Originally Posted by eddiehimself
What makes you so sure that any normal member of the public is not going to be discriminatory?
member of the public? Perhaps. That's why they choose 12 people, so that it's not
left up to just one. If a single person's decision was acceptable, the presiding judge would simply decide the case. BTW, a jury's decision is not always final, the judge can overturn it on the spot. And the judge's decision isn't always final... it can be appealed. It can be a lengthy process, but the jury certainly plays an important role.
How can you possibly get a jury together that has not seen the story in the news and had their views altered by that in some way? I don't think a jury makes the process any less discriminatory.
This is where the selection process begins. They don't simply trot in 12 people from the jury pool and they're
the jury. Each prospective juror is questioned as to whether they feel they can fairly assess the facts of the case as they'll be presented. Do they know anything about the case, or the persons involved? Do they know, or are they related to any of the persons involved in the case? Typically, the attornies, plaintiff(s), and defendant(s) are present and can dismiss a prospective juror they don't like, without explanation. Could be they don't like their voice, their apparent religion, race, age, gender, the color of their shirt, the way they walked into the jury box or how they sit in their chair, etc. It's more likely you'd get excused from the selection process than end up serving on the case.
Being obstinate or funny or suddenly pointing at the defendant and shouting "he's the one, he did it!" not only gets you off the panel, but into a charge of contempt.
In California, everyone with either a driver license, or who's registered to vote, is eligible to be called for jury duty. There are a few legit reasons which will excuse you from having to show up, and proof is always required. Falsifying such information results in worse penalties that just showing up and giving a day or two or five of your time.
The fine in California for not showing up for jury service is $1500, And according to the law, "In addition, if you are qualified to serve, you will still have to complete jury duty."