Why do people think we have juries anyway?

When we were all in the jury pool, we were shown a rah rah for juries video that highlighted the importance of juries in the history of our legal system. Hooray for juries, backbone of our freedoms, and so on. They pointed out how important juries were in the run up to the American War for Independence, which was quite true. But they didn’t say how or why juries were so important back then. Let me tell you that. That reason was because American juries refused to convict smugglers in the conviction that the laws against smuggling were unjust and stupid.

Then, after we potential jurors were given this inspirational snippet of non-information, we were all given a charge that we on the jury had to do absolutely everything the judge told us to do, no exceptions. We were not allowed to do what had been done back in the day when American juries were giving fits to the royal governors.

So our modern system said to us that we should be inspired by our forebears, but under no account were we to imitate them.

Read the rest: Miscreants, Scamps, Poltroons and Punks.

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