Thursday, April 13, 2006

Aaron Kinney Booted From Jury Duty

I just completed jury duty. They dismissed me for my individualist and free market views, which is a good thing. Check it out at The Radical Libertarian.


The Jolly Nihilist said...

Unfortunately, I served on a jury about 8 months ago. I was rather disgusted by my fellow citizens during the process; they would, quite literally, say ANYTHING to get off jury duty. My case dealt with plastic surgery malpractice. One of the potential jurors declared, "I have a very low opinion of anybody who has any plastic surgery." Then, out he went. Another woman was (feigning) acting crazy. Out she went. I tried to be subtle in getting off duty, but if you're in the room with a bunch of people who would do anything to get off, I guess subtlety just won't work.

Since the case had no political implications whatsoever, my left-leaning libertarianism didn't come into play. But, if it had been a politically-oriented case, I would do just as you did: Unabashedly express my views, unpopular though they might be.

BlackSun said...

I am opposed to the entire concept of jury trials. It's an antiquated notion. Essentially, this kind of trial is a simple appeal to popularity for the defendant. It's the most unfair way to run a trial. The outcome hinges totally on the beliefs of the jurors. And all it takes is one who's got some personal issue, or isn't willing to look at the evidence, to ruin the whole thing.

Attorneys for both sides get a certain number of "peremptory challenges" so can dismiss jurors for no cause. Then they can also dismiss jurors for cause. At the end, you have a group of people hand-picked by process of elimination for their personality and predjudices.

It's the ultimate subjective nightmare.

I'd like to see "juries of peers" replaced by panels of professional arbitrators.

Failing that, if we are going to have juries, they should be composed of people free of any supernatural beliefs. Otherwise, how can they have any hope of objectivity?

Aaron Kinney said...

Great comments from both of you. And I definitely agree with you on the absurdity of juries, Blacksun.

Frances, fortunately for me, I was able to get out of jury duty through complete unabashed honesty ;)