Jurors Are the Indentured Servants of the Public!
What ever happened to a Jury of your peers?
When was the last time that you heard that a criminal trial had been decided by the defendant's peers? Most juries especially in high profile cases couldn't be farther from the defendant as a peer. These juries are volunteers, more like conscripted force free labor for the court system.
That is the point of this article. These juries comprise the bored, those to slow to run away from the ticking bomb, or just conform to blind loyal obeying their trainers. Much like dogs!
Jurors are voire dired by both attorneys from both sides. Voir Dire [Old French, To speak the truth.] The preliminary examination of prospective jurors to determine their qualifications and suitability to serve on a jury, in order to ensure the selection of fair and impartial jury.
What the attorneys are really looking for are jurors that will see their case as the winning side. They don't really want smart, intelligent or experience in the law people to be their jurors. At the end of the trial attorneys for both side will argue their case to the jury. The jury has seen the evidence, listened to stories from both sides and now they are going to see the case through the mind's eye of both attorneys.
The less knowledgeable about the law a juror is the easier it is for an attorney in closing arguments to make their case. The less the juror knows about the working processes of the law the better and these are the jurors that survive voire dire expulsions from the jury, as well as those that may have some bias because of the parties in the case, or in the area of law of the case, or really they just didn't strike it with the attorneys on one side or the other. There are a limited number of these expulsion without cause.
The old adage, you get what you pay for!
With the juries in the criminal justice system, they are really unpaid conscripted people. Are these really the makings of a jury of the defendant's peers?
What are Jurors and Juries?
The jury system is part of the United States Constitution. It applies to criminal prosecutions and the rights of the defendant afforded under the Bill of Rights for the United States.
The point of this article is to show why jurors are the slaves of the country. While we hear the words used as Duty to serve as applied to Jurors. This has been made classier by calling it the Civic Duty of the people to serve on juries.
We also have mandated that people serve in the military for a number of years, as the other duty of the people to protect the country.
Both of these duties are hardships on people, and this article is not saying that these people shouldn’t do their so called duty for the country, but the real issue is how these duties are compensated.
Duty to serve the country in the military versus duty to serve as a juror.
- The United States Government can Induct people to join the military service. This has usually into the Army. One can for any number of reasons choose to join any branch of the Unites States military either avoid being drafter in to the United States Army. Thereby being able not to escape the draft, but to at least be able to pick the service of their choice.
- The term for the draft is measured in years, while the service to a jury is a lot less, surely under a year, depending on the length of the trial the jury will sit on.
- While in the service, most if not all of the expenses of food, lodging, clothes etc. are paid for by the service and not the servicemen.
- The servicemen whether drafted, or those that have voluntarily joined the service are paid the same salary, and that depends on their rank.
- There is no such equivalence in the jury system.
- The United States military draft selects their draftees much the same as juries are called to service. It is some sort of lottery system. That means many people avoid the call for both the military and the jury systems.
The Jury System
- Jurors are randomly picked from sort of list, probable no different than a lottery type.
- Jurors’ term of duty is dependent on how long the trial they sit on lasts.
- Jurors are called but not all serve. For those that don’t serve this article doesn’t really apply. It is the longer term of actually being on a jury that is the focus of this article.
- The biggest difference and the reason for this article is that Jurors are not paid, and only part of their direct expenses of having to park at the court house is not reimbursed by the court, or the government that called them into service.
If you read nothing else in this article then please read the following
The only people not being paid in the court room that have to be there are the Jurors, the witnesses, and the defendant
- Why isn’t this a case of the involuntary servitude of the thirteenth amendment to the constitution. Forced and unpaid servitude that is randomly administered through a lottery system.
There you have the question that needs to be answered, and the reason why I wrote this article.
The amendments involved in the American Juriisprudence
The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution which is a part of the Bill of Rights that in criminal prosecutions, SCOTUS has applied the sixth amendment through the Fourteenth Amendment and its Due Process Clause.
The sixth amendment that congress proposed in 1789, talks about:
- Criminal Prosecutions
- Right to a speedy and public trial
- An Impartial Jury
- Confrontation of the witness against him
- The defendant have Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
BTW, the use of the male gender really questions the preamble, where “All Men are Created Equal”. It is obvious from this use of gender that they were not referring to “Men” as mankind, or even both sexes.
- Not covered by jury requirement, are those offenses punishable by imprisonment for no more than six months
England Common Law
- Originally, SCOTUS held that the Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial indicated a right to “a trial by jury applied England’s Common Law.
- Therefore, juries had to be composed of twelve persons and that
- verdicts had to be unanimous, as was customary in England.
This changed somewhat with the Fourteenth Amendment
- extended the right to a trial by jury to defendants in state courts,
- jury of six would be sufficient, but anything less would deprive the defendant of a right to trial by jury.
- Sixth Amendment mandates unanimity in a federal jury trial.
- SCOTUS has ruled that the 14th Amendment Due Process Clause states are not mandated to require jury unanimity, unless the jury has only six members.
Sixth Amendment requires juries to be impartial. Impartiality has been interpreted as requiring individual jurors to be unbiased.
At voir dire each side may question potential jurors to determine any bias, and challenge them if the same is found.
Venire of juries
Venires must represent a fair cross-section of the community in order to be impartial;
- the defendant might establish that the requirement was violated by showing that the allegedly excluded group is a "distinctive" one in the community, that the representation of such a group in venires is unreasonable and unfair in regard to the number of persons belonging to such a group, and that the under-representation is caused by a systematic exclusion in the selection process.
The 14th amendment
Equal Protection Clause
The Equal Protection Clause was created largely in response to the lack of equal protection provided by law in states with Black Codes, where blacks could not sue, give evidence, or be witnesses.
- They also were punished more harshly than whites.
- The Clause mandates that individuals in similar situations be treated equally by the law.
Supreme Court has clarified "person" and "within its jurisdiction" in the Equal Protection Clause would not be limited to discrimination against African Americans, but extend to other races, colors, and nationalities as well as in one case US legal aliens.
Jurors are not mentioned or included in the 14th amendment, that seems to make them unequally protected, while other people in the trial are covered by that amendment.
Here are the clauses that apparently don’t cover the jurors. If juror for example claims that he or she was picked randomly, then that was not equal because the list that was used may be biased and unfairly distributed.
- last 2 clauses of the 1st section of the amendment disable a State from depriving not merely a US citizen, but any person, whoever he may be, of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, or from denying to him the equal protection of the laws of the State.
- This abolishes all class legislation in the States and does away with the injustice of subjecting one caste of persons to a code not applicable to another. ...
The 14th amendment didn’t really do all that it said it would do about Equality, If it did then we wouldn’t have needed the 15th amendment to give the Black MEN the right to vote.
In addition to not giving the newly freed women slaves the right to vote, the 14th amendment itself seemed to discriminate against women.
The fourteenth amendment needed the fifteenth amendment to give Black Men the right to vote, but it took the nineteenth amendment, 50 years later to give all women the right to vote. The fourteenth amendment should have been applied to check the inequality of the fifteenth Amendment.
Though I included some background on the US Constitution that was based on the jury system, the point of this article is still the involuntary jury service. It would be different if the jury was paid, as they are in the civil trials.
This pay wouldn’t be an inducement to be partial, it would just take the pressure off of them to give a really speedy but not impartial leap to judgment.
There was a lot of talk about a jury of ones peers? You have seen the juries, say in the OJ trial how are they even close to his peers. Unless of course, you consider the color of their skins alone makes them peers.
My suggestion and my ultimate thought for compensation of jurors is to at least create a tax deduction for them on their 1040.
- We give people tax deductions, and credits for having children.
- Why do we do that when it increases the education costs? These people are getting free education and a tax deduction or even tax credit.
- While, jurors who are working for the federal government for free, and not even getting their expenses paid are getting nothing, but lost income, and not able to take care of their own business.
Even if they make the tax deduction equal for everyone, it would be better than the current involuntary servitude of the current jury system.
- Make it a weekly deduction, therefore the longer the jury serves the bigger the deduction.
- That seems more fair than free.
- The deduction should compromise on average expenses, and loss of income.
- This will not be equal but it would be something.
- It would favor those that don’t make that much but for whom expenses are costly because of no income or low income.
I leave it to you to decide what would be a fair deduction