forwarded from John Edmundson (posted from unsubbed address)

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Wed Aug 23 17:13:25 MDT 2000

I got called for jury service a couple of weeks ago. I went and it was
quite an interesting experience, although the case I ended up on
got canned when the defendant changed his plea, so I never got to
the point of having to make a decision.

While I obviously agree that the "justice" system is an essential
part of the state's system of control, I don't think the jury system is
the problem. It is one of the few bits that actually has a democratic
aspect to it.

In New Zealand, jury selection is I think different from the USA.
Here, both defense and prosecution have 6 challenges, for which
they need give no justification. You simply have your name called,
and if either council calls "challenge" before you're seated, you go
back to your place, if they don't you sit down on the jury seat and
you're in. Jury selection is all over in a few minutes.

I'd say do it, it's an interesting experience, just don't kid yourself
that you just got given a chance to change the way "justice" is
meted out.

John Edmundson

Louis Proyect
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