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That we should abolish trial by jury

(PRO)
0 points
(CON)
WINNER!
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PatrickToulsonPatrickToulson (PRO)
Juries are a collection of "everyday citizens" called forward to just a legal case. I want to talk about three topics:

  1. The reason we have juries.
  2. The legal knowledge of jurors.
  3. The alternative to this system.


1. Juries were created to ensure a fair hearing of the people. I am from England, we established this principle in the 1200's - why did we do this? Because the judges were often corrupt and we had no other manner to ensure that trials were fair. Assuming we are relating to liberal western democracies such as the UK and the USA, there is no need for this anymore. There are extensive regulations and large punishments for those who are corrupt within the judicial system, therefore there is no longer a need for a trial by jury. I challenge side opposition to answer this question without using the phrase unsubstantiated phrase "fairer trial" - what are the benefits of a juror system in the modern day?


2. Jurors are "everyday citizens" as I previously stated, but like "everyday citizens" they are largely uninformed about the law, have no training, and have no proven skills of attentiveness, analysis or fairness. Due to their lack of legal understanding and any proof that they are fair in their decisions, they will likely be swayed by their prejudices rather than the facts. To be clear - I believe that their own internal prejudices will triumph over evidence and testimony due to the lack of legal training and understanding.


I put it to you that it is not in the interests of justice for people's lives to be held in the balance of your random person plucked from the street. Many trials, particularly cases such as embezzlement and fraud, last for months on end due to their intricacies and technicalities - how can we expect the average person to follow the legal intricacies and then debate it with 11 other people on the outcome? The answer is that we can't, it isn't fair on the jurors to ask so much of them, it isn't fair on the accused to have their fate decided by the legally uneducated, nor is it fair on the victim(s) if the criminal is wrongly found to be innocent.


3. So what is the alternative? Well, to find a suitable alternative we must look at both the weaknesses and strengths of the juror system. On the one hand, being judged by a group of individuals tends to provide more balance - but being judged by the legally uneducated benefits no one. Therefore, I propose a system of being tried by a panel of lawyers - preferably from a diverse background. I believe this would retain the balance that a group provides, while eliminating the issue of those who are unaware of legal intricacies and the law in general judging cases.


To conclude, I believe that:

  • The reason for creating the juror system is no longer relevant.
  • Everyday people do not possess the legal knowledge to be effective in deciding a case.
  • A panel of lawyers would be best to replace the jury system.


It is for these reasons I urge you to support the motion.


Return To Top | Posted:
2018-04-25 20:47:31
| Speak Round
MharmanMharman (CON)
I believe in the principle that all have a right to fair and speedy trial, and that the principle of innocent until proven ought to firmly remain in our society. Abolishing trial by jury would destroy these principals. It would allow for a tighter government control. That is why we use a jury of peers-- not by age, but by place in society as the common people.

"1. Juries were created to ensure a fair hearing of the people. I am from England, we established this principle in the 1200's - why did we do this? Because the judges were often corrupt and we had no other manner to ensure that trials were fair. Assuming we are relating to liberal western democracies such as the UK and the USA, there is no need for this anymore. There are extensive regulations and large punishments for those who are corrupt within the judicial system, therefore there is no longer a need for a trial by jury."
 Yes, but they are poorly enforced. They usually get away with it, either by their own slickness, a cover-up, or just a failure by the higher-ups to do anything about it out of their own corruption. In addition, any judge can twist and redefine/reinterpret the law for their agenda without committing a crime. Finally, judges tend to be pretty biased, and some just have different thought processes.

"I challenge side opposition to answer this question without using the phrase unsubstantiated phrase "fairer trial" - what are the benefits of a juror system in the modern day?"
 Easy. By having a jury, we reduce the odds of a biased or corrupt ruling happening. This system also gives more power to the people and serves as an excellent check on the government's power.

"2. Jurors are "everyday citizens" as I previously stated, but like "everyday citizens" they are largely uninformed about the law, have no training, and have no proven skills of attentiveness, analysis or fairness."
 In every trial the charges are clearly stated and explained so that the jury is well-informed, so your argument that they don't know the law is outright false. 

"Due to their lack of legal understanding and any proof that they are fair in their decisions, they will likely be swayed by their prejudices rather than the facts. To be clear - I believe that their own internal prejudices will triumph over evidence and testimony due to the lack of legal training and understanding."
 For the jury to make a conclusion they all must agree that the defendant is either guilty or innocent. For a prejudiced jury ruling to happen, all 12 members, along with the judge, must be prejudiced, since the judge can overturn a jury ruling if it is prejudiced. This is insanely unlikely to happen.

"3. So what is the alternative? Well, to find a suitable alternative we must look at both the weaknesses and strengths of the juror system. On the one hand, being judged by a group of individuals tends to provide more balance - but being judged by the legally uneducated benefits no one."
 They're not clueless. They know what the charges are and what fits the definition of the crime. All they have to do is look at the facts and agree that the defendant is guilty or innocent. It's not hard; the common people aren't stupid.

Therefore, I propose a system of being tried by a panel of lawyers - preferably from a diverse background. I believe this would retain the balance that a group provides, while eliminating the issue of those who are unaware of legal intricacies and the law in general judging cases.
 Lawyers are paid to represent their client. It would be stupid for them to determine whether the defendant is guilty or innocent. In addition, training people to be jurors is not a good idea either. These people would become part of the government, and they would no longer be the societal peers of the defendant that the defendant is entitled to have a trial by. This would only give the government more power over the common people, which would allow for more prejudiced rulings.

Return To Top | Posted:
2018-04-26 20:19:31
| Speak Round


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