Jury Service

I start Jury Service on Monday.

I have selected an appropriate book to read while I’m waiting for jury selection prior to the trial of the day.

War and Peace

Everyone I know who has read it says that it’s good.  It’s a bit of a slow start though.  Hopefully it’ll keep me awake long enough to decide whether to free someone or “send them down”. 

I’m a bit concerned that my many biases will make me prejudge people.  The following groups should beware:

  • Scruffy, drunken chavs (I’m sorry but I just hate you)
  • Men with full beards (clearly hiding something)
  • Women with thick, wrinkled, leathery skin that smoke (no class, dear)
  • Anyone who looks like an estate agent (obviously dishonest)
  • People with tattoos (clearly criminals especially if the tattoos are crap rather than aesthetically pleasing)
  • People who mutter (guilty of something)
  • People who are too eloquent (glibness betrays their preparation so they must be lying)
  • Anyone who cries (such emotional displays betray an underlying propensity for discarding reason and so they must have a higher probability of guilt)
  • Anyone who brings their mum to the trial (clearly they have no shame)
  • Anyone who brings their laddish friends with them that talk and shout encouragement to their mate during the trial (I need to provide a lesson to these people about appropriate behaviour by punishing their friend)

I’m looking at this as an opportunity to rid the world of some undesirable elements.  I’ve already decided that I will always have reasonable doubt regarding a person’s guilt so I have to decide using an emotional response rather than reason.  Reason tells me that I won’t have enough evidence to be completely sure, even if I were a witness I might still have room to doubt.

No, better I just do my civic duty and cleanse the streets of Portsmouth (and surrounding towns and villages) of those who might cause me some annoyance.

However I am not completely harsh or hostile to the failings of our legal system.  In my magnanimity I will pardon anyone who comes to trial on Thursday who works with hammers as a special tribute to the god, Thor.  Also anyone who introduces me to a new word or an especially interesting or archaic word during their trial.

I hope that this illustrates my opinion of a jury of peers as an ineffective choice.  I’d like to see professional jurors with appropriate training and accreditation introduced.  Don’t let idiots like me loose to decide the fate of those accused of crimes, I’ll either free the guilty or punish the innocent based on nothing more than a vague impression of innocence or guilt.

If you fall into any of the categories above please head to the nearest police station and confess your crimes.  It’s for the best.

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10 Comments

Filed under You decide

10 responses to “Jury Service

  1. Jason

    Oooooh Jury Service eh? I’ve never been asked to participate, perhaps they think I’m too untrustworthy?

  2. I am actually starting to read “The Brother Karamosov” ….

    This looks to be a long and torturous slog!

    R.

  3. Also…

    i relish jury duty about as much as I would a ‘route-canal’ procedure. I haven’t yet had the pleasure of having one but I am told they are unpleasant! 😉

    R.

  4. wakeupscared

    if they worked at an “Arm and Hammer” toothpaste factory at some point in their lives, would that be adequate reason for a pardon and tribute to Thor?

    How about those little hammers that make bells chime? What if they made those?

    What if they played for, or supported, West Ham? (or worked in some capacity (managing, tending the grounds, selling rotten pies) even?)

    What if they were MC Hammer? Or have all his records? Or are a member of his congregation?

    What if they play a string instrument and use the “Hammer-on” technique in their playing?

    What if their name indicates a type of hammer; like Mr Ball or Mr Claw (if his first name is “Hooded” you should send him down for his continual chasing of Penelope Pitstop!) ?

    What if they’re a member of the communist party?

    I don’t think you’ve really thought this through enough.

  5. cataclismical

    It wasn’t me, I was nowhere near at the time – OK?? oh, and the cheque is in the post! 😉

  6. I hope I never get called. They only pay £61/day which is totally ridiculous for a self-employed person running his own company. If I tried to make myself undesirable I’d probably get picked – knowing my luck.

    Your choice of reading material is top though. Might I also suggest Crime and Punishment? Papillon? Gulag Archipellago? 🙂

  7. Jason, you’ve clearly given them my name as this is my third time. I got away with it twice before but this time they’ve got me.

    Robert, I actually wanted “The Brothers Karamosov” but The Hildy said to try War and Peace first. Plus it her old copy from 1985 so I don’t need to spend any money to read it.

    Also isn’t it “root canal”? Although I am led to believe that the word “root” in American is rude and not spoken of in polite society.

    Wakeupscared, I’m happy to allow any hammer related defence but only on a Thursday. Any hammer related defence would do given the arbitrary nature of the other decisions. I can’t be fussy now that I’ve decided. That would be silly.

    Cataclismical, as an employee of the crown, no matter how temporary, I should warn you that it is treason to attempt to bribe me. To the Tower with you. To the Tower!

    Brennig, you are quite wrong there mister, they only pay £30 plus change per day. The £61 odd is for cases that last longer than 60 days. Shocking! I shall take your book choices under advisement. Given the ridiculous finances that I’m offered I may have to visit the library a bit more often.

  8. £30 a day is pretty cheapskate when you think what the judges and lawyers are paid for sitting about in court.

  9. Jason

    Mr Frog, I wonder if they got their Jason’s mixed up? 🙂

  10. Anotherblogger, I imagine that it is less that their hourly rate. Much less.

    Jason, maybe or maybe you’re in collusion with the clerk of the court. I’ll be watching you with your tricksy ways.

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