Friday, October 5, 2007

The Validity of the Jury Vote

The jury is a great invention. It exploited the wisdom of the crowd. In the Middle Ages, the juror had knowledge. He had walked the boundary of the property, as a witness, at the time of the transfer, years before. He knew the criminal's methods and habits from childhood.

Then a vote took place. That vote reflected the opinion of the group. The first secret vote has validity.

1) There should be some provision to not count the views of any extremists.

2) The second and subsequent votes have no validity. They likely reflect the opinion of those with the greatest emotion, intimidating the rest who only want to reach a verdict so they may get back to their lives. An informational cascade follows any first secret ballot. This effect violates the fair hearing portion of the procedural due process right of the defendant.

3) The jurors are enslaved, with lives interrupted, and compensation insultingly low. Jurors are appropriately resentful of lawless enslavement. That low compensation reflects the real value the lawyer places on the service of the jury. Many high functioning individuals get out of jury duty, making the pool unrepresentative of the ability of the general population.

4) The beneficial features and requirements of the Wisdom of the Crowd gets canceled by modern jury selection and exclusion rules.

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