I am not completely adept regarding the American judicial system, but I think we may have misconstrued the word “peer”. Recently, I was summoned for jury duty for the first time. As I looked around at the random assortment of disinterested people who showed up that day, I couldn’t help but think that there’s got to be something wrong here.
I know that these people are selected at random because they only want a verdict to be reached based upon the evidence presented in the case, but doesn’t that present some kind of injustice? Sure, people testify who know the details of a case and are called to do so. But wouldn’t it be more benificial to have people who know where you come from? People who know what it’s like to live your lifestyle? People who know your customs and traditions? People who are in your same station in life? People who can relate to you…
I guess, I just don’t understand how justice can be served adequately by people who know absolutely nothing about you other than a few bullet points on an attorney’s notepad.
At the end of the day, there is no such thing as an unbiased opinion. We are all shaped by our backgrounds and experiences. We carry our judgements and preconceived notions with us everywhere we go.
I genuinely don’t have the answwers here. What are your thoughts? Do you think jurors should be selected at random as they are now? Do you think they should be more carefully considered (in the interest of either the plaintiff or defendant)?
Is there really a definite way to perpetuate justice in a system like ours which has been marred with social conditioning and the judgement of humans who are overly confident in their ability to be impartial?
I’m stumped. What do you guys think. Dialogue, albeit loaded, is necessary here.
I wanna hear your thoughts. Talk to me in the comments.