Reflections on our legal system

July 27, 2013

When a juror says they had no choice on how to vote in a jury room they are implicitly saying that there is no need for a jury. After the judge charges a jury, each juror is free to vote however they please, regardless of anything anyone has told them. Conversely, any judge can set aside any jury’s verdict and render a decision contrary to that verdict.

Our legal system is what it is. Justice is not something that is guaranteed. People with money fare far better in court regardless of what they have done - poor people fare far worse. Racial, religious, gender, sexual and political biases all have something to do with verdicts.

Our system is not designed to get at the “truth”. The fact that you need a lawyer to navigate the court system should tell you all you want to know about what the courts are all about. Practical, common sense is often trumped by arguments and tactics.

I’m just making observations. I don’t have any wisdom to share on how things could be improved. I just think it’s important to remind people that when they sit on a jury, they should vote according to what they believe is just and true.

Brendan Buschi

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