How much should jurys know? 63 replies

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Mr. Pedantic

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8th October 2006

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#21 11 years ago
SOMEONE WHO WILL KILL IS MORE LIKELY TO KILL THAN SOMEONE WHO WONT KILL.

And you will, of course, explain exactly why this is true, rather than make unfounded judgments based on your opinions...




snabbler

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9th September 2006

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#22 11 years ago
Archmage Cleps;4050871And you will, of course, explain exactly why this is true, rather than make unfounded judgments based on your opinions...

You must be joking. Isn't it blatantly obvious? If a person liked ice cream yesterday they probably still enjoy ice cream today. Someone who was good at cricket yesterday is still good at cricket. People who make jokes are people who make jokes.

If a person kills it shows that that person can kill. A person who can bring themselves to murder can bring themselves to murder. Most people will not murder unless they or someone they love is in mortal danger.

A small number of people will murder if they just don't like someone. An excellent, excellent way of determining if a suspect is that type of person is if they have murdered before.

In a court they actually have character witnesses. People who knew the person and can explain to the jury what this person's personality is like. The character of the person then assists the jury in determining how likely that person is to commit the particular crime.

Guess how the character witnesses determine a person's likely hood to do something.

That persons actions.




Mr. Pedantic

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#23 11 years ago
If a person kills it shows that that person can kill. A person who can bring themselves to murder can bring themselves to murder. Most people will not murder unless they or someone they love is in mortal danger.

What do you mean? Everyone can kill. It's preventing someone from dying that is hard at times. And you are right, actually. Most people will not murder unless they or someone they love are in mortal danger. Therefore, you are implying that the majority of murderers locked up in our penal system today have killed in either self defense, or the defense of a loved one.




Mephistopheles

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#24 11 years ago

Nemmerle;4049069How do you judge that proficiency?[/quote] You are right, proficiency is at least partially subjective as judges are humans like ordinary jury members. But as a result of their studies and their work-related experience they are trained in considering facts and questioning arguments. They don't only know the rules of a court, they also know the players and their strategies.

A group of laymen who will appear the first time at a tribunal are prone to manipulation by either the public prosecutor or the lawyer. In the O. J. Simpson case the jury was misdirected by a bloody glove which didn't fit Simpson's hand. In the end, they dismissed the other evidence clearly indicating that O. J. was the murderer of his wife.

[quote=Archmage Cleps;4048589]The fact that the person has murdered before has no physical bearing on whether he/she has killed again.

But it is still circumstantial evidence if the modus operandi of both crimes is exactly the same. And I think the jury should know it.




Mephistopheles

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#25 11 years ago
Archmage Cleps;4048589The fact that the person has murdered before has no physical bearing on whether he/she has killed again.

But it can still be circumstantial evidence if the modus operandi of both crimes is exactly the same.




Guest

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#26 11 years ago

I believe the jury should know about the crime record of a convicted person as they should know as much about the case as possible




Meadow

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#27 11 years ago
nanobot_swarm;4051468I believe the jury should know about the crime record of a convicted person as they should know as much about the case as possible

Here is the problem - a crime record is not related to the case, it's related to the defendant. I am strongly opposed to juries knowing past crimes of defendants, as it leads to bias (much like the bias exhibited by many posts in this thread).

Each case should be treated individually to prevent a miscarriage of justice.




Mephistopheles

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#28 11 years ago
Meadow;4051524Each case should be treated individually to prevent a miscarriage of justice.

This sounds all good and plausible in theory. A crime record with a few thefts may not be relevant for a murder case. But how would you decide in the following case?

Dr. M kills his wife B with a lethal injection (using an overdose of drug D). He calls 911 and claims that his wife had a heart attack. The investigating detective is suspicious and demands an autopsy. Dr. M is sentenced to prison for 20 years. A few years later the hidden corpse of his former wife A is found in a forest. She had been missing for two decades. The obduction reveals a huge amount of drug D inside the body of wife A which had certainly caused her death. There is only circumstantial evidence that Dr. M had also killed his wife A. Nevertheless, Dr. M is again charged with murder.

Should the jury know that Dr. M killed his wife B using exactly the same modus operandi or not?

You say that a crime record is not related to the case. But the modus operandi is some kind of a fingerprint of the criminal and can be relevant in other attributed cases.




Mr. Pedantic

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#29 11 years ago

Then Dr M will be tried for the murder of his wife A. And that trial will contain the same information on the defendant that the trial for the murder of his wife B had.




Mephistopheles

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#30 11 years ago

No, in the second case the only facts are:

1. His former wife A is dead, found in a forest. 2. She had been missing for two decades, reason unkown. 3. She had a lethal dose of a drug in her body.

Would that be enough circumstantial evidence for the jury to convict Dr. M?