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Eliminating JURIES for rape trials: one Labour MP and a Guardian writer are all for it.

Harshaw

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https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/nov/21/juries-rape-trials-myths-justice


The conviction rates for rape have long been shockingly low. This is what has led one Labour MP, Ann Coffey, today to suggest doing away with juries in rape trials.

I support this. Prevailing rape myths, such as “she was asking for it”, “he’s handsome, and does not ‘need’ to rape”, and “if she didn’t want it she would close her legs”, can poison the mind of a juror against the complainant, whatever the evidence against the defendant. Women and girls are routinely blamed for being raped, which means the perpetrator, even when it is abundantly clear that he is guilty, is too often absolved. That is how patriarchy works: keep females in a constant state of fear of male violence, and then put the responsibility for it firmly on their shoulders.

“But our jury system, the bedrock of a fair trial, is under threat as it is,” is an argument I often hear when I suggest this way forward. But let’s look at why some of us support this measure.

Not only does the writer want to do away with JURIES, a cherished institution in the English (and American) legal system, she also wants to undermine JUDGES, even those "specially-trained," with a special "panel" of advisors:

If we did get rid of juries, we would need more than a judge who has undergone specialist training. Perhaps one option would be to appoint a panel of assessors, such as those that sit on discrimination cases, all of whom would have expertise in issues relating to sexual violence. Panellists could help inform the judge in the case about relevant issues, and remind them of some of the facts as well as the myths; for example, people of all ages, from babies to elderly women are raped (sexual attraction has nothing to do with it); not shouting “no” does not mean consent; and the idea that alcohol is the new short skirt – that a drunk woman is signalling she’s “up for it”.

This is bat**** insane.

There is no crime so heinous worth eliminating OR undermining fundamental institutions of justice for.
 

SDET

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Doing away with the presumption of innocence would also increase conviction rates. Obviously, the panel of specially-trained advisers would come from Women's Studies backgrounds providing a significant source of employment, a win-win!
 

TheParser

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The idea of eliminating juries for ALL crimes might be a good idea.

The idea that the adversarial system produces "justice" is not true.

Prosecutors want to make a name for themselves; defense lawyers want to get their clients off.

There is no "justice."

Maybe there would be more "justice" if a panel of judges made the decision. They would presumably be trained in the law and would be able to judge the evidence without emotion, ignoring the grandstanding of both the prosecutor and the defense attorney.

Many jury members are ignoramuses or are afraid of angering their fellow jury members, so they go along with the majority of other jurors.

Maybe a panel of impartial justices would be more liable to ignore the howls of the mobs in the street when it comes to controversial cases.
 

maquiscat

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https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/nov/21/juries-rape-trials-myths-justice




Not only does the writer want to do away with JURIES, a cherished institution in the English (and American) legal system, she also wants to undermine JUDGES, even those "specially-trained," with a special "panel" of advisors:



This is bat**** insane.

There is no crime so heinous worth eliminating OR undermining fundamental institutions of justice for.
I'm reading this as "we need more convictions, even if we have to convict an innocent."

Sent from my Z982 using Tapatalk
 

Bullseye

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Doing away with the presumption of innocence would also increase conviction rates. Obviously, the panel of specially-trained advisers would come from Women's Studies backgrounds providing a significant source of employment, a win-win!
Why bother with a trial, just string him up!
 

Xelor

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I have long thought that whether plaintiffs or defendants prevail at trial should be determined by three verdicts: one each from two subject-matter experts and a jury's (13 people) preponderant verdict -- each forming and submitting his/her/their verdict independently of the other.
  • Guilt/non-guilt (or judgment grant/not granted) determined by:
    • Same verdict from one expert + 2/3rds majority vote of jury
    • Same verdict from two experts and jury doesn't reach unanimous verdict
    • Unanimous jury verdict, regardless of what be the experts' verdicts
A reasonable alternative is having at least half the folks on juries actually be peers of the accuser and the accused. To wit, how much of a peer are non-professional asked to judge a professional negligence matter? It's that dilemma that too often leads some defendants to settle rather than defend themselves in court? Not much by my reckoning. (Knowing of that dilemma, some plaintiffs bring matters seeking not justice, but property settlements.) If I move to rural parts and end up on a jury asked to evaluate a libel case, am I a peer of defendant(s) and plaintiff(s)? No.
I would think that regardless of whom one be, plaintiff or defendant, one'd want half a jury comprised of folks who see things as one does, who empathise with oneself, the circumstances one faced, and how one responded to them.


I think extant "jury" design/structure should be modified because, although remain the same pellucid matters that always came to trial, our world and matters before courts have yet grown vastly and rapidly more complex and abstruse, making it preposterous to think a jury of 12 "everyman" jurors be apropos to judge certain arcane matters, albethey more often civil than criminal.
It's not surprising legitimate concern over juror competence has existed since the '80s given the then-impending Information Age augured to hasten advances and expansions of humanity's comprehension about, well, everything, yet in our geometrically more complex world than existed during the 18th century, we retain the jury model then codified. That just doesn't make sense. We don't, after all, continue to cleave to geocentrism, horses, inkwells and wall tapestries.
 

independentusa

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https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/nov/21/juries-rape-trials-myths-justice




Not only does the writer want to do away with JURIES, a cherished institution in the English (and American) legal system, she also wants to undermine JUDGES, even those "specially-trained," with a special "panel" of advisors:



This is bat**** insane.

There is no crime so heinous worth eliminating OR undermining fundamental institutions of justice for.

The problem with the present jury system is the all or nothing. Either every juror says it is guilty or there is no conviction. So a defense lawyer is not trying to get every juror to say not guilty, he needs only one. I have been on a Federal Grand Jury whose only job is determine if the prosecutor has sufficient evidence to go to trial. I was the foreman and found that some on the jury would never find enough evidence no matter how convincing the Federal Attorney was in presenting his case. They would always say there was a reasonable doubt in their minds. So this is the present trouble with our jury system, no one seems to understand the difference between absolutely no doubt and reasonable doubt. This is what happens in many jury trials. The defense finds the one or two people who don't understand the difference between absolute and reasonable doubt and get them to hang the jury.
 

Tom Horn

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The idea of eliminating juries for ALL crimes might be a good idea.

The idea that the adversarial system produces "justice" is not true.

Prosecutors want to make a name for themselves; defense lawyers want to get their clients off.

There is no "justice."

Maybe there would be more "justice" if a panel of judges made the decision. They would presumably be trained in the law and would be able to judge the evidence without emotion, ignoring the grandstanding of both the prosecutor and the defense attorney.

Many jury members are ignoramuses or are afraid of angering their fellow jury members, so they go along with the majority of other jurors.

Maybe a panel of impartial justices would be more liable to ignore the howls of the mobs in the street when it comes to controversial cases.
And after eliminating juries we can institute impailments for entire neighborhoods if just one of their members walks off with the gold cup by the squares spring.
 

Keridan

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This has to be one of the most idiotic ideas I've seen presented in a long time. A couple of the suggestions given in replies aren't so bad. The very idea of going without a jury because not enough men are going to jail for rape ... just wow.
 
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