How much should jurys know? 63 replies

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Mr. Pedantic

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#31 11 years ago

I don't know. But it seems the justice system relies as much on money as it does on justice, nowadays.




Mephistopheles

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#32 11 years ago

Maybe, but that is not the point.




snabbler

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#33 11 years ago
Archmage Cleps;4051084What 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.

So are you saying that everybody has an equal capacity to commit murder? Everybody has an identical temperament and personality? And that it depends on environmental triggers. Hence your argument relies on the fact that people committing crimes depends only upon chance?

Can't you see that that is ridiculous?

And I'm not implying that. Because those people have not been convicted. Because it is understandable to kill in self defense.




snabbler

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#34 11 years ago

Meadow;4051524Here 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.

See, thats very interesting. Because the fact that we have character witnesses in a courtroom seems to blatantly contradict that.

Am I missing something?




Mr. Pedantic

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#35 11 years ago
See, thats very interesting. Because the fact that we have character witnesses in a courtroom seems to blatantly contradict that.

Character witnesses are meant to identify what may have happened to cause the murder, or any tell-tale signs before. The character profile identifies what is common: it is highly improbable the guy has murdered every single day of his life.




snabbler

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#36 11 years ago
Archmage Cleps;4052826Character witnesses are meant to identify what may have happened to cause the murder, or any tell-tale signs before. The character profile identifies what is common: it is highly improbable the guy has murdered every single day of his life.

Perhaps that is true but you still can't argue with this simple group of facts:

1:A persons actions show their personality.

2:A persons personality dictates how they behave.

Oh and please respond to post number 32.




Mr. Pedantic

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#37 11 years ago
So are you saying that everybody has an equal capacity to commit murder? Everybody has an identical temperament and personality? And that it depends on environmental triggers. Hence your argument relies on the fact that people committing crimes depends only upon chance?

Have you not heard of the phrase "If not for the grace of God..."? Since I am an atheist, I think replacing "grace of God" with "luck" will do fine.

2:A persons personality dictates how they behave.

Seeing as a murder is regarded as the anomaly in their lives, personality does not necessarily dictate how people behave in such instances when they become intoxicated, or angry, etc.




snabbler

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#38 11 years ago

Archmage Cleps;4052869Have you not heard of the phrase "If not for the grace of God..."? Since I am an atheist, I think replacing "grace of God" with "luck" will do fine.[/quote]

Sorry, I don't understand your point. Could you phrase it more clearly?

[quote=Archmage Cleps;4052869] Seeing as a murder is regarded as the anomaly in their lives, personality does not necessarily dictate how people behave in such instances when they become intoxicated, or angry, etc.

Simply untrue.

If it were true then we can draw the conclusion that a person committing a crime is caused by chance. Which means we can draw the conclusion that nobody is responsible by their actions.

This is because your argument says that a person's personality will not dictate that they murder. If this is true then everybody is equally likely to murder. This means that the only reason anybody will murder is due to things taking place around them. Which means that everybody is equally guilty. Everybody should be in jail.

Imagine this situation:

Two people have been locked in a room with a fruit cake.

After six hours the door is unlocked.

The fruitcake has been eaten.

One of the people has never eaten fruitcake before in their life. We don't know why. Perhaps they don't like fruitcake. Perhaps they are allergic to fruitcake.

Another person enjoys fruitcake. We can conclude this because of their actions, they have eaten fruitcake before.

Who do you think ate the fruit cake?




Mr. Pedantic

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#39 11 years ago
Sorry, I don't understand your point. Could you phrase it more clearly?

For the large part, the people incarcerated in prisons are not so different to people trying to lead normal lives. The guy in there because of a DUI? He has a wife, two sons, etc. The drug dealer in there? Trying to deal drugs to provide some extra clothing for his family's back, some extra food for his children's mouths.

There are a lot of such people in society, people at the brink of survival, right at the edge of the poverty line. A lot of the people in jail are not so different, they are just the ones for whom right and wrong are not so perfectly defined, who think that it's not wrong for his family to earn a quick buck from selling drugs to others, who can't afford a taxi after going out drinking to forget the fact that he's been laid off his job.

In these cases, it is the circumstances, more than the specific personality of each person there, that determines who goes on to do something illegal out of desperation. Thus the saying: "But for the grace of God there I go".

Imagine this situation: Two people have been locked in a room with a fruit cake. After six hours the door is unlocked. The fruitcake has been eaten. One of the people has never eaten fruitcake before in their life. We don't know why. Perhaps they don't like fruitcake. Perhaps they are allergic to fruitcake. Another person enjoys fruitcake. We can conclude this because of their actions, they have eaten fruitcake before. Who do you think ate the fruit cake?

But I am sure that it will be pretty hard to find someone psychologically or physically allergic to killing something.




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#40 11 years ago

snabbler;4052892This is because your argument says that a person's personality will not dictate that they murder. If this is true then everybody is equally likely to murder. This means that the only reason anybody will murder is due to things taking place around them. Which means that everybody is equally guilty. Everybody should be in jail.[/QUOTE]While one may be more likely to murder than another, that doesn't change who really was the murder in a case. The odds may be in favor of the psycho, yet he may not have murdered the person in question.

Judgement shouldn't be a game of dice.

Archmage Cleps;4053352In these cases, it is the circumstances, more than the specific personality of each person there, that determines who goes on to do something illegal out of desperation. Thus the saying: "But for the grace of God there I go".

It is a matter of personality whether one is more likely to use illegal means or not.

One may be more likely to do illegal deeds shortly after becoming desperate, while another may try anything he can not to come into conflict with the law, yet be able to solve his problems. [QUOTE=Archmage Cleps;4053352]But I am sure that it will be pretty hard to find someone psychologically or physically allergic to killing something.

I believe you misunderstood his analogy.

I believe the point was that although one who has done something before (one or multiple times) by chance is more likely to murder (to eat the fruitcake), than one who has never done so before, but we in fact don't know who commited the murder (ate the fruitcake) this time.