Thursday, August 04, 2005

    Should Jurors Be Tested For Intelligence?

    From 10.030 of the Oregon Revised Statutes
    (1) Except as otherwise specifically provided by statute, the opportunity for jury service shall not be denied or limited on the basis of race, national origin, gender, age, religious belief, income, occupation or any other factor that discriminates against a cognizable group in this state.
    The entire chapter 10 is devoted to juries. A problem I see with this chapter is no where does it put forth any measurable level of intelligence required. A person can be borderline retarded or a certified genius and still qualify to sit on a jury, evaluate and collate evidence, and make a determination if - in their collective mind - there is enough cause to decide one way or another in a trial.
    Most of the good people are aware of trials where naïve jurors have made obviously wrong choices. O.J. Simpson obviously killed Nichole Simpson - there was plenty of DNA evidence, yet that trial was one of the first to introduce DNA as evidence. Was the jury intelligent enough to grasp the concept - even after a quickie lesson in molecular biology? Or the Michael Jackson, an obvious pervert with little boys, did the simple-minded jury get overwhelmed with a celebrity - same with Robert Blake? How about stupid jurors that award millions of dollars for ignorant reasons - I'm sure most know plenty of these. Lawyers know how to manipulate the simple minds - even turning a trial completely away from their client and
    Sometimes juries try to have intelligence but a judge will block their attempt to exercise such intelligence. For example take the Manhattan judge that threw out a jury verdict because jurors consulted a dictionary to determine the meaning of "preponderance". Consulting a dictionary in this case was considered jury misconduct. Now think about this - the jury obviously did not have a full grasp on the meaning of preponderance, yet they were suppose to rule one way or the other on the preponderance of the evidence. How could they do something that they were unclear of? DUH!
    Let's consider:
    • Intelligence testing for jurors
    • Test jurors for comprehension after they read jury instructions
    • Payment of an actual wage - paid by lawyers
    • Prohibit jurors to sign book and movie deals
    • Allow jurors to take notes, have dictionaries


    Countrygirl said...

    I certainly agree with you that there should be some minimal standard of intelligence that jurors should meet. Otherwise, there will continue to be bizarre and ridiculous verdicts rendered. The one verdict in particular that stands out in my mind is the Robert Durst trial. Apparently, the jurors in this case did not have any registerable brain cells. How else can you explain why they let Robert Durst--a man who admitted that he killed and dismembered his neighbor and threw the body parts into Galveston Bay--go free?

    OJ Simpson said...

    Hey, don't bash jurors - I was lucky to have some of the dumbest!

    : JustaDog said...

    Comment deleted - off topic.

    The Rambling Taoist said...

    Juries are SUPPOSED to be made up of one's fellow citizens. They are supposed to resemble the basic make-up of general society. Since not all defendants are rocket scientists, having jurors of different levels of intelligence and emotional maturity IS fair.

    That said, I would favor some kind of test that keeps people like you off of juries. Maybe a human compassion test? I don't think you'd pass.

    : JustaDog said...

    But it might take someone close to a scientist to sometimes understand the complex evidence that might be presented. How can someone that never took a biology class understand the concept of DNA evidence?

    Maybe a human compassion test? I don't think you'd pass. - I'm very compassionate - to those that deserve compassion. If you haven't noticed the "lady justice" has a blindfold over her eyes - compassion should not be part of evaluating evidence - just 'da facts.

    It is the liberal compassion that lets repeat child molestors go free, that let murders go free, that refuses to execute violent killers and terrorists, etc. It is the liberal judges that give light sentences to criminals. I have no respect for liberal judges.

    A criminal has a choice when they do the crime - and if found guilty, they have - by choice - given up any chance for compassion.

    The Rambling Taoist said...

    I'm very compassionate - to those that deserve compassion.

    And this is what separates you from me. YOU judge a person first, then maybe offer compassion later. I offer compassion without judgement. By doing it your way, you're no better than the people you feel superior to. (Kind of ironic, don't ya think?)

    : JustaDog said...

    You keep trying to personally attack me - o well, the liberal way I guess.

    Intelligence knows there is a time for compassion, there is time for no compassion. There is a time to eat, there is a time not to eat. There is a time to blog, there is a time not to blog. In other words, compassion means nothing if it is just spewed out at everyone, at everytime, without intelligent consideration.

    A pacifist thinks they are comapssionate when they let a child molestor free and not execute them. Then that criminal kills another child. Where was your compassion then? In the case of a judge or jury compassion just given blindly without consideration of consequences is not compassion but abdication of justice.

    You have previously commented that you don't want murdering child molestors executed. You rather let the potential of some liberal judge find some reason to eventually free him. I would have him executed - never, ever would a child or anyone have to fear such a person. That is justice. Perhaps the next child molestor will be placed next door to you, and you and him can chat and you can tell him of your compassion for him.

    The Rambling Taoist said...

    You keep trying to personally attack me

    Incorrect. I merely stated a comparison between how you yourself said you extend compassion as opposed to how I do it. How can I attack you with your OWN words and sentiments? Sounds to me like you're simply uncomfortable with your reflection in the mirror.

    Attacking people is more your style anyway. If someone disagrees with you, you call them names, tell them that they are stupid and how you are superior to them.

    A pacifist thinks they are comapssionate when they let a child molestor free and not execute them.

    I've never once written that I think child molesters should be set free. I simply don't believe in capitol punishment. Locking up someone for their natural life is not the same as setting them free. You know this, but truth doesn't serve your rhetorical purpose, so you write things that you know are patently untrue.

    You obviously don't understand the concept of compassion. Your definition is no different than the terrorists.

    : JustaDog said...

    We both have compassion trey - the difference is where that compassion is directed. In the case of the justice system (the topic of this post) you prefer to direct your compassion toward the criminal.

    I choose to direct my compassion on the victims and future potential victims. You'd rather reward the murderous criminal behavior like child molester J.E. Duncan with a long prison sentance - doomed to free medical care, meals forever, a place to sleep, free dental, etc. - this is your way of showing compassion to the victims and your wisdom and compassion for future victims.

    People like you put innocent people at risk. Just another example is Adam Lee Brown, freed after 13 compassionate years in jail for sexually abusing children and purposely exposing them to AIDS. Now your center of compassion is living in a Douglas County, Oregon motel until he can find housing. Thousands of your compassionate cases like this can be cataloged - and the good people are getting tired of their children and themselves being put at risk just because of your compassion toward criminals out weighing any compassion toward the good people.

    The Rambling Taoist said...

    We both have compassion trey - the difference is where that compassion is directed. In the case of the justice system (the topic of this post) you prefer to direct your compassion toward the criminal.

    Wrong again! As stated previously, my compassion -- unlike yours -- shows no bounds. I have compassion for all parties related to this topic.

    Also, as stated previously, your brand of compassion is no different than the terrorists. They view their people as "victims and future potential victims". So, they've decided to kill those who they view as the "criminals", the US, England and anyone who aids them. The only difference between you and the terrorists is in the definitions of who the criminals and victims are, but the mentality is the exact same.

    : JustaDog said...

    definitions of who the criminals and victims are - are you sure you ever attended a school? To me, a criminal is someone who breaks established United States law. Now how does that meld with the how terrorists consider victims? DUH!

    Ah - but you have compassion for terroists too I'm sure.