hard in current reality, either. I've suggested in the past the
notion of "semi-professional" juries, at least for the tough cases.
People selected (drafted) at random from the general population to serve
six or twelve months (like a grand jury does) and given a two or three
week course on basic trial law, the nature of evidence, the psychology of
memory, etc., and paid better than the average Joe. Some portion of them
can be "pre-sequestered" for cases where public opinion may sway them
(i.e., a pool available that has been isolated since before the crime).
This would, of course, require a speedy trial to keep the time each pool
is sequestered resonable, but this is not necessarily a bad thing, no?

> I've always thought one of the interesting *nits* in the legal
> system is the concept of Judgement by one's "peers". Does that
> mean that I get a jury of Extropians? Or do I get a jury where
> most of the people watch Days of our Lives, Jerry Springer
> and WWF all day?

I've always thought, given the nature of society at the time the phrase
came about, that it referred to a jury of one's social class. Nobles
judged by nobles, peasants by peasants, etc. It has little or no meaning
in today's less stratified society.


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