Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My Case for Judicial Reform

I do not know very much about law or the judicial process.  So everything in this post is based on what I do know about it or what I think I know about it. 

I am going to use the Casey Anthony trial as an excuse to make my case for judicial reform.  This case, where the defendant was found not guilty by the jury despite damning evidence, is an example of why such important decisions should not be left up to everyday people.  Several explanations have been given for why the defendant in this case was found not guilty by the jury.  I have not been following this case very closely.  I did watch the final verdict today, however.  I was aware of some of the evidence, and I would have guessed that that evidence would have been enough for a conviction.  If it was, in fact, the case that the evidence was sufficient for a conviction, then why wasn’t there one?  According to some analysts, it was due the human nature of the jury. 

A trial that can determine someone’s fate inovlves an important decision.  That decision is whether or not to convict that person, thereby determining their fate.  In my opinion, the evidence should by analyzed logically and mathematically (possibly by a jury of experts) and that decision should be based on that analysis.  I would imagine that some of the evidence, when presented, appears uninteresting to the jury.  It may not have much of an effect relative to more emotional testimony.  Such evidence may also have to be interpreted by an expert, which would theoretically give that person an opportunity to misrepresent its significance.  

A jury that can be capable of making this decision based on emotion should, in my opinion, not be trusted.  Something else about the current system that I dislike is that it involves lawyers.  Lawyers may have an agenda (i.e. they may get paid more if they win, or they may want to win for the sake of winning, et cetera) and they will do whatever they can to ensure that their agenda is enacted.  The lawyers can, thereby, use their charisma to sway the jury or play to the jury’s emotion. This may be a useful tactic in a lesser debate, but in the case where someone’s fate is at stake, it has no place. 

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