Pure Rant—The US Legal System

Best laid plans must be set aside temporarily—I’m on jury duty. I was all week, of the call in kind. And for four days I got the all-clear message: my group was not to report in. Today things changed.

Which is fine, except that I have come to realize I do not believe in the US legal system, at least not the criminal division.

As part of the orientation, a very nice judge spoke for a while. Thanked us for our service, told us what Thomas Jefferson said about the jury system being the anchor for democracy. All quite motivating, except he kept referring to trials settling disputes. I’ll give him that in civil cases, but not in criminal ones. Yet criminal cases are treated with that same mindset.

Perhaps you still thought criminal cases were about arriving at truth. No. They are staged performances for a voting audience of 12, not so very different from American Idol. Except rather than singing, the lawyers are putting on a case, one that is supposed to convince the 12 voters.

Sometimes truth wins out. I was on a trial two years ago—or was it three?—and I have to believe we found the truth. But it wasn’t hard because one of the lawyers was pretty bad.

OK, this is it for me. No more talk about trials, and certainly not about, any trial I might become part of a jury for.

I just hope some semblance of truth wins the day.

Published in: on April 20, 2007 at 11:47 am  Comments (4)  


  1. And years after it’s all over, you can write about it!

    Hang in there – and keep us posted!



  2. Thanks for stopping by, Tracy. I’m not sure there’s a lot of material here for fantasy, but it sure is interesting. 😉



  3. I’d have to agree. The one trial I served on as a juror, we let the guy go because the DA couldn’t get the facts to line up with the charge. Was the guy guilty of something? Yup, but the DA overreached himself and the defendant got away because of it.


  4. […] other. Our courts. I ranted about this a couple years ago. No longer do the courts even pretend to be about discovering truth in a […]


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