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View Diary: Death Penalty Juries: Are You Excluded? (115 comments)

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  •  In theory, they remove people that would hesitate (0+ / 0-)

    in applying the law as is their duty as jurors (bracketing nullification for the moment).  I don't doubt that particular judges favor the prosecution,  but the process of weeding people out that won't apply the law seems like an obvious procedure.

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    by burrow owl on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 05:57:29 PM PST

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    •  Let me sharpen that a bit: (0+ / 0-)

      the only alternative that comes to mind is deference to the juror.  If she says she can apply the law fairly, then the prosecutor has no right to object and the judge no right to sustain the objection.

      Is that a better procedure for ferreting out jurors that won't evenly apply the existing law?  It would seem to preclude a lot of reasonable objections.  Take Shane's hypo downthread about the racist juror that won't just come out and admit her racism: should the defense be foreclosed from arguing that, based on the totality of her responses, the juror is biased against blacks and therefore unable to evenly apply the law?

      We are building a team that is continuously being built. - Sarah Palin

      by burrow owl on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 06:04:34 PM PST

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    •  Huh? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kbman, dharmafarmer, Munchkn, DParker

      Is the right to a fair trial not "the law"?

      What you are suggesting is that support for the death penalty is a special part of the law that is above other parts of the law in how we treat it in court.

      What about a jury by peers?

      What you are suggesting is obvious is one part of the system that the south has used to get all white juries to put black men to death.

      "It's the planet, stupid."

      by FishOutofWater on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 06:08:05 PM PST

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      •  The ability to apply the law as enacted (0+ / 0-)

        is a necessary part of the juror's duty.  That's not radical or zany: it's a fundamental component of what the jury does.  

        We are building a team that is continuously being built. - Sarah Palin

        by burrow owl on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 06:11:31 PM PST

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        •  Not necessarily true (4+ / 0-)

          otherwise, why have juries?  It is the judgment of the individuals comprising the jury in which the decision rests.  And it is quite appropriate for a jury to seek JUSTICE rather than to mechanically "apply the law as enacted".  Jury nullification is LEGAL.  Judges may not like it.  Prosecutors may not like it.  That is why they go to extreme lengths to disallow jurors who are not fully invested in the authoritarianism inherent in our system of "justice".

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          by kbman on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 07:18:06 PM PST

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        •  The law is not written on stone tablets (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          marina, dharmafarmer, Munchkn

          The congress that passes laws often doesn't know what the hell they mean. Congress often makes ambiguous compromises in legislation.

          The law is not a rigid set of prescriptions.

          Go to the Jefferson memorial and read Jefferson's words about the Constitution.

          And FWIW jury nullification is part of the law.

          "It's the planet, stupid."

          by FishOutofWater on Sun Feb 22, 2009 at 07:55:18 PM PST

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