Why is it that the rights of the accused have morphed into a very slanted advantage to the accused , thereby seemingly surpassing all the rights of the victims ,this is a constant in the American courts system , How has our system become so flawed?
Could you elaborate or provide an example?
I think you are right, sadly. I think it is about money, and the "game" of it all. Who can spin the best tale with the strongest rhetoric to sway a jury sometimes. Certain lawyers are desired and secured for certain types of cases.
Just this morning, I heard the ACLU is bringing in a bunch of lawyers from around the country to St. Louis, Ferguson area. They are calling them in to keep an eye on the police, as they try to maintain the calm. Those that are planning considerable harm to the community are coming in as well to cash in an a bad situation here. (I am on the outskirts, not super close.) It is scary because lists of the targeted campuses, like SLU, hospitals like Cardinal Glennon, malls like the Galleria, and lots more. It has everyone worried sick and rearranging their lives around this coming onslaught of those that would cause damage.
Gun sales have gone up, sales of plywood have gone up, and gun safety classes all increasing.
We have an Al Sharpton that has said that no matter what the verdict is, they will fight this. He is appealing to particular people, that will possibly get very hurt while they hurt others and the community. They are calling for a boycott of Black Friday as well. What sucks for those here, is that they are left with the aftermath after everyone else goes home. I think some are being exploited at least. Its pretty horrifying. Its about power and money.....
In a broader and more simpler sense, it is because of moral decline over all. I have seen some give examples here of how that would look, in the particulars.
Testing the limits, is another reason, for those with declining morals that don't want to think well about things. There is an unseen push for wrong to be right, and right to be wrong almost. What you bring up is an example of something bigger going on that I observe, that defies explanation to most people, but isn't completely unexplained. (There is a view that explains humans that normally would want goodness and morals but turn the other way, and talks about other things, not going into here)
When it happens at the court level, and we see so much tweaking going on to secure people that would help things "go" a certain way, it is more indicative of a mindset that most of us here would disagree with, yet don't seem or can't seem to do much about. I am glad you asked the question.
Morals aside, this kind of thing isn't good for any of the different "sides" involved, is what is so crazy. Some fight so hard for things that would ultimately end up hurting them and their societies? To what end? The possible gained satisfaction alone doesn't make sense of the efforts, but this is a very real thing we are observing. So something MUST make sense of (be able to explain) what is going on. Not the made up stuff either we sometimes see. I think that deeper thing, is what we want to search out because its likely to be true, to be so reflective of what is strangely going on.
How do you figure that the system has become flawed? Was the system better when George Washington and Thomas Jefferson participated in kidnapping,rape,pedophilia, and slavery? Was it better when Andrew Jackson stole 20 million acres from the " Five Civilized Tribes" for white settlement and exploitation? Was it better when African, mixed race, and white Euro-Americans were being lynched with impunity after the Civil War? Was it better when women of all nationalities could be raped and molested with very little, if any, legal recourse? Was it better before DNA testing when larger numbers of innocent people ( usually minorities) were being executed ? Please tell us when this " golden age of justice" existed here in a nation founded on avarice and inhumanity.
Because of easily mislead people who end up in juries who use emotion over logic. They are easily swayed by ruthless lawyers or by the lies of the criminals on the stand.
The boundaries of morals must be present in a democratic republic for it to work. Honesty is an important moral / boundary in any case of justice.
+1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000-can't argue with that, now can we?
I think that's a completely different point. Unless you think the "system" is flawed entirely because we use juries who want to let people off and pick on victims -- rather than depending entirely on judges for verdicts (have you looked at the judges in your region recently, cripes!).
The people need to be educated, have common sense and the power of adequate discernment. We are at the mercy of our juries, good or bad. Not against juries…just bad and stupid ideologies accepted by the people.
You mean people who consider the evidence and disregard your intuition?
Lol ha ha ha.. a little intuition certainly can't hurt… How many intuited OJ did it? oops…innocent until PROVEN guilty... well, the tabloids are saying he has admitted it!
Trial by tabloid! Of course they've never made anything up have they?
A few years ago a young woman went missing and was eventually found murdered.
With no obvious suspects the police started to look at people close to her. Their attention was drawn to her landlord who was a bit of a character. Long pink hair and strange clothing.
The newspapers had a field day-the face of a killer-murderer, you can imagine the sort of thing.
Eventually the woman's ex boyfriend was accused and convicted of her murder.
How would you make it right for the wrongly accused (by the newspapers) landlord?
( But, in the higher ages (a long time from now) people will know things through ESP and will not be making these kinds of mistakes. They'll accurately sense who the real murderer is. I think Bin Laden was detected and killed according to a woman's intuition, if the movie about that situation was correct: Zero Dark Thirty
Pardon My Craziness)
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ … story.html
"It is hard to accurately tell a story that spans more than a decade and involves a real-world cast of thousands. So Bigelow and Boal develop their narrative through the eyes of a small number of characters, such as a CIA officer they call Maya. I do not want to diminish the contributions of any individual. Indeed, I have often said that a handful of officers, mainly women, in the Counterterrorism Center deserve a disproportionately large share of the credit for the relentless focus that eventually brought bin Laden to his well-deserved demise. But, while there are real-world equivalents of Maya and her colleagues in “Zero Dark Thirty,” the successes and the failures in this mission were the work of many, not a few.
The film includes another female character, unnamed in the movie but clearly based on CIA officer Jennifer Matthews, who tragically was killed in the 2009 suicide bombing at an agency base in Khost, Afghanistan. Perhaps to build up the Maya character, the filmmakers wrongly portray this other woman as overly ambitious and less than serious. The real person was an exceptionally talented officer who was responsible for some enormous intelligence successes, including playing a prominent role in the capture of al-Qaeda logistics expert Abu Zubaida in 2002. Her true story and memory deserve much better."
- so... never mimd. But you never know…it could have been one (or more) of these women's (and men's) intuition…
I'm sure some lawyers end up relying on intuition sometimes…
But, intuition can only help with leads to the truth. it can NEVER be used as proof.
There was an important principle in English (and I think American) law that a man was innocent until proven guilty.
That does seem to have passed out of fashion now when the newspapers pontificate on the guilt of people who have never seen the inside of a court room.
".. the rights of the accused has morphed into a very slanted advantage to the accused."
We need for instances, ahorseback.
I had recently served on a jury in a couple of different assault cases , Wow ! I came away disgusted with the human element in the jury room . . There was a state troopers wife who simply relied on emotional elements of interpreting evidence , she and a couple others wouldn't even view the slightly bloody photos of the evidence .! I could also tell that there were those of pre-conceived dispositions about ANY punishments at all . Talk about a wake up call to those of common sense ! One ended up a hung jury , simply because of personal opinions about over-all crime and punishment . I now believe there should be very few JURIED trials . Judges , although flawed as well , are far more positive a force of truth and justice .
And judges can be biased by their occupation. That is why it is upon a jury of your peer you are judged. This allows an impartial relatable judge of your guilt or innocence.
But is not a personal opinion based on common sense?
And if that personal opinion dictates that conscience should find for not guilty rather than guilty then surely it is the system that is wrong and not the jury?
In times gone by in the UK theft of items with a value of (around) £1 were punishable by death.
It was common for juries to find the accused guilty of theft but to also find that the value of the goods stolen were less than a pound.
That sounds like a common sense way of dealing with what was obviously perceived by many as an excessive punishment.
This pretty clearly indicates one of the major problems with a jury. No, personal opinion is not often based on common sense, particularly when the juror has no training. After all, common sense tells us that a microscopic bit of tissue is incapable of determining where it came from.
The problem is that some jurors view themselves as both jury and lawmaker. Not only the judge's explanation of their duties but common sense tells them that others have made the law, according to societies wishes, but they will ignore that in favor of making law themselves.
In your example the jury didn't like the law, feeling that one pound was insufficient to warrant death in spite of the law, so they changed the law by pretending the stolen goods weren't worth that. A juror does not have the right to do that. It isn't their appointed task and when juries make law the courts become useless because no one can ever know what the law is until the trial is over. Law becomes not a matter of public, written record but an opinion of 12 people that haven't given that opinion until after the crime is committed. Only then does the accused find out how they were expected to behave.
"After all, common sense tells us that a microscopic bit of tissue is incapable of determining where it came from."
Which is why a microscopic bit of tissue would not be accepted as evidence without experts to explain how that microscopic bit of tissue actually relates to the accuse and other experts to explain how that bit of tissues does not relate to the accused.
If the people who the law is supposed to protect can have no say in those laws then who should have a say?
Can you really say that a law has been written according to societies wishes when society itself rejects those same laws?
Everybody knows exactly what the law is, theft of over a pound-death, under imprisonment. There is no element of changing the law, only the penalty.
Equally there have been cases where the judge has disagreed with the jury's verdict and either ignored it or ordered a retrial. Is that too a case of the law being written after the event?
One of us is misunderstanding: I took your comment to mean that "common sense" triumphs over expert testimony when the juror does not understand.
It's called a "vote"; something we all have. What you're actually saying is that if a juror doesn't like the results of the common vote they should make their own laws for others to follow.
If society rejects those laws it will be reflected in a vote. Again, what you're actually saying is that if a juror doesn't like the results of the common vote they should make their own laws for others to follow.
When the jury circumvents the law with an obviously false verdict that the value was under a pound (that IS what you meant, isn't it?) then that jury is making law themselves.
Possible (there are crooked judges just as there are crooked jurors) but unlikely. Most often the honest judge sets aside a verdict because the jury made law themselves instead of following published, written law as they were supposed to.
Not at all, I was answering ahorseback's assertion that common-sense was only somebody who agreed with him had. I concede that I did not do it very well.
Won't that be a great comfort to the now dead petty thief! But the was no question of anybody changing the law, just changing a valuation which was just as likely to be inflated.
Again, where is anybody changing the law? There are no (or very few) items that have their value prescribed in law. Nobody is claiming to change the law, only changing the way in which a law is interpreted.
But the value of the item was never on trial so how can a disagreement with a value be a false verdict? The verdict was still that the accused was guilty and still supported societies belief that theft is wrong.
I was thinking of a case where a woman was on trial for murdering her children. The judge advised the jury that if they thought the woman guilty a verdict of manslaughter would be appropriate.
The jury returned a verdict of murder which the judge set aside and sentenced the woman for manslaughter.
Presumably the lawyers gathered a list of prices from a list of stores. Enough to give a valuation. No interpretation needed, just hard facts which the jury ignored as they didn't like the law.
Of course the valuation was (or should have been) "on trial". It is a necessary part of the verdict.
Murder and Manslaughter are two very different crimes, with two very different punishments. Presumably the prosecutor did not come close to meeting the requirements for a murder charge; something the jury either didn't understand or didn't care about. Such things are why we have judges presiding and do not depend on juries to interpret the law. Instead we use lawyers that have as their primary job the study of law (and call them "judges") rather that laymen that do not understand how it works.
But John, I'm not arguing the morality of laws from the distant past (and yes, I understand the murder trial was not distant) but of the responsibilities and duties of the juror. Those do not include making law, they do not include ignoring law or even interpreting it. Jurors are only there to determine if a crime was committed according to the law, not to define what a crime is.
It's as if a person is on trial for murdering a gay man and the juror decides that he thinks all gays should be killed anyway so there was no murder. It is neither his responsibility nor right to make that call; society has already made it and his sole duty is to determine if the suspect was guilty of the killing.
I've said this before, but a while back a judge gave a verdict of innocent in a rape trial. Not because it didn't happen, not because everyone didn't understand it really WAS rape, but because the law had a loophole that the suspect exploited. Nearly in tears, that judge gave the verdict and explained why (the law as amended by those charged with making laws within days) but what she did NOT do was try to make law herself. It wasn't her job to do that; something she understood but something some jurors fail miserably at.
I amall for jury trials, I feel more comfortable with a decision rendered from the consensus of a group rather than from the opinion of one man even if he is the judge.
Those examples go to show that what some are saying here is exactly true. When things go that way, it begins to not be about what is just at all. How unfair to the victims in such cases, because some can't deal with reason, logic, and morals, and the law, etc.
The jury actually does have a degree of legally recognized discretion to disregard the law if it serve justice in a greater sense. A facet of the system I actually agree with.
This is getting good.
I believe that juries should interpret the law as applies to the defendant and not make it. They should take what ever charges against the defendant as to the nature of the offense and possible penalties and taking into consideration mitigating or aggravating circumstances unique to the case to render a fair verdict and appropriate penalty.
When a judge sets aside a verdict by a jury, it is not to be taken lightly but based upon violation of process. Example: In the film "The Untouchables" (1987) Al Capone was being brought to trial for income tax evasion, but it had been determined earlier that the jury and the judge had been paid by Capone to render a specific verdict. Elliot Ness (Kevin Costner) confronted this and demanded that the jury be disbanded.
The problem has to rise to that level before I can handle, dismissing the jury process.
You're putting an awful lot onto the biased opinions and feelings of the juror aren't you? As well as expecting a juror to be a lawyer, expert it law in all it's phases? And asking a jury to determine punishment - punishment already written into the law?
No, Wilderness, not really, the judge could be biased, I have more confidence in consensus than any one person making decisions. Isn't there a certain amount of discretion available to a jury when rendering punishment when convicted of offenses? I don't know of any offenses that have a mandatory penalty of capital punishment, do you? I see the judge as more of a referee. I remember all the clap-trap about the jury during the OJ Simpson trial, but how much of the public's rage against the judgment of the jury were pure politics?
Our constitution says that people are to be tried by a jury of their peers, I like the concept. When that was established these people were not expected to be experts in the law but follow instructions for a fair and impartial process.
Yes, a judge is a referee. Making sure that not only the lawyers but the jury as well follow the rules (rules we call the law). That they don't make up the rules as they go, or change the ones we have.
Could be wrong, but don't juries sometimes suggest a punishment, with the judge generally making the final sentencing? While the death penalty may be different, most trials seem to go that way.
You could be right about the jury suggesting and the judge actually sentencing, but I would insist that if the judge deviated from the jury's unanimous decision, he or she should be required to document why, and it had better be good. Otherwise, if the judge is free to act on caprice, what is the point of having a jury?
Absolutely the judge must document, and very clearly, why the decision was made to vacate or change a jury finding. Juries aren't there just for appearances and there had better be a darn good reason that their decision isn't accepted.
At the same time, juries are not all created equal. Great effort is expended by the lawyers to "randomly" choose jurors that are not unbiased but will hopefully render the verdict desired. After all that, coupled with a complete lack of training, legal or otherwise, and it's no wonder that some juries make the wrong call. Which is where the judge steps in, and I don't have a problem with that. Now, should a judge suddenly begin to change verdict after verdict there's something going on that needs investigation. OR if they never change one - that might indicate a "don't care" attitude which is nearly as bad. Or maybe they put requirements on the attorneys that virtually forced a verdict the judge wanted - could happen.
Personally, I find our justice system in very bad need of repair, but it isn't from the jury trial or because a judge can override them when verdicts are just way out of line with the facts.
In fact, the law suggests a range of punishments which the judge can totally ignore if he so chooses as long as he does not exceed the maximum allowed by law.
Remember Magna Carta..
My experiences in a jury is that- ---after the defense and prosecution "rest " at the end of trial , The jury is handed the papers describing the" letter of the laws" or the elements of the law allegedly broken then and only then does deliberation begin , until all agree in guilt or innocence or have tried to persuade each other to agree or there is a hung jury - where someone will not change their mind .or minds to totally agree in this guilt or innocence - then the foreman contacts the clerk of court to reenter the courtroom , and then reads the verdict to the court.
Sounds right to me, although I thought that sometimes (or in some places?) the "letters of the law" were verbal instructions from the judge.
Either way, they get them. Jurors cannot be expected to know the ins and outs of every law in the country.
And why should jurors be expected to know the ins and outs of any laws?
The function of the jury is to consider evidence and reach a verdict as to whether the accused is guilty or innocent. If the law is in doubt or dispute then it is up to the prosecutor or defender to present their reasons for disagreement to the jury and for the jury to consider the merits of the argument. No knowledge of the law is needed by any jury for that.
I understand you do not expect much. Let's hope you never have to face 12 morons, and a Judge and two lawyers who are more interested in their golf game than justice. When an innocent person's freedom is at stake, or when a guilty person may be turned loose to prey once again upon society, a juror should at least be required to know the "ins and outs" of the particular case they are deciding. Surely, if a juror is too stupid to read and comprehend the law that pertains to their assigned case, they have no business sitting on a jury.
While you may have a complete legal library in your bedroom, or are internet savvy enough to find a specific law online, most people aren't even if they visit the net. And while you may be able to read "legalese" and understand it, most people again are not.
So judges instruct jurors in the law, just as they should.
Sorry, that is rubbish and well beyond the remit required of any jury, anywhere. They consider the evidence and not the law.
Since I am an intelligent person, I have no need to resort to such inflammatory remarks.
Whether it is required or not is beside the point. We already know that the system is a crap shoot at best. It is pure nonsense to expect that anyone incapable of understanding the law would still have the mental capacity to weigh and consider the evidence. Furthermore, a judge instructing a jury for a couple of hours is absurd . It is no wonder that innocent people have sat for years in prison , and have even been executed as a result of this "fast food" approach to justice.
Many truck driving academy's require at least a 7 week course in order for the student to receive a Commercial Drivers License. Surely, a case involving rape or murder, where a defendant could receive a life sentence, or death, warrants a jury with more than a few hours of training. Susan Mellen sat in prison wrongfully convicted of murder for 17 years! I assure anyone that her inconvenience was far greater than a few weeks of "jury training" might be for a juror. The United States is a nation founded and designed by posers not fit to shine my shoes. The inept,unfair, and arbitrary nature of the criminal justice system only further proves my assertion.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/1 … 68164.html
I'm sorry that you consider a frank opinion inflammatory but I think that is a problem for you to resolve, not I.
I still contend that there is absolutely no need for a juror to understand the law beyond knowing and understanding what they are told by the prosecution and defence.
Miscarriages of justice are the responsibility and fault of the professionals misrepresenting or omitting evidence.
Juries can not be expected to second guess evidence or lack of it. After all those are mistakes made by fully trained professionals - what chance would jurors even with two weeks training have of detecting that?
What training would you expect a juror to have?
If you must ask the question: "What training would you expect a juror to have?", then it is clear that I do not have the time to explain it to you in detail. Suffice it to say that each case is unique, and must be treated accordingly. Furthermore, the IQ of prospective .jurors should be tested, along with their grasp of deductive reasoning. By doing so, a better determination of their degree of "common sense" can be made. I would argue that anyone with an IQ of 125 or below should not be allowed to be seated in a murder trial. This of course would eliminate many police officers from serving as jurors since in certain areas anyone with an IQ over 125 is not allowed to become a police officer. See one story here: http://abcnews.go.com/US/court-oks-barr … y?id=95836
If you or anyone else disagrees with my position then I challenge you to offer a better, or alternative solution to the problem. Simply dismissing what I have to say as "rubbish" is nothing more than an empty argument that adds nothing of value to the thread, nor does it bring us any closer to a solution.
Deductive reasoning, IQ 25 points above average, common sense!
Why not insist that all jurors have completed five years of law school!
You would strike down a basic right enshrined in English law since 1215 and in American law since the formation of the colonies, the right to trial by a jury of your peers.
Why should a juror have deductive reasoning? There is nothing to deduce, only a comparison of evidence and a conclusion which does not depend on either IQ or common sense, did he or did he not commit the crime that he is accused of. Who's evidence is more compelling, the prosecution or the defence.
If you are looking for a solution, start with funding, allow the defence the same resources as the prosecution.
Your comment reveals the flaw in your thinking. The basic right enshrined in English law appears in many cases to be useless. Having a "right" is meaningless if said right cannot be realized. The continued injustice of a justice system that has roots that go back over 8 centuries should tell anyone with an IQ over 125 that we must develop a new paradigm for justice; one that actually works in the real world, and not just on paper.
A person of low, or average intelligence, is too easily swayed by sexism, racism, social customs, and popular opinion. For instance, I have heard jurors express in more than one murder case involving a spouse, that the defendant appeared guilty of murder because they showed very little emotion. Anyone with such an inane opinion who is sitting on a jury should be tarred and feathered, and then quickly set in motion with a cat o' nines! An individual with the capacity to think understands that all people do not express their emotions in the same way. Furthermore, the husband or wife of a murdered spouse may simply not care that their significant other has met an untimely, or violent end. In fact they may be relieved that their spouse is gone! But their lack of sympathy, or grief, does not necessarily mean they are guilty of murder.
Having access to all of the evidence is important, but that evidence must then be considered and put into the proper perspective. The average simian that drinks beer, votes in elections, attends major sporting events, and spends much of their free time at shopping malls, or engaging in sex simply to have an orgasm, is simply not up to the task. There is a mountain of empirical evidence to support my claim.
" The average simian that drinks beer, votes in elections, attends major sporting events, and spends much of their free time at shopping malls, or engaging in sex simply to have an orgasm, is simply not up to the task."
I'm totally speechless! Such sentiments should surely by your own reckoning bar you from any jury service!
Do you realise that by your reckoning at least six of the 20th Century US presidents would not be qualified to serve on juries? That the average US representative, having an IQ of 101, would not qualify for jury service.
To argue that only those of very superior intelligence should be able to decide on guilt or innocence is as absurd as the suggestion that only those same people would be free from racism and sexism.
Your comments expose your very flawed thinking.
And so you continue to support my conclusions, albeit your purpose is to cast a shadow of doubt. The majority of U.S. presidents were not qualified to be presidents . Many of them did not even qualify as human beings; considering their inhumanity , their Imperialist aggression, acts of genocide, outright thievery, and greed. Neither is the average U.S. representative qualified to represent the American people. With an average IQ of 101, it is no wonder that the world is in such a mess; a classic case of the blind leading the blind. Furthermore, I never suggested that intelligent people were above sexism or racism. Those are your words that you have used in an effort to "spin" my commentary.
The goal is to minimize the amount of human error and bias during a high stakes trial by jury. My suggestions alone would not totally eliminate bias and unjust verdicts, but I am confident that they would certainly improve the current situation. Simple minded people have a purpose in the world, as do those of higher intelligence. It serves no one to encourage either class to assume the responsibilities of the other.
Do you realise that the average IQ of the American citizen is 98?
Your proposal for minimum IQ of 125 for jurors would involve most of the intelligent of the USA being almost entirely occupied by jury service, especially if you insist on a training period to qualify them for jury service!
I can assure you that I do not in any way shape or form support your conclusions.
They are unworkable and grossly unfair.
If your desire is to eliminate (as far as possible) human error and bias then the solution is simple, put the same resources into defence as are put into prosecution.
I find your reference to "simple minded people" far more offensive than any suggestion that what you propose is rubbish.
I am by your definition simple minded. I know and you should know that I am not by any means simple minded.
I want to shout your name!
You and I have NEVER been more in agreement!
This faulty reasoning leads one to conclude that discovering that which is actually true is impossible for the ordinary person. Arrogance. Truth is obtained through the trial process through conflict. If that conflict is to be truly effective then both combatants must be as equally matched as possible. We don't need smarter jurors, we need smarter and more ethical attorneys and judges. The jury will see the truth revealed in the conflict.
Let's just savour the moment.
I am pouring a delicious ale from Stone Brewery in California called Arrogant Bastard. I will lift my glass to you and savor both the agreement and the ale.
Of course I realize that the average American isn't that smart. I also realize that intelligent people have always been a minority throughout the world. And let it be known that it is you, and not I, that have put yourself in the camp of the simple- minded. I do not have such a talent that I can discern the intellect of anyone on an internet forum simply through their comments and responses.
Your suggestion that my proposal would consume a considerable amount of time misses the big picture. A society, and a system that would embrace such proposals would also be a system with a very low crime rate. Consequently, rape and murder trials would be few and far between. This is because the care and thoughtfulness dedicated to the criminal justice system would also be seen throughout such a society. In such a society children would be growing up with more respect for each other, and with less respect for consumerism, and the acquisition of material wealth.
Your comments, and those of your supporters, indicate that you accept a system that penalizes the poor and the working class, while rewarding the very rich. You defer yourselves to lawyers and judges, when in reality they are by their very nature some of the most greedy, and ruthless people on the face of the Earth.
Want to bet that the average IQ of lawyers and judges, having gone through college and passed the bar, isn't above that of the average American?
But of course greed and ruthlessness doesn't mean more crime, does it? Probably much harder to catch (requiring more time and resources), but that won't mean more time from the police, does it?
Interestingly ( and not very authoritatively) one site I found puts the average IQ of Attorneys at 114.5
and judges at 111 !
At least they wouldn't be taken away from their jobs if Wrenchbiscuit had his way
So what is your point? Apparently you have taken the position that judges and lawyers are by nature intelligent people. These people, along with the police, actually perpetuate crime as a means of personal profit. The current miserable state of the union provides irrefutable proof that judges and lawyers have collectively proven that they are either unwilling to fix a corrupt system, or at least intellectually incapable of doing so.
Firstly by implying that anybody with an IQ of less than 125 was simple minded, as my IQ is less than 125 you therefore regard me as simple minded.
You do realise that at the most generous estimate 5% of the US population have an IQ of 125 or over and that 5% will include many not eligible for jury service, to ensure that every juror had an IQ of 125 would be totally impractical.
Far from my accepting a system that penalising the poor and working class your proposal that the rich and elite should be in charge of the judicial system is the most crushing on the poor and the working classes that could ever be envisioned.
If you are going to attempt to refute my arguments I ask that you not create a fiction. To suggest that I said" ... the rich and the elite should be in charge of the judicial system..." is purely slanderous. My suggestion was that intelligent individuals should be responsible for judicial matters that require above average intelligence. Apparently you are of the mind that the very rich have a monopoly on intelligence.
On the contrary, a preoccupation with materialism exhibits a lower intelligence. This is evident when we consider all of the poverty,tragedy, war, injustice, and environmental pollution caused by the rich and the greedy. Materialism has not created the kind of progress that leads to a better world.
The bar for judges, lawyers, and jurors needs to be raised considerably. Furthermore, passing a barrage of tests and getting a law degree only proves that an individual can read,retain facts and figures, and then recall this information in order to provide the correct answer. This requires a degree of intelligence, but so does crossing a busy street for a mentally handicapped person.
Time is the most important commodity that we could ever possess as a human being. I don't find it comforting to know that a parrot has the power to take away an innocent mans freedom, or allow a guilty man to go free.
Of course the very rich don't have a monopoly on intelligence, but the intelligent are more likely to be high earners and to say that only the very intelligent should be jurors inevitably loads the judicial system in favour of the rich.
Do you realise that the richest man in the world, Bill Gates, has an IQ of 160? That rather knocks back your theory that a preoccupation with materialism exhibits a lower intelligence.
I quite agree that the bar for judges and lawyers need to be raised but don't see how greatly reducing the pool of jurors could possibly improve anything. Your suggestion that only the very intelligent can tell right from wrong is offensive and arrogant.
And there you go again! Anybody with an IQ of less than 125 is a parrot! Nice.
I am catching up on this thread still. On this page however, some might have missed this comment from you,
"My suggestion was that intelligent individuals should be responsible for judicial matters that require above average intelligence."
If that is what you really think, and not what others are characterizing what you are saying to be, I wanted to point it out because it makes the side you are seeming to have to defend about something different.
I don't understand your meaning. Yes , what I have stated is my position. A jury trial of a less serious nature where the outcome may only involve punitive damages, forfeiture of property, or short term incarceration of less than 24 months, cannot be compared to a trial that might deliver a maximum sentence of life without the possibility of parole, or capital punishment. To better explain: Most everyone is capable of driving a car, but everyone doesn't have what it takes to be a bus driver,tractor trailer driver, ships captain,fighter pilot, or astronaut. In varying degrees, these tasks require more skill and training than commonly is required to get a basic drivers license.
In such cases, every citizen should not only have a right to a jury of their peers. But also an unbiased jury intelligent enough to comprehend and weigh the evidence. The OJ Simpson murder trial, as well as the George Zimmerman murder trial, illustrate at both ends of the racial spectrum what happens when inept lawyers, judges, and juries exercise their "constitutional rights". Stupid ignorant people should have the right to breath,procreate, and pursue happiness. but they do not have the right to function beyond their mental capability when the performance of said function can lead to dire, or catastrophic consequences.
OJ Simpson and George Zimmerman do not illustrate the ignorance of the juries but the prejudice.
Whilst there is evidence that more educated people are less likely to be prejudiced, there is no guarantee that they won't be.
You will do nothing to eradicate that by restricting the number of those eligible to serve on juries.
And your continued assertion that only those with a high IQ are capable of telling right from wrong continues to be extremely offensive.
See here is another quote I would agree with, if someone has said such a thing. Did WB say the below?
"And your continued assertion that only those with a high IQ are capable of telling right from wrong continues to be extremely offensive."
Who wouldn't find that offensive, if someone was really saying those with a higher IQ are capable of telling right from wrong.
Thus, I am trying to find the disconnect, what each is really defending in the way of ideas. So often in these forums, my experience is that some mischaracterize another's actual idea, and make it about what it isn't, in order to attack it. I can't tell which is exactly going on here. That quote though, I would agree with. Where I differ is in the beginning, the continued assertion part.... perhaps I will see it as I catch up.
Well I'll leave you to decide whether you think that by stating that those who do not have an IQ of 125 are incapable of telling right from wrong and that then all those who do not have an IQ of 125 or more are simple minded and parrots.
Well, both of those things seem very obviously untrue.
Thus the quote I posted, which would indicate something is amiss.
What, untrue in reality or untrue that Wrenchbiscuit implied it?
I was leaving Wrenchbiscuit out of it entirely. As statements, they are untrue. Very obviously so.
Sorry John, I had missed this before. To answer, I think these statements by you to me are very obviously untrue.
"Well I'll leave you to decide whether you think that by stating that those who do not have an IQ of 125 are incapable of telling right from wrong and that then all those who do not have an IQ of 125 or more are simple minded and parrots."
I think that stating those things doesn't make them true. They are not true.
Edit: And to further clarify, I saw those comments as your commentary on Wb's comments. He didn't actually state those comments, which would distance his comments very far from the others that made similar comments, minus the IQ numbers that Wb used. (And perhaps some of the intensity with which he used them.)
John Holden continues to spin my comments. I have never stated that anyone with an IQ of 125 is incapable of telling right from wrong. That is absurd and purposely slanderous, and I have already cautioned Mr. Holden earlier in this thread about creating a fiction at my expense. I simply picked an arbitrary number in order to make the point that the seriousness of such proceedings warrants higher standards.
Apparently he is offended because, according to Mr. Holden, his IQ is below 125. He apparently takes the perceived finality of an IQ test more seriously than I. Of course, an IQ test is not an infallible instrument, but it is still an available tool that should be utilized, just as the lie detector is often useful, in spite of the fact that the results are inadmissible in a court of law. The fact that he is so offended clearly illustrates how political correctness, and the popularity of "smiling faces" and false modesty can make social progress so difficult .
I suggest then that you take far more care over what you write.
If you accuse me of creating fiction then you obviously never said that all jurors should have an IQ of 125 or over in which case I will withdraw all my fictional accusations!
I'm afraid that there is nothing politically correct about objecting to being accused of being simple minded or a parrot, but then of course that is a fiction constructed by me wasn't it? You've never even mentioned being simple minded or being parrots have you?
By the way, I seem to recall somebody being offended when I made the comment that their ideas were rubbish, not that they personally were rubbish though.
Saying that jurors in murder cases should have an IQ above 125 is a far cry from saying everyone below 125 is incapable of knowing right from wrong. You apparently believe that these two distinct ideas are synonymous. I find this to be a great curiosity. Concerning my comments about parrots and simple mindedness: You are the one who has decided that the shoe fits. I did not specifically state, nor did I imply that you were any, or all of the above. Consequently, I have accused you, John Holden, of nothing at all, and so you continue by creating another fiction.
Finally, I was not offended in the least by your comment. The truth is that you simply assumed that I was offended, which only further betrays your own motive for posting the comment. It appears you wanted me to be offended. Going back through this thread I found my original reply, and I quote," Since I am an intelligent person, I have no need to resort to such inflammatory remarks. "
My original comment reveals that I merely made an observation. It is you who embellished a mere fact with an emotion. I must now ask you: How do you suppose you would be qualified to be a juror when you have clearly, and repeatedly, misinterpreted and misrepresented my commentary in this forum? Ironically, in an effort to dismiss my argument, you have only confirmed the validity of my ideas through example.
<"The fact that he is so offended clearly illustrates how political correctness, and the popularity of "smiling faces" and false modesty can make social progress so difficult".>
< "I simply picked an arbitrary number in order to make the point that the seriousness of such proceedings warrants higher standards." >
It is assumed that you did some research and meant what you said.
Illustrating why I am too stupid to be a juror. When he said 125 I actually thought he meant 125 and not 115 or 110 or anything else.
Analyzing the evidence:
< "Furthermore, the IQ of prospective .jurors should be tested, along with their grasp of deductive reasoning. By doing so, a better determination of their degree of "common sense" can be made.">
< "I would argue that anyone with an IQ of 125 or below should not be allowed to be seated in a murder trial.">
@ John H. Well, you are too stupid to be a juror in a murder trial. Me too.( Actually I know someone with an IQ of 150 and he sure does not have much common sense.) Maybe your deductive reasoning ability and common sense would make up for a lower than 125 IQ ??
I wonder how they would test for that?
I think Wb should come up with such a test.
(Testing for Deductive Reasoning and Common Sense:)
I did go back and try to see what all this was all about. I am not done yet. I did see on pages 1 and 2 however, Kathryn and Psycheskinner speak of needing the juries to be of a particular caliber of education and or discernment, etc. They did not pick out such a number, and were not raked over the coals in any similar manner. I did see your comment about how you would argue for a 125 IQ, and that was pretty straightforward.
I am against people making strawmen to attack in the forums, if and when that is done. You make some points with some strong wording, but I don't think it was so bad that what you were accused of was totally fair, because it doesn't make sense to suggest anyone with any morals would say such a thing. In that regard, it didn't seem totally fair. I don't know anyone here, one way or another, so hopefully I am as unbiased in this observing as I can be!
IQ is too specific and discriminating. Especially when you consider that IQ is not based on actual science. The findings are not static.
A better idea is to promote professional jurors and pay them appropriately.
Would this be in the interest of determining and defending justice?
( I have no Idea as my IQ is on the probably on the lowish side.)
I wasn't saying it was a good idea or not idea, the IQ thing. I didn't know if he had really said what John was saying he said was all.
Do you agree that prospective jurors should be required to have an IQ of 125? Does this idea sit right with you?
It does not sit right with me. Wb, in fact, has distanced himself from the concept, which he originally suggested, (whether you want to acknowledge this fact or not.)
It reminds me of Hitleresque dogma.
I have continued to maintain, and further clarify my position. Since you have played your hand, I challenge you to prove your assertion that I have "distanced myself" from the original concept. Of course, I already know you can't prove it. Consequently, your primary purpose appears to have been to make a derogatory comparison.Your accusation was simply a means to an end. Nice try Kathryn.
ON ONE HAND:
< "I simply picked an arbitrary number in order to make the point that the seriousness of such proceedings warrants higher standards. He (John) apparently takes the perceived finality of an IQ test more seriously than I. Of course, an IQ test is not an infallible instrument,">
ON THE OTHER HAND:
"<...it is still an available tool that should be utilized, just as the lie detector is often useful, in spite of the fact that the results are inadmissible in a court of law''>
Can you blame us for our confusion?
( < ... your primary purpose appears to have been to make a derogatory comparison." >
Not true and I disagree. We are being honest in our attempts to find the truth of the matter at hand. You would be wise to take nothing personally.)
What you have highlighted is simply a clarification of an earlier statement. Your apparent confusion simply reinforces what I have stated earlier. The fact that you perceive it as "distancing myself" is directly related to reading comprehension. Prospective jurors need to have the ability to comprehend the evidence, and your comment here further illustrates my point.
Less than two hours ago you said"
I simply picked an arbitrary number in order to make the point that the seriousness of such proceedings warrants higher standards."
If that is not distancing yourself then what, in your book, is?
No, I don't necessarily agree with that idea, and saw other good points on why that wouldn't be a good thing. I did go back to Wb's last post before this one, and he seems to not have distanced himself from it. He said,
"I have never stated that anyone with an IQ of 125 is incapable of telling right from wrong. That is absurd and purposely slanderous, and I have already cautioned Mr. Holden earlier in this thread about creating a fiction at my expense. I simply picked an arbitrary number in order to make the point that the seriousness of such proceedings warrants higher standards."
He touches on both the points I have observed, and I have to agree that saying what he (Wb) did say, is not the same as saying they are incapable of telling right from wrong. (What Mr. Holden seemed to say a couple of different ways.) As a bystander/observer, I saw John's comments about Wb to be a lot more extreme than what he actually said. Which if so bad, don't really need any embellishing I wouldn't think. I am not really sure how or why I got involved..... I think because of John's comments actually, and I caught my attention kind of. Besides having just commented earlier on, and therefore it pops up in my feed when a new comment hits.
"Furthermore, the IQ of prospective .jurors should be tested, along with their grasp of deductive reasoning. By doing so, a better determination of their degree of "common sense" can be made. I would argue that anyone with an IQ of 125 or below should not be allowed to be seated in a murder trial."
Of course he didn't say that anybody with an IQ of 125 . . . he said !anyone with an IQ of 125 or below should not be seated in a murder trial.
Please let it go.............Wrenchbiscuit is correct in his premise, he was not being insulting. He was telling the truth regarding being a juror.
If I am understanding you correctly, then I was defending that idea. It seems a good one. I have not read all the posts yet however, and wanted to know more, where everyone is coming from. I think what you said goes without saying, and seems very fair. I don't understand how others could take it otherwise.
Perhaps I have simplified it too much to share that one quote I did from you, but that quote seems cut and dry. Your further explanation means it seems I am understanding that point of view, and I will add I don't know know how someone could disagree with that, if they do. What you are suggesting and how that plays out, may not be so simple or practical, but the idea itself is a good one and a fair one I think.
Whats with the pic? lol
This is getting very interesting INDEED........
Isn't there an cultural bias against minorities inherent in IQ and other kinds of testing, at least that is what I have been reading for decades. Wouldn't that make juries automatically unfair - SCRATCH THAT - more unfair toward minorities? How could anyone who isn't a member of the majority ever get a fair trial if the jury is selected based on biased IQ tests? Sounds like a system set up to continue the oppression of minorities.
Based on your past thought provoking, intelligent, and useful comments, I would expect no less. Thank you for demonstrating the difference once again. Gute Nacht
So it is your contention that instruments intended to measure IQ are not culturally biased?
Of course that is not my contention. You have attempted to refute a concept by raising a related argument, but one that has little bearing on the point I was making. There is no natural law that prohibits mankind from improving upon existing methods for testing and determining an individuals capacity to reason and comprehend.
Today there are aircraft that can fly over 2000 mph; men fly through space; we speak into a little box and can be heard around the world, and people routinely get organ transplants. These are things that would have seemed impossible, even demonic to people living 500 years ago. There is no good reason why we cannot, or should not progress socially, morally, and politically, as we have done technologically. Continuing to believe in an antiquated system that has never really worked for the benefit of the majority is at best treading water, and at the very worse, giant steps in backward motion.
Uh, gmwilliams told us to "TO STOP AGONIZING OVER IT" in no uncertain terms. So I, for one, must listen to this "voice" of reason. Plus she's on your side.
Sorry, there is no smoking gun. Eugenics never crossed my mind. It should be clear that I am advocating improving methods of testing in order to determine suitability for certain tasks, such as jury duty. This testing would involve far more than simply determining an individuals IQ , which would only be one aspect of an overall process.
Of course people of marginal or average intelligence have a role to play, and I would never advocate a world inhabited only by highly intelligent people. We can see by observing the nature around us that it is necessary to keep a balance. I only advocate that it is important for us to determine who is best suited for any given task; especially those tasks that if not performed responsibly, as the historical record has already proven , can destroy the lives of millions of human beings, and diminish the quality of life for us all.
I think your arguments have some validity, but I also think you have framed them in such an elitist mantle, (IQ levels), that you have alienated your audience. And diminished your credibility.
Dumb voters that vote based on the last political ad they saw, jurors deciding on the charisma of the presenter - instead of the facts, and "true hearts" believing when they really should be skeptical, are real problems.
But IQ levels are not the yardstick I would use. Common sense is like porn. Hard to define, but you know it when you see it - is a much better qualifier than an IQ number. That would be my yardstick.
I think vos Savant may have provided a couple instances that would lean in my direction.
You're correct in your premise. There are so many people who simply aren't capable to be in any type of major decision making process, let alone be a juror. I believe that there should be an overall in the jury process. There should be intelligent and psychological tests to determine the fitness of a person to be a juror pure and simple. Being jury is a serious process for the outcome of a person is determined by jury decision. So many people are wrongfully convicted, sometimes perilously, as a result of an unintelligent decision by juries.
Grace, the Constitution requires thata jurybe composed of ones peers. The qualifications that would be considered necessary for a good juror cannot be really tested for. As was mentioned before, IQ at the level of 125 and above constitute a small segment of society. Consequently, the only screening factors should be conflicts of interest among proposed jurors relative to the defendent. People of average intelligence are more than qualified to sit on a jury
John is right . A jury doesn't have to know the law , its all handed to him or her , everything they need is ! What they must have is common sense , sorry ! That's politically incorrect , what they need is a common experiences in living life . Unfortunately the most endangered characteristic of all is actually "common sense" !
It's all down to a long established right to trial by a jury of your peers and not by Royals and nobility with no experience of your life.
Common sense is actually not all that common and rarely contains much sense.
That is the one thing I will disagree on John , in spite of what a P.C. crowd says , there certainly is a "common sense " still about in our culture . Yet the justification for free will seems to be a big part of the new - old definition of common sense . Sad -but true .
Interesting chat ! But I've got to go to work , Have a peachy day !
Common sense: This refers to sense which is common to all or what is universally true. Its up to the people to acknowledge it. When they don't... on a collective level, that's where the trouble lies…
Like the story of the king in his "new" outfit…
He was wearing nothing, but no one wanted to acknowledge the obvious. Instead they all agreed, "Oh he is wearing purple velvet, lace and those new sun glasses…"
(It took an innocent child to speak up and say: "But, he isn't wearing anything at all!")
Actually, I'm at a loss to understand where common sense comes into making a decision as to innocence or guilt.
Surely any decision should be based on evidence!
Lesson one - common sense on a jury !
I was siting in a group of twelve viewing photo evidence of a felony assault and battery . As we passed the large photos around there was one or two who would not view the photos ," too graphic ", Another woman said "I just can't put someone in jail " ! ........Common Sense told me that in their not guilty vote - that they could not possibly have juried properly ! Verdict = hung jury !
Your opinion ?
I believe it's meant to protect the innocent, by proving beyond a reasonable doubt that some one is in fact guilty. Also it protects the rights of all people for example the Miranda vs. Arizona case.
Good point , John , quite the process actually , the selection ! The Defense and the prosecutor actually ask spot questions of the potential jurors in front of the pre- trial court , sometimes rather political or personal questions . " Do you believe in the Justice system in America " , " Have you ever voiced your opinion of the courts system publicly ?" etc. One by one some are excused right there , some people when asked , can offer any excuse as to why they should be excused privately . And the rest may never even know the reasons . Saw one guy rave about the flaws of the system itself and be excused ! Kind-a weird !
Oceansunsets , your name says it all , great response ! Some people perhaps are simply more introspective and in relating that to which surrounds us constantly ? We are forced aren't we , to involve ourselves in society . Good or bad , right or wrong , left , right ......on and on . I find myself mostly a keen observer of human nature , surely there are those who simply are not and do not care the least about others , about boundaries , laws or otherwise . And that , is what separates us I suppose . conscience ? I have met and been close to some of the most decent people in my life and consider myself so fortunate ! Perhaps we must simply surround ourselves and hope for the best . Thank you for this !
I think you are on to a few things there, and I would agree. It seems to be the case, when we do observe and ask ourselves, "what would explain this...." Glad to find another observer that looks at things, even the tough things. It seems we do live in a world where people do care less and less about others, and this supposedly leaves room for "self" only. The strangest part that I observe however, is that if they were to really think things through, so often they are not even truly looking out for self either! In not looking out for others and our communities, aren't we kind of then not looking out for ourselves really? Thus really only shooting ourselves in the foot? That is just speaking purely from a realistic, yet selfish point of view. If we could look to the good of all, be more selfless included, then we are doing so much more good. The ripple effects of that might know no end.
Instead, we seem to be living off the "fumes" of the ripple effects of the good done in the past so often. Like our freedoms we enjoy, and how they were gained, as an example. Thank you for your comment there, glad I didn't miss it. I would say we should never give up!
- does IQ change as we get older? I don't think its a dumb question because someone who claimed to have a high IQ asked me this recently. I have never had the opportunity to test my current IQ. How would one go about working on raising their IQ? I'm sure it can be done.
Yes, it tends to decrease.
It can be preserved and even raised by working on IQ tests which suggests that it might just make you better at doing tests!
Could it be that the jury serves mainly as a check on the judge?
i think to get into law school, you must be pretty smart. i have a genius level IQ, and i found some law school admissions test sample questions difficult.
Could you please explain what you really mean to say here?
"A society, and a system that would embrace such proposals (which exactly?) would also be a system with a very low crime rate. (Why and how?) Consequently, rape and murder trials would be few and far between. (?) This is because the care and thoughtfulness dedicated to the criminal justice system would also be seen (how so?) throughout such a society. (?) In such a society children would be growing up with more respect for each other, (really?) and with less respect for consumerism, and the acquisition of material wealth. And more respect for___________ (besides each other)?"
PS @ Wb
Can you imagine a society where the people are racist against each other based on I Q ? !!! Is this really part of Anarchy??
"Oh, no you cannot be a juror because your IQ is below 125." What precedent would that set??
It would start a sequence of events and attitudes that would be so destructive I cannot even imagine it. How dare you even suggest such a thing and then try to reveal a society containing all that good stuff you mention.
Really Really Curious
To pinpoint IQ seems very unfair. Of course, we would not want a jury of special needs individuals who are mentally deficient. On the other hand, (from what I have observed and witnessed through working with them in educational situations,) most autistic people have a strong sense of morals and instinctively know what is right and wrong. They understand fairness and see reality clearer than those impeded by too much intellect and worldliness.
Jurors should have the ability to use inductive and deductive logic to a high degree. They also should not allow personal feelings and prejudices to influence their decision regarding a case. However, in many cases, this is not so. I concur with Wrenchbiscuit that jurors should have a high degree of intelligence,perhaps with an IQ of 130 and above, in addition with an understanding of psychology and sociology. So many innocent people have been imprisoned and the guilty unpunished because of the illogicalities in the thinking process of jurors. There are are so many people who are clearly unqualified intellectually and psychologically to serve as jurors.
Why the need for inductive and deductive logic?
That is the job of the prosecution and defence.
Why do you assume that it is the illogical thinking processes of jurors that cause miscarriages of justice?
Rather than blame juries, I would ask just how intelligent would you have to be to divine the presence of withheld evidence?
The problem is that all methods of measuring IQ are culturally biased. There are too many factors beyond intelligence that can influence the outcome.
A jury is a random sampling of people from all walks of life and all ranges of brain size/use. They must be impartial. Each is a check on the other and as a body of impartial individuals, they are a check on the judge. We need to accept it as that. The problem is when the people loose sense that is common to all people. The jurors need to FOCUS (concentrate) very carefully on the evidence. Now, if they come into the scene on Meds, not able to concentrate and filled with all sorts of nonsensical ideas about life and fairness, then we have problems. What is the cause of those problems?
Society and its accepted doctrines.
Q. to anyone: What are current nonsensical doctrines that might influence the outcome of a jury's decision, that you observe?
There are some jurors who bend over backwards especially if the seemingly guilty party comes from a disadvantaged background. Then the seemingly guilty party is immediately absolved of all wrongdoing although documented evidence was presented. The guilt is evident but these jurors elect to ignore it, rationalizing it away. This annoys me to no end.
And does this bias come from a low IQ? or a lack of adequate jury training?
(It is beyond annoying.)
The bias comes from what societal indoctrinations?
It comes from a misplaced sense of sympathy. These jurors feel that this seemingly guilty person acted because he/she came from a disadvantaged condition rather racially, educationally, or socioeconomically. They feel that this guilty person is not at fault for what he/she has done. They contend that it is the dominant society that forced this person to act in this fashion.
From a lack of education (which is different to a lack of intelligence) I read that over 50% of US jurors believe that it is up to the accused to prove their innocence. Now, I don't suppose there is much difference in average IQ between the US and the UK, but you could count on the fingers of one hand the number of Brits who think the same way.
How do the Brits think??? (please excuse my low IQ.)
Well quite obviously that innocence is presumed until the man is found guilty.
oh, yes… to prove their innocence… it seems so logical!
what has happened (over) here?
- basic lack of education.
what is the correlation between education and IQ?
Yes it seems obvious to me that it should be up to the accuser to prove guilt, rather than the accused to prove innocence and I don't have an IQ of 125 or 130!
But then, you are British…
- and our legal system is based primarily on yours… it has lost a little in the translating, perhaps.
If applied properly the jury selection process should eliminate these, just as it should eliminate all those who are inclined to assume guilt what ever the evidence.
Q. "Why is it that the rights of the accused have morphed into a very slanted advantage to the accused , thereby seemingly surpassing all the rights of the victims ,this is a constant in the American courts system , How has our system become so flawed?"
A. Through a lack of education, in general. Specifically, by not understanding the basis of justice:
Innocent until proven guilty.
Does that help, ahoresback?
You can thank our resident Brit, John Holden, for this conclusion.
I think anyone can be smart, high IQ (or not so smart, for that matter). Not all can be wise and fair and kind. I find individuals that are kind, decent, fair, moral, and wise to be great to communicate with about all kinds of things. Whoever it might be.....
<"I think anyone can be smart, high IQ…">
- what? Then lets just assume they are!
First you say IQ discrimination is fine and now you say it isn't.
What is your stance. I say we need to accept people as jurors based on the standards that are already in place. I agree with John that jurors need to focus on the EVIDENCE and realize that the accused are considered innocent until proven guilty. As opposed to guilty until proven innocent.
What Wb has introduced, which is interesting, is that serious trials involving murder need jurors who have the ability to focus very clearly and steadfastly on the details. People who are educated, who have common sense and have deductive reasoning, would be appropriate. But, how would you go about testing them for it?
Nothing in life is perfect. Its all the luck of the draw.
PS repeating: A better idea is to promote professional jurors and pay them appropriately.
Would this be in the interest of determining and defending justice?
- or not?
Kathryn, actually, I never said IQ discrimination is fine. I think we need to be careful about what people actually say, because it gets so distorted, like we saw, and are kind of seeing now and then we have to keep reminding people of what was actually said.
I am probably on the side of keeping things as they are, though we have seen examples of where it fails. I don't have to side against Wb though to see that was has been said about him is just false, exaggerated, etc. You and Psycheskinner also talked about things on the first page, that indicates we need some level of higher thinking, discernment, etc. I agree, its not perfect, but Ahorseback gave a recent example of how it is failing sometimes. It probably was true as John said in that case, a poor jury selection. I am being fair as I can.
To your last idea/question... I don't know, I don't know where you are coming from on that. I wonder if that couldn't become a corrupt endeavorl, paying certain people to be professional and intelligent enough of jurors. Its not an either or kind of thing as I see it though, to point out flaws.
I would like to add also the rich, influential, and otherwise powerful when accused have high priced lawyers that can get them out of serving jail time. Wealth can buy oh so many things including clemency, even freedom. After all it is the influential's words against someone who may not be as influential.
Quite. I'm not sure how jurors with high IQs would change that.
We are on a different aspect of the thread, John. We are now finished with the discussion relating to IQ as a qualification for being a juror. We are now discussing that oftentimes one's wealth is influential as to how he/she will be deemed either innocent or guilty by the judge. Money is a great influence in the determination as to whether one is guilty or innocent even if accused of a crime.
We've also discussed (and quickly ignored) aspects such as the prosecution withholding evidence.
In some cases; however, one's wealth can exude a golden child effect on jurors and judges alike. Wealthy people, depending upon the circumstances, are given more leniency regarding offenses that a poor person would be given the harshest of penalties for.
Thanks for depressing the heck out of me, gm… what do you think of professional jurors?
That sounds like a good idea but our system believes that everyone who is mentally able should participate in the jury process.
The problem with professional jurors is that they would be more open to corruption than conscripted jurors.
- could even the very savvy professional jury participants keep a money grubbing judge in check?
- so what about the judges.
Oh Oh ,I missed some of this , however here goes a bomb shell for all you intellectuals , a high I.Q alone means absolutely nothing , one must be socially mature , have an active and mature sense of right and wrong ! i.e. common sense ! Yes I know where you're going with that one ....... Here's the thing I have known many high IQ folks that are just plain .....how to put this delicately ?.....Eccentric to the point of weirdness ! Not the best for a jury !
Welcome back ahorseback to the thread. You were missed! Yes, there are some people with IQs who can be classified with being out of touch with the more pragmatic aspects of society. However, the average person with a high IQ has an immense ability of using discernment regarding judgement. They also have a higher degree of logical analysis, taking into consideration the psychological and other social underpinnings of a case than a person of a lower IQ who does not possess the power of discernment and analysis.
It's ahorsebacks OP Grace, he started it all.
...as she continues to harp on IQ !
Maybe hers is high.
Yes, John, I KNOW WHO ORIGINATED THE THREAD, THANK YOU!
No need to shout! I just thought that as you were welcoming him to the thread and not welcoming him back that you had not noticed that it was his.
Well, you did welcome ahorseback to his own thread.
...ya can't win em all, John. (It didn't last long did it.)
Seems like I can't win any Just as well I'm not a juror
uh that reminds me.. I've got to follow through on my jury duty request. augh… I'll just tell them my IQ is way low!
Now, now, Kathryn, you know that ISN'T true at all. In my encounters with you, you demonstrate a very high level of intelligence in addition to a high level of discernment.
I wonder why the pay check for jury duty is so low , $17.00 per day , while an attorney ? A judge ? To suggest that an I.Q. of 125 would guarantee a fair trial is silly ! Plenty of the highest I.Q people I've met shouldn't even be considered for jury duty ! A higher intellectual I.Q .simply means that , neither emotional nor social maturity is guaranteed by the high I.Q.......I dare you prove that wrong ! The many eccentricities of the higher intelligence comes to mind .
Hear Ye! Hear Ye!
If you have the time I would like you to show me where I, or anyone else on this thread has commented, as you have claimed, that an IQ would guarantee a fair trial. My suggestion was pretty straightforward, and anyone with an IQ over 125 should have no trouble understanding my meaning. To further illustrate: Although everyone is required to pass a drivers exam in order to have a drivers license, people continue to drive carelessly and cause accidents. This doesn't necessarily mean that a drivers exam is useless, or a bad idea. A driving exam is simply one way to help minimize accidents and fatalities. The fact that you cannot see that my proposal is cut from the same cloth speaks volumes.
Here, with your comment, you have only proven that I am correct in my thinking. You, and several others have taken my words and then twisted, and spun them into an entirely new creation. This is exactly what happens in jury trials when inept jurors hear and examine evidence, and then come to conclusions that have more to do with fantasy and emotion, and less to do with the facts. If I say 2+2= 4, and someone then interprets this as meaning I have claimed the sum of 2+2 is 5, instead of 4, what can we conclude? Is this person just having a bad day? Do they need glasses? Are they hard of hearing? Or can we conclude that perhaps they are operating with an IQ well below the threshold of 125?
What was your straightforward suggestion, again?
I do not agree that we should take BMI measurements for children and I do not agree that IQ should be considered for jurors.
Perhaps one of us should open a forum discussion regarding the appropriate use of Intelligence Quotient information.
"An intelligence quotient, or IQ, is a score derived from one of several standardized tests designed to assess human intelligence. The abbreviation "IQ" was coined by the psychologist William Stern for the German term Intelligenz-quotient, his term for a scoring method for intelligence tests he advocated in a 1912 book. When current IQ tests are developed, the median raw score of the norming sample is defined as IQ 100 and scores each standard deviation (SD) up or down are defined as 15 IQ points greater or less, although this was not always so historically. By this definition, approximately 95 percent of the population scores an IQ between 70 and 130, which is within two standard deviations of the mean." W
PS These comments of yours are quite rude:
" And anyone with an IQ over 125 should have no trouble understanding my meaning."
" Or can we conclude that perhaps they are operating with an IQ well below the threshold of 125?"
I, who most likely DOES have lower than 125 IQ, am starting to read you loud and clear.
If I was a juror at your trial I would conclude that you were inconsistent in your claims, unable to follow a train of thought and overbearingly arrogant.
+1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 in agreement. To answer the last part of the response, I would conclude that the person is quite deficient and incapable of logical analysis and synthesis. This person also does not have the mental capacity to make a judgement; therefore, he/she is totally incapable of participating in any activity which requires judgement. In fact, this person needs someone to handle his/her affairs for him/her. What you have elucidated is simple and succinct. Any logical person understands your synopsis; it is totally self-explanatory. I do not see any insult at all but an analysis of the correlation between levels of intelligence and comprehension of facts/events.
Hey guys, this iq thing is out of hand. I mentioned earlier that the Constitution requires that a jury be made up of one's peers, not a panel of geniuses.
Any test is inappropriate and by introducing this you are cherry picking jurors. Any one of average intelligence not presenting a conflict of interest in regards to trying the accused is fit to be a juror.
Human intelligence has many facets, a high IQ does not gurantee that a person is capable of exercising good judgement. He or she could be a sociopath. There are temperament and personality issues involved far to cryptic to gauge and test.
See, Americans can get things right, occasionally. ( now point out that American law is rooted in English Common Law)
Kathryn, your sarcasm is cute. I'm sure the next innocent person that gets executed, or sentenced to life in prison as a result of judicial incompetence, will find it just as amusing.
Most of the worlds worst tyrants had higher IQs than you require for jury service.
John was repeatedly told to LET IT GO.............sadly to no avail. There is angst there. He has to RELINQUISH this angst............I know I have tried. It is a total exercise in utter futility!
No, I mean he must stop the right thoughts. If we agree any more often or more completely, the cost of airfare and two pints of good British beer will bankrupt me just in time for Christmas.
For a start you are not the boss, it is not up to you who participates in an debate, secondly that post is pretty offensive.
What about scientific studies that show that upper I.Q leveled and especially genius level intelligence CAN often have flaws of other areas of the human intelligence and -maturity levels ., personality , emotional, socio- difficulties ? Seriously ,I have known people who cannot read very well that I would put on a jury in a minute , simply because of their life wisdoms ! Human frailties ,I suppose , are more normal in all humans than we are willing to except .
Those of you who think that higher I.Q. alone is the only answer to an unflawed legal judgment , are WRONG , now I'm just beginning to see that the flaws of human emotion and reasoning are themselves flawed , probably by nature !
It was my understanding that we were debating with individuals who are participating in this particular thread. I have not seen a post on this thread suggesting, as you claim : "...that higher I.Q. alone is the only answer to an unflawed legal judgment...". This begs the question: "Who are you debating with?"
Furthermore, just to help you along, the use of "alone" and "only" in that particular sentence is redundant.
@WrenchBiscuit, it is a futile exercise. There is no futility in trying to present a logical argument. What you have stated is succinctly comprehensible. You have indeed proven your point and aptly demonstrated the correlation between intelligence levels and jurors in the American court of law.
@John, relax, breathe and .......let it REST NOW! Let it rest.............Let go and LET GOD.........
Keep it up Grace, you are dong more to prove my point than I ever could.
I heard a very successful attorney say that the smartest person in the court room is "the jury," when taken as a whole. This reflects the old notion of the wisdom of the crowd. That would be crowd, not mob just to be sure. It is a simple idea that has always had merit. The jury system is hardly broken.
My only reply to that is , I have participated in a "broken jury " yet you're probably right , the attorney's statement is no doubt, quite correct . Human nature, emotions and all our frailties are the flaws that seem to be the most costly to a fair judgment at times . That holds true as much for activist judges and the whole lot of attorney's as well . In my experience , the jury selection process is also rather weird !
Thank You! I have found this thread to be quite revealing.
It really has been quite revealing. It is also amazing how sensitive some people can be over a simple, self-explanatory statement which is offensive at all.
How about: Forcing citizens to reveal their IQs is an invasion of privacy?
How about: A jury of peers does not equal a jury of people with high IQ's? (usually)
...while it seems logical to require some sort of high intellectual standard for jurors, it is not practical or even legal to enforce it.
The prosecutor and in turn the defense attorney walk in front of the chosen potential jurors and ask all kinds of questions related to said potential jurors legal beliefs and ideals , they may ask one person four questions or none at all , yet always- the last question is "Do you feel that this opinion or ideal; will affect your fair judgment in THIS trial "? There is no real vetting process , no intelligence test , no testing of emotional stability, no nothing ! Yet once accepted and inside the deliberating process , all the flaws come out , all opinions are almost immediately formed , some of these people seem quite uninformed in any current events , legal knowledge or even grammatical ability .
When I say "grammatical understanding" - I mean that if a law is written that says there are three sections to the meaning of the allegedly broken law and between each section there is an , AND , between them ,that means all sections of these violations must be connected to effect the actual violation , right ? Not that the violation of one section means ,guilty ! Right ? For instance :
Felony Assault and Battery might include ;
Premeditation AND willful intent , AND physical harm - that means they all must be present , remove one section and it's not Felony Assault and Battery . Yet may be reduced to just Misdemeanor Assault and Battery ! It's amazing how few understand that alone .
How is this odd? Do we vote? There is no preparation for that, why? Because we are equipped by nature to judge that which is or is not. We trust the election process, why would the jury process be any different?
Yes, there is "no real vetting process , no intelligence test , no testing of emotional stability, no nothing" to be able to vote! !
( warning: meandering thoughts...
...maybe this is why education, a moral upbringing and common sense are so important in our democratic republic.
- it seems the future of the country really depends on how the parents raise their children.
And if the lawmakers go overboard and make it hard for the parents to provide for themselves and their off spring, they are not helping. The goldilocks principle must be in place as far as boundaries… we need the right boundaries in the right amount… not so many that citizens end up stuck in boxes.
Which so many parents ARE stuck in apartments raising their children here in CA… Its really sad. My son works so hard to afford his $1800.00 + apt... yet he and all his neighbors wander out of their apartments with their babies because they have no yards…)
Your son and any other Californians who are of good moral character, a solid work ethic and conservative political leanings are more than welcome in Indiana. My mortgage for a 1700 sq ft home and a 1/4 suburban yard is less the $1800 a month, even if you add in utilities.
Equipped by nature? The historical record has proven over and over again that a great majority are only equipped to blindly follow. Many also "trusted" that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. The fact that a majority of uneducated mentally challenged people are allowed to cast a vote, that in most cases is quite meaningless, is a cruelty. The fact that these same people are encouraged to sit on juries and decide the fate of a fellow citizen, is nothing less than a tragedy. When these facts are combined with a good dose of Lee Greenwood, we have a cocktail for disaster!
Here is an excerpt from FEE ( http://fee.org/the_freeman/detail/too-d … -democracy) :
"...For example, according to political scientist Jeffrey Friedman, “at the height of the Cold War, 62 percent of the US public failed to realize that the USSR was not a member of NATO.” If you believe that a healthy democracy requires an informed public to watch over its elected officials, you may find it disheartening that “seventy percent of the public doesn't know the names of either of their state's senators, nor can most people name either congressional candidate in their district at the height of the campaign season,” according to a Cato policy report, “Public Ignorance and Democracy.”
Apparently you haven't kept up with current events, ISIS found the WMDs.
ISIS doesn't exist either. Have you seen the tooth fairy lately?
As long as the defence know that and make it clear to the jury . . .
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