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The Expert Witness and The Iceberg

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posted on Apr, 24 2015 @ 12:30 AM
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originally posted by: Wifibrains
Here is a quote from another member from here... www.abovetopsecret.com... regarding a jury service experience.


The reason for that (and it makes a lot of sense for the defense) is that law is all about technicalities. Legality isn't about right and wrong, it's about meeting a specific definition. A major part of a defense attorneys case (if the person in fact did some or part of what they're accused of) revolves around framing the actions a person committed as being outside the legal definition of what the prosecutor is charging them with. They want people on the jury that will think in terms of the letter of the law and not the intent of the law.




posted on Apr, 24 2015 @ 12:43 AM
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originally posted by: Pinke
I believe this is one of the many antidotes to the issue. Jurors are often told not to talk about their deliberations, but when they do it is sometimes a disturbing experience when you take into account their responsibility. Often no transcripts, not allowed to research, and left in a room with strangers.


I've been called to jury duty many times (I always seem to get the maximum for the area of 3 times per year) but every case I've ever been called to has been settled out of court before the selection process. I'm something like 0/35 now which tells me that there's a whole bunch of cases not going to trial.

Personally I would love to sit on a jury, it's the sort of thing I would even want to do professionally if there were such a thing as a professional juror (but sadly it's not the sort of thing we should have professionals for). I have a fairly technical mind, can extrapolate advanced concepts from basic explanations, know a little bit about everything, and love to argue. I'm also quite good with numbers and understand things like probabilities plus... the law doesn't bore me.

From what I've heard of many jurors though on the rare occasions they speak of deliberations it's rarely about justice and more about "what can we all agree on so we can go back to work tomorrow".

I see the jury portion as one of the big flaws in our system right now, atleast in the cases that even reach trial. Jurors are all too often not paying attention during a case, and decide things on a completely arbitrary scale rather than on things like logic, reason, and the law. I think a simple fix that could alleviate this is if jurors got a chance to question the prosecution and defense periodically. Right now the prosecution and defense make their cases in neat little packages and leave out all the little details they don't think the jury needs to know about. The jury should atleast retain the right to ask about the parts that have been left out.

Tieing this to the concept of forensics in trials, something I run into a lot in work is that people have this natural bias to assume percentages above 85% are virtually guaranteed and under 10% are impossible. When you apply this to probability where the degree of certainty is often expressed as 95% people take it as iron clad proof. I would say part of any briefing for a trial which involves forensics should also include examples we see every day that have a less than 5% chance of happening yet are all over the place. Someone in the office being sick (1% per person?), a car broken down on the highway (0.001%), a 3 of a kind in poker (2.11%) and so on... along with the odds of those things coming to pass. 1% and 2% events happen literally all the time, yet by most peoples understanding should be virtually impossible to occur. Having an understanding of this is key in interpreting forensic (or any other scientific) results.
edit on 24-4-2015 by Aazadan because: (no reason given)



 
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